Monday, 26 October 2009

Fucking shite

Twenty fucking sixth of fucking October you fucking bastards.
"Why are you so angry Mr Quigley?"
"Fuck off"
"No come on, don't be like that"
"Fuck off and leave me alone Twat"
"Listen, there no need to be offensive Mr Quigley, just tell me what's wrong and maybe I can help you".
""I went to Spurn, alright?".
"And Mr Quigley was it bad?"
"I had a Robin-shaped bastard with a blue tail in flight at the top end of the canal"
"That's great, you've always wanted to find a Red-Flanked Bluetail at Spurn, Mr Quigley"
"I fucking know.  I stood there then thrashed the bushes, then stood there some more"
"Did you see it again, Mr Quigley, thus confirming Spurn's fourth record of this eastern gem?"
"On reflection I think it looked very good for one, my description would be as follows:  Robin sized bird, similar build, only seen once in flight, seen only with the naked eye..."
"....from around 15 yards...."
"Go on"
Generally brown in plumage apart from a dullish blue tail, definitely not as bright as the previous week's bird but this may have been down to poor light....."
"Poor light Mr Quigley?"
"Yes, poor fucking light..."
"I see"
"I never got anymore on the plumage or underparts......"
"Will you stop fucking interrupting me.  For fuck's sake, I'm pissed off enough that it never showed again never mind you fucking interrupting me when I'm trying to talk about it.   Take THAT!  And THAT you bastard".  (picture me hitting you with a big stick in your minds).


Saturday, 17 October 2009


When we were lads wandering around Spurn the conversation would often turn to 'the bird you most want to find at Spurn' and Red-Flanked Bluetail was always high on everyone's list, an unimaginative choice, perhaps, but correct all the same.  These days they are common as muck and not even worth looking at.  If I were told a Bluetail was 'just over there', I wouldn't even bother looking at it! I'd walk straight past.  They're that rubbish now that today there were TWO Bluetails at Spurn!  See?  Common as shite, fuck 'em.  Fuck Red-Flanked Bluetits whatever they're called!
Only joking.
Yes, Red-Flanked Bluetails may have lost their mystical, mega rarity tag due to both a westerly range expansion and increased population, but they're still top notch birds, yes?

So today, yes TWO Bluetails were found (the second not being confirmed until the next morning) the first time a site has ever held two in the same day they reckon. One had been trapped in the Crown and released in Little Hedge which is an area inaccessible to the public and only viewable form the canal, canal scrape hide or the road. 
So why the flying fuck was it released here?!
I'll tell you why. At the weigh-in, the bird was found to be light, so it was decided to release it in a place of solitude where it would have chance to feed in peace without being booted all over the place by birders wanting a look. 
Fuck that!
We shouldn't interfere with nature.  It CHOSE the churchyard as it's CHOSEN haunt and that's where it should've been released (we'd have got much better views).  It's like big Dave Attenborough getting his cronies to stop a lion killing a cute baby Zebra.
Exactly the same.
The Bluetail has overcome diversity to get to that car park, with several factors contriving to dump this little beauty on our shores, and it's chosen area to be unceremoniously dumped were the trees in the Crown car park.  A vagrant is exactly that, a vagrant.  It is just unlucky that it is way off course and may never actually get back on course so I say let it take it's chances!  Fuck it.
I asked Ivan Drago out of Rocky IV what he thought about it.  "If it dies, it dies" he said. 
At least we'd get better views before it did croak it!  Hahahahahahahahaha only joking.  It was a wise and educated decision to release it in Little Hedge and everyone saw it ( I think).

After half an hour, it popped out. Briefly.
Then it popped out again.  Briefly.
Then the lads in the hide had it bathing on the scrape. 
Then I had it fly into the phrags at the side of the scrape after which I never saw it again.  This one never showed the next day but the one down the point showed on and off for the next two days (amazingly this bird was found again in the trap some 7 days after last being seen!  Elusive?  Fucking right the fucker's elusive).

A Radde's Warbler had been trapped at the Crown also. I went for a quick look for it but couldn't find it.  A Jack Snipe and a couple of Brambling were about the best of the rest.

"I will crush you, Tom Selleck, whatever you are called" Ivan also commented.
Was it really Tom Selleck who played Rocky?  I didn't seem to think it was.
Not that I'm gonna argue with Ivan who incidentally, is Tony Drago's twin brother.
The snooker player.


Tuesday, 13 October 2009


I wanted to see a Firecrest, they're good aren't they?  Good bastards.  There had been a couple of them knocking around at Spurn, with one lingering in the canal hedge.  Bashed canal hedge to no avail, in fact fuck all mamma.  One Robin and a distinct lack of birds in general.  The Mipits had stopped moving, mid October there should still be at least a few.  Then a couple of Reed Bunts, then an odd Greenfinch (a perfectly normal Greenfinch actually, not odd as in 'weird' but odd as in 'only one'), then the local teenage Goldfinches hanging around in a field racing a couple of Honda c50's around said field, 2 Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff.  There were things around but no numbers of anything, jut singles or doubles of several species.

A Pallas's Warbler ranging between the Church and the Crown car park showed extremely well in the garden of Kew Villa.  Fucking stripey little cunt.  Bit of an outburst there.

