Friday, 10 December 2010

Virtual Tour of Spurn and district

The Spurn area offers dramatic scenery, spectacular views over the Humber estuary and the ugly sight of several thousand waxed jackets chasing after a tiny, bald, starving, tiny storm-fucked Pallas's Warbler in early November.

We start off with light refreshments in the famous Crown and Anchor public house:

A couple of pints led to a couple more.
Once I've got the taste, I just want to carry on.
Five pints in here.
There has been some good stuff in the car park of this pub.
Like Red-Flanked Bluetail and Pallas's Gropper
although that got brought here in a bag.
I'll tell you what let's pop into Easington to show you a few more places.

Might as well pop into 'Neppy' The Neptune.
First pub as you go into Easington from Kilnsea.
Not far from here is Easington Lagoon where there is stuff.
A couple of ciders in here just as a quencher
then a couple of Jack and cokes.

Just around the corner is The White Horse.
Near here in the last few years there's been Pine Grosbeak and a furkin White's Thrush.
Two lagers, a cider, Double Jack and a bag of Pork Scratchings in ere ya bastads.

The Marquis of Granby.
My local at home is also called the Marquis of Granby.
You can find me in there most days drinking with the kids and
feeding them only on pork scratchings and crisps..
I like Cheese 'n' Onion crisps.
I had some in ere along with three lagers, two ciders and a Jack ya bastads.
Berra get back to Kilnsea then....

En route to Kilnsea:
"Is that King's Kebabs?"
"Yes sir, what would you like?"
"D'ya deliver?
"Yes sir we do".
"Right I'll have some liver then!  Wi' chips and gravy.  Ya geddit?  I bet you've never heard that one before av ya? Eh?  D'ya deliver?'s a good one..."
"Okay sir, what's the address?"
"I'm in Easington but I'm off back to Crown in Kilnsea soon"
"We don't deliver out there sir, sorry, we're based in Withersea, goodbye"
"Ya baaaastads.  Might as well av another pint in the Crown......"

Fell over.


Friday, 3 December 2010


Over on BirdingBlogs Big Tommy Mac (that's how I know him even though I've never met him) has asked the public to give their stories on how they became 'Hooked' on birds or birding.  Here, for what it's worth is my tu'penneth:

It all started long, long ago in the darkened playground of Hessle C of E Infants School whilst playing football.  Benny Sinclair, who wore a gumshield for football, was usually on the opposing side to me.  It was usually, well always, his lot against my lot.  The game (which revolved around breaks and dinners) ALWAYS ended up with his lot lining up along their goal line (perhaps 20 of them) and singing "We've got a wall...the wall saves the ball.....we've got a wall....the wall saves the ball..." to which my lot would hammer the 'ball' against their 'wall' usually to find that their 'wall' did indeed 'save the ball'.  Defence at its best.  Post match, Benny and I would discuss the game and talk tactics when one day I asked him what he did at the weekend.
"Me Dad took us to Spurn.  It's a hundred miles away and it's 20 miles long and there's millions of different birds there" said Benny.  Everything seemed bigger when you were a kid.
Fast forward a year or so after more discussions about the wondrous secret world of Spurn Point and there we were.  Benny and I, plus Benny's Dad who was a nurse which I found a bit odd as only women were nurses in my mind.  Lots of visits followed until the age of 15 when by that time we'd been joined by Adam and we were now travelling via the famous Connor and Graham bus services which dropped us at Spurn at 9:00 then picked back up around 16:00.  Now this can be a long day at Spurn on the odd occasion there is nothing to see and/or it's pissing down with rain or worse, so the Crown and Anchor was often visited for a bumper lunch of a couple of pints and a truly excellent basket of chips served up by Big Gay Kev who may or may not have thought we were legal.
I mean Alcohol-wise you sick-minded fuckers.

Big Gay Kev certainly took a shine to Adam and greeted him with an "Hiya Tiger!" every time we walked in, which always made me bend over double at the bar and piss myself laughing whilst pointing at Adam out of sight from Big Gay Kev, much to Adam's annoyance.

