Tuesday, 28 July 2009

L Y'legs

'Lesser Yellowlegs, Paull Holme strays, 730am, near the first island after the steps, has done quite a few pisses' 'Tinternet stated.  It didn't give any detailsas to how the bird had pissed, either squatting down like a female or up against the reeds like a male but I planned on finding out this very vital information.

I walked the embankment to where the bird had been showing.  Fuck me, the tide's coming in fast.  Father-in-law had been fishing at Spurn previous day and had said the tide looked like the biggest of the year, so perhaps I should've checked the high tide times.  After a short while checking the waders in the area it became clear that really I should've checked the high tide times.  The tide was flooding the mudflats and quickly moving the remaining waders to pastures new either to continue feeding or to roost.  This other guy and I started the long walk back when, with the naked eye, "that's flying interesting........THAT'S FLYING INTERE....." said I about a wader that had flushed up from the weedy area.  We got on it. "That's it!" excellent.  It flew across just in front of us, with us viewing from just below the bird.  We followed it until lost to view far to the east of us.


Monday, 27 July 2009


I'd bought a sandwich.  A girl nearby was looking hungry, so I decided to give her a bit.  I took my meat out and popped it into her mouth.  She chewed on it.  She chewed it a bit more, not too hard though until she couldn't chew it any more and just swallowed the fat.  In the area were a couple of dykes, and with it raining, their crevices were very wet and overflowing.  The sides of the dyke's wet valleys were surrounded with bush which looked very interesting to me.  I decided to have a delve into the dykes bushes and give them a good pounding.  If I'd have waded straight in I would have to go through the wettest parts first, so I decided to leave these parts 'til last and entered from the rear, taking them from behind.  I moved over the contours of the dykes mounds and soon found myself moving lower, I peered at the lovely looking moist area in front of me.  A Reed Warbler was the only thing of note and how did Julian Clary make a full career out of shit double-entendre?


Tuesday, 21 July 2009


Pulfin and High Eske?  What?  Puffin and what?  I've never been there before, where is it?  It's near Beverley on the Hornsea road?  Oh, I'm with you.  I parked where I was told to park, I walked where I was told to walk, I looked where I was told to look, and a Collared Pratincole was where it was told to be.

It was just sat there, doing fuck all, bored out of its tiny mind, totally pissed off with the torrential rain that was drenching its balls.  And cock.  But what a walk to get there, for me, not the Pratincole which I presume flew there.  The nice lady who helped me with directions said, ten, fifteen minutes walk. It was fucking miles.  And wet.  But still, I've been complaining about the lack of quality birds around (it is July after all) when all of a sudden, BANG! one comes along all at once.

Presumably this was the bird from West Yorkshire which was seen at Fairburn and Swillington Ings where it was joined by 3 Whiskered Terns!  Nice.

It's been a good couple of months for Pratincoles in Britain, with a reported Collared (with white trailing-edge to the wing) being re-identified as an Oriental, a Black-winged being a longish stayer in Norfolk plus what was probably todays bird being seen at several sites around the country.  I think at one point all three species were present in England on the same day.


Thursday, 16 July 2009

Wind up

I do wind Nicola up.  There's a flyover in Gipsyville (a locale in the west of Hull) from where there is a factory roof viewable and this roof plays host to many gulls, usually with the sun at your back so in great light to photograph the many Gulls there including lots of Lesser Black-backs.

Drivingover the flyover with definate non-birding girlfriend, Nicola, I stated that the roof was indeed good for Lesser Black-backs.  We saw some. Lots.  I asked her if she'd ever sworn at a Lesser Black-back Gull.
"What you on about?" she replied.
"It's a simple question, have you ever sworn at a Lesser Black-backed Gull like called one a bastard or other?"
"No" she replied.
"Why not?"  I asked.
"I don't know what one looks like".
"So that implies that you MIGHT have sworn at one before but you didn't know it was one?" I continued to press.
"Suppose so." she said started to get rattled.
"So you may have sworn at one and not known it?"
"How do you know you haven't?"
"I just haven't, alright?" she said.
"Let me put it another way.  Have you ever had reason to swear at a Lesser Black-backed Gull?"
"No, I have never had reason to swear at a Lesser Black-backed Gull". she said.
"That's fine then, why didn't you just say that?"

So there you have it, Nicola has never sworn at a Lesser Black-backed Gull because she's 'never had reason to'.Fair enough, I only asked.

At that point I shouted out of the window and called one a cunt much to my hilarity and much to her disdain.


Thursday, 9 July 2009


Can anyone tell me why the Mottled Swift from October 88 was rejected by the BBRC?  It was seen (therefore identified) in Norfolk the day before being seen at Spurn for 3 or 4 days on and off, therefore independent observers from both Norfolk and Spurn had seen and identified this bird and, with the 'grapevine' absolutely nowhere near what it is today, I would suggest that the Spurn observers didn't even know that one had been seen the day previous, I certainly didn't know.

Amongst the observers at Spurn was a guy who had just returned from south of the sahara and enjoyed masses of experience of this species there.  He was sure it was this species.  The rest of the observers there were also confident.  I didn't have a clue!  I'd not even heard of it!  I take it it was rejected on ID grounds?  I understand firsts for Britain (and indeed the Western Palearctic) have to be very well described and documented but I'm sure this was very well described and documented.  I find this hard to take. I'm still not sleeping at night.  This is the one and only reason I drink just to at least TRY and help me sleep.
And the Demoiselle Crane.
Fucking Wankers, there I said it.


