Sunday, 20 September 2009

Tophill Low

20th day of the ninth month.
2 American Wigeons had been reported at Tophill Low, scene of the excellent jam-in on Britain's first Amur Falcon last October which caused quite a stir as it wasn't identified until after its departure.  The regions birders very unfairly getting a bit of bad press for not IDing it initially.
What happened was the bird was firstly called as a Red-footed Falcon, rightly so at first. It wasn't until much later on in its stay that the diagnostic white underwing coverts started moulting in and was identifiable as the first Amur Falcon but perhaps by this time the leading birders in the area had already seen it or simply chose not to see it! Okay, the photos later on are incriminating, but I bumped into the guy who'd taken the clinching photos and he actually felt bad about it.  He hadn't really looked at his shots until sometime after, fair enough, then he uploaded them to Birdguides after which someone with a keen eye spotted the features.
"Fuck em" I said, "It's really not your fault".
A certain 'big name birder' had even e-mailed him berating him for the episode.
Hang on a minute.
Bear with me here.
The photos (and others) were posted on Birdguides and other places, yes?  Correct.  And I'm safe in saying that this well known birder would look at photos of birds on the internet, yes?  Particularly rare birds, agree?  Of course, everyone does.  So I'll put a pound to a penny that the very same birders who were complaining saw the pictures and simply passed it off as 'just another Red-foot'!!!!!  Exactly.  They've done exactly the same thing that the naughty local birders and photographers had done, passed it off as a Red-foot.  Understandable?  Yes!  It'd been a Red-foot for a good few weeks by then.  Imagine being a birder who does Tophill regularly.  Would you stop and scrutinise this Red-Foot every day?  The 10th day in a row you'd seen it?  If it were me that had seen it every day for 10 days I think I would take the time to look at it if I was passing and if it were showing well but that's maybe about it.  Am I right in saying that?  Maybe?
Well anyway, fuck off all of you that missed it and played up fuck that all Yorkshire birders fucked the ID up.  There are loads of proper really good birders around here.
Amur Falcon?  Yeah I've seen one in Britain. 


There were 3 Buzzards over the car park as I got out of the car.  One had a bit of a nice arse and was looking good in a pair of hotpants.
"Fuck me, have you seen that sexy one on the right?" I asked the five or six that were looking skyward with me.
"Erm......I think that one's a male.  You can see a bit of a packet at the front between its legs" a middle-aged gentleman pointed out. Shit.  On further scrutiny he was right, the one in the hotpants DID have quite a packing-up, certainly a lot bigger than the average Camel's Foot that you'd see on a female in hotpants.
I felt sick.
I'd been checking out a bloke Buzzard butt!  Jesus, I'm never gonna live this down!
But then again, who would expect a male Buzzard to be wearing hotpants?  Not me that's for sure!  Perhaps he gets on the other bus?  Either way, I was either eyeing up a homosexual male Buzzards arse or a straight male Buzzards arse, shit.

Shamed and embarrassed, I retired to North Lagoon hide and looked for the Yank Wigaons, alas, to no avail.  But I did wolf whistle out of the hide at a female Shoveler and shouted "get your tits out" at her to prove my manliness to those around me.


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