Let's face it, fuck the spectacle of thousands of wintering waders being spooked by a Peregrine against the backdrop of a dramatic estuary, or the excitement of rarities being found in the point dunes, chips in a basket and underage drinking served by Big Gay Kev who fancied Adam is literally all you need.

Chips in a basket, only these have scampi with them too.
We never used to get scampi with ours.
We just didn't order it.
Although I bet you could've got it if you wanted.
It was probably on the menu.
They used to use little pieces of Monkfish as scampi.
But before it got trendy as a food fish.
It was really cheap back then.
They even used to use Monkfish as lobster bait.
Now look at it.
I like Monkfish.
Nice meaty fish but not got loads of flavour.
You can add big flavours to it as it won't overpower the the Monkfish.
Which is good.
Got carried away there.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Quite Silly...


I've seen some things down south just lately and would like to share some of my photos with you.  They are all for sale and are £17.50+pp.  Just e-mail me if you'd like a copy.  I can blow them up and put them in a frame to make a nice Christmas gift for you or your family for only £35.00+pp!!! 

American Goldie

American Robin

American Dowitcher


Saturday, 13 November 2010

10th November

Had to take Nicola into hospital this morning for an operation.  So, being the courteous gent that I am, I dropped her off at the door and went directly to Rochdale to have a look at the Pied Billed Grebe.  An hour later I got a text off Nicola: I'm going down to theatre in 15 mins x
Now reading this on the motorway made me start to worry a bit.  Was I doing the right thing?  I mean, I shouldn't be reading this whilst I'm driving.

Not long after, I arrived at Hollingworth Lake and feasted my eyes upon Britain's first twitchable Pied Billed Grebe for about 10 years.  It showed very well.  Stout little fuckers aren't they?

The journey home was uneventful apart from my phone going off every five minutes.  Texts, missed calls, you name it, but I was driving.  Whoever it was trying so hard to get in touch will have to wait.  I got home, put the kettle on and checked out pictures of the Grebe online.  Could still hear my phone going off.  Good job I'd left it downstairs because it would be doing my head in by now.  Eventually I went to the phone and found 23 missed calls and 18 texts.  Who could this be? I pondered.  Oh, it's only Nicola, she's wants picking up.  After popping for a quick pint, I got there to find her waiting at the hospital doors for me not looking too pleased.  She'd only been waiting 3 hours, what's up with her, she had a magazine?  I don't know if the operation was a success or not but I told her all about the Grebe she didn't seem interested.  Women, eh?

Managed to get this record shot of it.

Then I got this one whilst it was in the rushes.

Then I managed to get this one just as someone pulled it out of the water.


Sunday, 7 November 2010

Twitchers: A very British obsession

Of course I won't be lowering myself to start commenting on this subject as it has been discussed and ridiculed on many other blogs and websites.  The Birdforum thread has totally exhausted the subject, but yes, I did watch it but I won't be drawn into the childish pictures and comments that are being thrown about.  Garry seems a decent enough bloke though so if I were ever to get drawn in to the subject, my comments won't be aimed at him.  Not that I'm going to get involved. 

So here's what happened on the 29th October.

29th October (you already knew that)

I went to Donna Nook again and this time I saw a Cattle Egret.  It had been hanging around with the cattle but was now following a tractor driven by a man whom I can only presume was a farmer.  It was with some gulls. In a totally unrelated incident, last night I dreamt that I crashed the car into a cow that was stood in the middle of the road.

Cattle similar to the cattle the Cattle Egret
used to hang around but doesn't anymore.

And here's what happened on 4th November. Have you noticed that I haven't been out much?  I know.  In the peak season too.  I just got really busy with work and only managed to get to Spurn a few times.  I'm definitely not getting drawn into the Twitchers theme.  It's far too childish.

4th November

Woah!  Nearly fell there.  What a stupid slippery muddy path this is here at Wheldrake Ings. Plus it's fucking miles to the last hide which is coincidentally named "Swantail Hide".  What's coincidental about that? I don't know either, I just like to throw in a long word now and again to make it sound good.