Monday, 6 July 2009

uPVC windows and Carpentry

Fitting windows (working), the customer lent me a radio as I had left mine on another job.  It was tuned to Radio 2 soI left it there, might as well.  During the day, up popped Karen Carpenter singing "....you're so vain, you probably think this song is about you......." to which I realised that it fucking IS!  It is about whoever she's singing about, so what is she on about?  "You're so vain".......she's having a pop at him (I'm presuming that the subject is male) about being vain for thinking that the song is about him!  It is, otherwise why is she singing it?  So by that rationale, he's not really vain for thinking that the song is about him because it is about him, so he's done nothing wrong.  Follow?  Or Kylie Simon or whoever it was.

At this point I changed the station in furious anger and listened to something hip, dude!

Actually, it's not much of a song if our Kylie started singing sense "you're not vain, because you're correct in thinking that this song is about you......." is not quite as catchy.  Sorry Kylie, perhaps you were simply utilising artistic license and I shouldn't be as pedantic in future when listening to lyrics from top tunes like the fucker you came up with.

Karen and Mr Carpentry


Thursday, 2 July 2009


Went to Spurn, I thought the wader numbers may have started to build upon the Humber.  The wader numbers had started to build up on the Humber.  Here are the numbers, but to make this shit at least a little bit interesting (for me, not you) below is a GRID! that simplifies the numbers into a phrase making it easier to read e.g. 'mega' = 1 bird seen, and 'shit common' = around 400 seen.  Get it?  Yes I know it's pointless and a bit shit but stay with it during these birdless summer months.

The GRID! :

Made up                   =  0 birds
Mega                        =  1 bird
Rare bastard             =  2-10 birds
Getting bored            =  11-50 birds
Fucking really bored  =  51-100
Not worth a shite       =  100-300 birds
Shit common             =  about 400

Knot                                -  shit common
Dunlin                              -  fucking really bored
Black-tailed Godwit         -  rare bastard
Yellow Warbler                -  made up
Redshank                         -  getting bored
Ringed Plover                   -  rare bastard
Herring Gull (not a wader) -  rare bastard
BH Gull (not a wader)       -  getting bored
Grey Plover                      -  made up
Curlew                             -  getting bored
Oystercatcher                   -  rare bastard

After cross-referencing the sightings with the GRID! you can clearly see that Grey Plover were unusually low in number (0) and today were just as common as Yellow Warbler (0) whereas Redshank were quite numerous (11-50).

I've read that back to myself and have decided to delete it cos it's all bollocks.
Hang on, if I delete it and re-write it you'll never know that I wrote that originally (we don't care I hear you cry) so I'll leave it in but at this point you need to pretend that I've deleted it.  Got it?  Right, start again.....

Went to Spurn, I thought the wader numbers may have started to build upon the Humber. The wader numbers had started to build up on the Humber. Here are the numbers:

Knot -  around 400
Dunlin -  60+
Black-tailed Godwit - 6

Yellow Warbler - 0
Redshank - 30+
Ringed Plover - 7
Herring Gull (not a wader) - 8
BH Gull (not a wader) - 18
Grey Plover - 0
Curlew - 15+
Oystercatcher -  4

Surprisingly no Grey Plover or Yellow Warbler.
Don't know which version is the best really.

On the way hometh, a dead bird on the road looked like a Cuckoo which finally led me to start thinking of other onomatopaeic like the Cuckoo, apart from the one on the road cos it was never going to "Cuck-oo" again I'm afraid.

Chiffchaff, there's one....erm....Peewit.......Curlew............erm....Kittiwake?  Is that one?  Erm....Yellowhammer, no that's something else about bread and cheese.  Hoopoe?
Pechora Pipit?  No, that's just being stupid.
But it would be a laugh if a Pechora Pipit really was onomatopaeic though and did call it's name......."Pechora Pipit......Pechora Pipit....." as it flew over an east coast headland.  I then reckoned that the call would be in a broad Scottish accent!  Don't know why.  Imagine it "Pechora Pipit.......Pechora Pipit.......fuckin bastad......Pechora pipit.........."

Barry Spence, former Warden of Spurn and former club owner, walks upto me near the gate.
"Barry, I've just had a Red-throated Pipit fly south", said I.
"Did it call?"
"Yes, Barry it did!"
"Can you describe the call?" asked Barry.
"Well it sort of sounded like, erm, Pechurrra Peeepit...."
"Ah, did it have a Scottish accent as well?" asked Bazza again.
"Actually, yes it did".
"Well, I think it was a Pechora Pipit to be honest, Red-throated Pipits call like this ' red-throaaaaaaaaaaated Pipeeeet' with a Scandinavian accent.  You'll need to fill in a submissions form and send it in"  Big Baz informed me.

Barry then did the strangest thing.  He turned and started skipping away down the road towards the Bluebell!  He just started skipping down the road!  Mad!  He didn't stop.He had to hold onto his glasses at one point he was skipping so furiously.  By now I had to follow him with my binoculars as he headed off up Beacon Lane and he skipped and skipped until he disappeared over the brow of the hill towards Beacon Ponds. 

What had got into Barry?

Had his head gone over my poor identification skills of ononatopaeic vagrant pipits that even give their identity away by calling their own name in broad Scottish accents?

I suppose we'll never know........

Whatha furk are yee looooken at?