Stood in the Churchyard for about 45 minutes, my mind starting to drift towards the dead that lay before me and for a moment thinking deep poignant thoughts as to the flimsy unpredictability that is life, compared to the final, inevitable, very predictable fate that awaited all of these fallen souls and of course bequeath them.  Added to this the bittersweet irony of being laid to rest in the house of our Lord, safe in the knowledge that there is no Lord and life itself is spawned from the greatest designer of all time, evolutionary process.

Speaking of design and evolution, two species that are truly superbly designed then came to pay there respects above the headstones.  The Pallas's from earlier and 2 Yellow-Browed Warblers.  No Firecrest, but these 3 showed very nicely with 2 Goldcrest (pah!) and a Chiffchaff (pah!).

All hail the Sprites, the leaders of the Phylloscopus family and guardians of our souls in our final resting place.
2 Barred Warblers were representative of the Devil at the gates of Hell, although I'm not quite sure why.


Saturday, 10 October 2009

Visible migration (viz-mig)

Local viz-mig going on near my house:

24 Skylark
3 Meadow Pipit
12 Greenfinch
30+ Goldfinch
c100 Pink Footed Geeses

What a very sensible post.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

No Bonxies

Zigzth of Ogdober.
It was quiet today.  Not much anywhere.  On land, 7 Tree Sparrows at the Warren were the contradictory 'highlight'.  I stood and watched the river for a while as Gannets were moving east, which is a bit unusual, some 25 passing in the ten minutes or so.  After the northerlies we'd just had, seabirds were relocating north and the now southerly direction of the wind were perhaps taking them into the Humber. So a look on the sea was perhaps the only chance today.  It wasn't.  It was shite.  3 Gannets.  Ducks though.  Parties of Teal were hurrying through, some of them even pissing in the sea the dirty bastards.  We've got to drink that.  Then some Common Scoter, nearly 13 of them (12) went south with a Velvet.

A gull flew in front of the scope.  So I followed it.....erm.....looks like a Med.  1st winter Med Gull.  It landed.  Although it landed with another one that looked exactly the same.  Two Med Gulls?
Then another Gull landed.  Adult Med Gull!  What the fuck is going on?  It's gone Med Gull-tastic here at Easington beach.  Then a Black Headed Gull landed then ANOTHER 1st winter Med Gull flew in.  Four Med Gulls, 3 1st winter and a smart adult.  On the beach.  The ducks carried on moving but little else apart from a possible Bonxie that was nearer Amsterdam than me and I need a new scope, it's not the best, so it goes on record as......erm....fuck all.  Off the record then.

Total number of official Bonxies seen today:  None.  Sorted.


Thursday, 1 October 2009

The start of October!

After yesterday's pure fantasy and dreamscape vision of the Anthill Crane turning up at Spurn.........that's exactly where I went.  I was even checking fields from Patrington to Easington on the way!
Was I asking too much?!
Anyway, not surprisingly there was no Anthill Mob seen today but Dick Dastardly was seen going south..........ha............hahahahahahaha......very poor. 
[Reader:  you mean to say that you've built it up over the last two days, slowly changing "Sandhill Crane" to "Anthill Mob" just so you could do that joke?  Well I'm not reading this shite anymore, that's it.  That was rubbish, I mean I don't even know who Dick Dastardly is]

So no Sandhill Crane or 'Playa del Tor el Cranio' as they're known in Spanish.

Northerly windiness meant seabirds would be the order of the day and so it proved.  Before I arrived 8 Poms and a single Long-tailed Skua had passed along with Black-throated Diver, a final count of 189 Red-throats, Balearic, Manx and Sooty Shearwaters amongst big numbers of  more common stuff.  I'd missed the best of it but I still recorded 15 Red Throated Diver, many Kittiwake, single Sooty Shearwater, many Gannets, Guillemot and 2 Arctic Skuas, one of which chased a Kittiwake for a tiny morsel of food for ages, probably about 4 hours.  The energy expelled chasing the Kitt must've far outweighed the nutritional value of the scrap of food itself.  They should stop it. Gulls do it too.  I was in Sainsbury's car park only yesterday when 2 Herring Gulls started chasing another Herring Gull with something in its bill.
I shouted to one of them "Oi, do you not realise that the energy expenditure obtaining the food item from the Gull will probably outweigh the nutritional value gained from said foodstuff, not to mention that probability suggests that you only have a 1 in 3 chance of being the Gull that actually eats the food, you fucking stupid bastard".
An elderly lady stopped me in my tracks.
"People like you are a disgrace" said the elderly grey-haired old angel.
"Oh, erm, sorry about my language but I simply mean well-being to the birds and was using forceful language as I feel strongly about it" I replied.
"Oh, I don't give two flying FUCKS about your language, sonny, I mean it's a disgrace that your mathematics aren't up to scratch.  I think that the statistical data you gave to the Gull might have been misleading as it is surely less than 1 in 3 due to the fact that the Gull who has the foodstuff in its mouth is a clear favourite to finally eat the food.  It has the chance at any time" she said.
Perhaps she was right.
The tiny frail bespectacled lady then took her teeth out, dropped to her knees and said "do you want me to gum it for you, sonny?"
I had no idea what she meant and simply left with some shopping.


....................back at Spurn................

..........3 Stonechat, Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, Yellow Browed Warbler was a cracker as ever, Barnacle Goose along with a Pink-foot in the Triangle, a Merlin flew surprisingly high over Beacon Lane, and a Hawfinch finally showed very well just as I was heading back to the car.  Not a common visitor to Spurn may I add.