Precipitating into the hide I was met be 18 million Wigeon and no birders.  "I'll have to find the Yankee Wigeon myself then" I said to myself far too loudly and flushed everything to the back of the lake.

"Oh well then" I again shouted really loudly only because I was alone and you don't often get the chance to shout in a hide.

"RIGHT THEN!" I continued for no reason whatsoever.

"WELL NOW!" I screamed, somewhat running out of relevant things to shout.

"erm....HELLO!" left my satisfied that I had finally managed to shout in a hide so I sat down and started scoping the ducks.  They were a) miles away b) lots of them c) I was alone d) the Canada Gooses decided to fly from their comfy pond well out of the way and land between me and the ducks for no other reason than to obscure my view and make it even more difficult for me to find this American Baldpate.

Several long scans through the flock later, I decided to stand up and move to the other end of the hide for reasons unknown.  Strangely, the odd drake Teal kept winding me up by popping it's sort-of-similar-head-pattern out from amongst the Wigeon, thus thinking I'd found the Yankee Widge for just a split second.  Rubbish?  Me?  You bet your ass.  Teal for Americano Wigeano?  I know, it's bad, but it was only for split long try it then.

The Baldpate nickname for this bird (meaning absolutely bald head) actually allowed me to finally find it.  I noticed a 'Wigeon' right at the back, face on.  A striking pale patch almost as if the bill was reflecting the sun caught my eye.  But the pale goes right up it's forehead!  It turned and started a strange feeding motion, sort of dipping its head in and lifting it abruptly high but keeping it's bill close to its chest.  Diagnostic?  I don't know, but it certainly helped me get into it and confirm it's identity as a Yankee doodle Drake Americano Widge.  Good job it was a drake methinks or I might have struggled at this distance with my old school scope.

Now I'm not usually serious and most of the things that you read on here are simply made up, but finally 'finding' this difficult fucker made it all the more satisfying.  Certainly much better than someone just putting me on it. I was almost euphoric, which is a bit of a strange reaction for such a bird that is not exactly mega rare to say the least.  So euphoric in fact that I walked back to the car and got in it, but not before I thought I heard Lesser Pecker calling.  Unfortunately I never saw the blighter.  The irony I've been thinking about today is that God made woman out of one of Adam's ribs, but I couldn't help thinking that if he'd have removed a few more, Adam wouldn't have needed a woman in the first place.

Would you believe it?

You was expecting some childish pictures of Garry and Lee wasn't you?  You know me too well.  Well I'm not.  No.  I'm not doing it....

I'm not....

Oh go on then...

I will be your father figure, put your tiny hand in mine,
I will be your preacher, teacher, anything you had in mind

Look at the chest!  Ha ha ha ha ha I should really grow up.

There's a lot of crimes, birding crimes going on.

Separated at birth.  Even down to the earring.
I think we now know who George models himself on.

Very poor indeed.


Friday, 5 November 2010

Another round up. I really should keep on top of this s(h)ite but I just haven't. Alright?

7th September


Back to old skool (note spelling - I am down with the kidz, man) birding today.  Bush-bashing, dyke-thrashing, hedge-trashing and...erm...scrape...mashing.  The winds and weather were spot on for an east coast fall and it produced.  Stomped all over the point dunes and had flight views of an Ortolan. Good start, but I wanted to find something.  There's something here, there must be.  Redstarts flitted from every bush, Pied Fly's flitted from every other bush and Spot Fly's flitted from every other bush-but-one sort of thing.  Here's what was seen today in the Spurn area:
Spotted Crake (7th Spurn record)
2 Ortolans
8 Barred Warbler
7 Common Rosefinch
4 Wryneck
4 Wood Warbler
1 Red-rumped Swallow, plus good numbers of common stuff:
73 Redstart
29 Whinchat
56 Wheatear
42 Spot Fly
52 Pied Fly.......etc.

So as you can see, it was a pretty good fall.  Pretty good?  Fucking great I reckon, pet.  The smell of rare (ha) was definitely in the air, so much so that we opted not to go twitching the scarce (ha) that was being found in order to find our own rare (ha).  We managed a Rosefinch that flew off as soon as I got on it, a Wood Warbler along the peninsula and a Wryneck looked like a cadet in camouflage doing his take on The Exorcist, but these were all other people's finds.  The best we could offer was an interesting Warbler that came in off the sea at Post 43 which only Adam got on in the bush.  He reckoned on a Hippo, perhaps fitting Booted best.  It was flighty and flew almost immediately.  We got within 200yds of it when it went again down the peninsula.  Arsetits.  We jumped in the car to get in front of it, then worked our way back.  No sign.  More arsetits.  It flew as if it was pulling it's tail along, it's front end quite erratic yet the tail stayed quite rigid....whatever, just another one that got away.  Even more arsetits. 

Got to say, excellent inter-blog shenanigans between the Punks and the Catz amongst others in the wake of the Flycatchergate affair, with the Punks taking everything thrown at them in good heart and giving a bit out!  Funny stuff, I like it.

Cheryl talks to me through the TV when Nicola's
watching X-Factor but there's only me that can hear it.
Fuck me, I would spend hours rummaging for truffles with that bastard.

24th September

Spurn.  Seawatch.

With northerlies rattling the windows all night a seawatch at Spurn was the preferred option for all.  Thinking the seawatching hut would be packed I opted for Easington beach from the car window.  The wind battered the car and it made for an uneasy basecamp.  The skuas that were streaming past were a bit distant also, especially with my somewhat dated scope.  I went to the hut and managed to squeeze in on the plastic chair.  It was a superb couple of hours with skuas almost constant, going south in parties of upto 20.
My totals:

Pom Skua 3
Arctic Skua 129
Bonxie 76
Long Tailed Skua 1, but another which I thought was a Long Tail in the same party was called as an Arctic by one guy who had a massive scope compared to my bins.  Not to worry.
Plus some other stuff, but it was mainly about the Skua passage.  Full totals here!
Quite a sensible post, there.  What do you make of that?  Rubbish?  I agree you slags.

Brett got really pissed off that he hadn't seen the possible
Short-Tailed Shearwater well enough.
So pissed off in fact that he stripped down to his crackers
and threatened passing seabirds with his tribal dance.

28th September


What?  Lincs?  What the flying fuck are you doing in Lincs Q@Spurn? You're called Q and you're supposed to be at Spurn, hence the name 'Q@Spurn'.
Well, I'm over here with the kids for donkey rides, sandy beaches, fish 'n' chips, cup o' tea, bucket and spade, amusements, 2p coin falls, braces, handkerchief in knots, deck chairs, crazy golf, go karts, sea shells, sand castles, what the butler saw, rain, sand, sea, wind-chaff, and traditional English seaside pastimes.  What the fuck's wind-chaff?  I went to buy the kids a traditional good old English bucket and spade and do you know what came with the bucket and spade?  I'll tell you. I asked for a bucket and spade and was handed an onion type bag.  Within this onion bag was a bucket, great, a spade, great, and a wheelbarrow!  A wheelbarrow?  Is this the traditional English seaside toys that we've grown up to love and nurture?  Is it fuck as Ronald Reagan once said.  A wheelbarrow?  Eh?
Meanwhile......I went off for a spot of birding at dawn where I found some great habitat which, as the crow flies, is only a few miles from Spurn itself.  "I bet this gets a few things" I thought to myself, but it was hard to work.  It's like point dunes only without any vantage points or paths running through it!  Picture the scene?  A bit of southerly passage, 12 Skylark, 34 M. Pipit, 14 Gannet north, 52 Common Scoter, 4 Teal, etc.  In the bushes things were seen only once before being lost in the thick cover but, Blackcap, 12 Goldcrest, Brambling, Siskin, 8 Song Thrush, 25+ Redwing indicated that there were migrants around, it was just a case of seeing them! 
Didn't find anything.
Lincs is flat.  Flat I tells ya.

Anybody?  No?  "Saltfleet".

30th September

Donna Nook

What with Sir Lee Evans calling for a Defra-type cull on all birding sites with an ounce of wit, humour or polite mickey-taking, it is of course only right that we tone down our offerings more inline with the inane blogs of the very very sensible, as this is what Viva El Presidente has asked for.  There will be no more attempts at jokes, no joke pictures at the end and certainly no swear words like cock:

By jove, it was a lovely morning.  I had a nice cup of tea with the vicar just before he had to pop off to bury Mrs Whitstable at the chapel. She was a nice lady.  It's such a shame about her demise.

By jove!  Three lovely Richard's Pipits have been reported at Donna Nook!  How enchanting.  I believe they look a little bit like a Sparrow only with a longer tail.  As we're staying in a simply super caravan here in Mablethorpe, Donna Nook is not that far away.  Wizard!  I asked my good ladyfriend if it was okay to go and try to have a look at these birds.  She put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea and raised her concerns about the roads being unfamiliar to me.  I promised I would not travel above our normal 25 miles per hour and would not be out the Autumn wind for more than 20 minutes at a time as I might get the sniffles.  I had a nice cup of tea, warmed up my thermals in front of the fire and retired to the boudoir to change as I don't allow my good lady wife to see me in merely underwear.  That would be plain rude.

After a nice cup of tea, I set off to the local garage to check the air pressures on my tyres.
Offside front - check.
Offside rear - check.
Nearside front - check.
Nearside rear - needed a little more in, I'll have to keep an eye on that - check.
After checking the oil, the water, the windscreen washer liquid and buying a spare set of windscreen wiper blades, I set off. 

I arrived at Donna Nook several hours later to find a car park but no cafe.  Who has heard of a nature reserve without a cafe?  It was lucky that my good lady had prepared a fresh flask for me!  Thanks!  I had a nice cup of tea and a ginger biscuit and offered a nice couple that were getting into their vehicle a cup.  They turned it down - their loss!  Ha ha.  Very good joke there to keep you all amused.  Who says birdspotting can't be fun?

Oh fuck this, walked around a bit, saw and heard one Richard's Pipit just as I was leaving, then another flew in, showed well, went back to the car, drove back to holiday park, drank Carling drinks, watched Bradley Bear.

Got a bit bored there with all the inane shite, sorry.

Bally sensible old chap.

10th October. 

Mega Fall.  Spurn.

Dripping with birds, jumping, bouncing, crawling, heaving with birds.  All phrases one hears when this kind o fall happens.  I find 'crawling with birds' to be the best verb to describe the scenes. If it is a verb.  I'm pretty sure it is.  If you're ever unsure of anything like this or even if you're unsure of a certain spelling or even have a question regarding punctuation and grammar, simply log onto Birdforum, add a post with your questionable word within it and sit back and wait for the responses!  Easy.  I was unsure of the spelling of the word 'definite'.  Googling the answer or using a dictionary is far too long winded.  So I posted this:

Hi there, I was after some help.  I sometimes find pipits difficult and was wondering if there is a definate way of seperating Tawny from Richard's.
Thanks in advance.

The answers came flooding in:

Hi there, Q@Spurn.  Just to let you know that you've spelt definite incorrectly.

registered user
posts: 7
last lifer: Ring necked Duck.

Sorry Q, but you've spelt definite wrongly, it's spelt with an 'i' not an 'a'
Happy birding.

Southern Finch
registered user
posts: 1
last lifer: Coal Tit

Yes, I noticed that too.

Wigan Roy
senior member
posts: 2,463
last lifer: Northern Parula

He's also got it wrong with separately.  Spelt it with an 'e'.

Black Noddy
registered user
posts: 80
last lifer: Black Brant.

Notice that there is not one utterance of pale lores or unstreaked mantles in reference to the actual birding question!  Pedants.
Pedants of life will fall onto him,
And the ship it sinks like lead into the sea,
And the hermit shrieves the mariner of his sins.
It is actually 'penance of life' but I thought it sounded about right.  Of course, I'm not supposed to mention Iron Maiden and I haven't as yet, as it is Tom McKinney's domain and his alone, and I don't want to step on his toes or be accused of plagueris....plagie....plaguearis.......copying.  The lyric is of course taken from Maiden's epic 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' which featured on the World Slavery Tour and is a song that has the words 'shrieves', 'penance' and 'pang' contained within it's lyrics, which are pretty good words to get into your song.  Brucey is a pilot and actually flew Liverpool FC to Italy for their UEFA Cup game last week against Napoli.  Apparently, thieves from across Europe bring stolen goods to Brucey for him to store and sell on, as he is also an international fence.....

.....and you're back in the room.  What the fuck was all that about?

Meanwhile, back at Spurn....

...Spurn was crawling.  Chiffs and Crests had to feed on the deck as if there was not enough room in the bushes.  And there wasn't (enough room in the bushes) as every bush contained at least 300 (5 or 6) Goldcrest, 250+ (3 or 4) Chiffchaff, and 150 (1or 2) Brambling.  Song Thrush and Redwing were absolutely everywhere and even tried to burrow into my trainer to find shelter and/or food.  It was a lovely day so halfway along Sammy's I took off my coat only to find 14 Thrush sp. fly out of my left arm, 9 Brambling fly out of my top pocket and 139 Chiffchaff holding off an entire army of Goldcrest at Rourke's Drift (also known as my right coat pocket).

Now I know I've covered this already but I need to hammer this home about there being birds everywhere.  There were Goldcrestios (Italian sub-species), el Goldo Cresto (Spanish sub-species), Goldfuckingcrestsinnit (Coventry sub-species) al zuber la platz (which Craig Taylor of 3B told me, maybe erroniously, meant 'all over the place' in German).  They really were using every perch available, I don't think you beilieve me, and some really were spilling onto the deck to feed with Chiffs.  Honestly!  Why can't you believe me?

As for the rarer species,a Pallas's Warbler showed very well to the crowd of almost four million on Sammy's.  Always a pleasure, never a chore.  Down there for dancing.  I'll go to the foot of our stair, etc.  Tiny, tiny, beautiful, bald, tiny baby mites Pallas's Warblers.  They really are.  Bedecked with so many stripes it was like a K-Swiss vs Adidas dance-off.  I'll delete that, it's a terrible analogy.  Analogy?

4 Shore Lark were at Chalk Bank, the Egyptian Goose (Spurn tick!) still, a Great Grey Shrike opposite Rose Cottage meant a good day all-in-all apart from leaving Spurn around 4 o'clock, just before news came out of a Radde's Warbler trapped and ringed at Kew!  The only thing to do when missing the chance of Radde's in-the-hand is to go home and get twatted on Carling drinks, Jack Daniels and Monster Munch whilst the missus and the kids cower in the corner staring at Daddy, whispering amongst themselves "he's doing it again....he's doing it again....why does he do this every night?  Why can't he have Walker Cheese and Onion instead.....just once...."

Spicy flavour baked corn snacks


Monday, 13 September 2010

Very important information on the probable Collared Fly at Spurn

Well, this interesting bird has caused a lot of discussion on the forums and blogs here and there, so I thought I'd do my best to get some information back on this controversial Flycatcher.  Much research has been done in Sweden on identification of the two species concerned, plus some detail on hybrids.  I thought I best dig a little deeper for myself, so I e-mailed a few people over there in Sweden who are supposedly experts in this field:

Hi there ABBA!
I am liking very much your Waterloo, I play it on a weekend and dance like Bjorn, I like, yes. As you are the Swedish people and the Swedish people know about these things, I am looking for some help. There was a bird at Spurn Point (England) this week that was either a Pied Flycatcher, a Collared Flycatcher or a hybrid of the two. There are some pictures at under the post called 'Collared Flycatcher part 2'. Have you any opinions on this bird? I know Agnetha has become a bit of a recluse so if you can't get in touch with her just give the opinions of the other three if you can.

Thanks in advance,

Mark Q.

(I really did send them the above e-mail) and I recieved this back:

Thanks for contacting ABBA at this time, unfortunately we are unable to help at this moment.

Thanks for taking an interest in ABBA,

Our central address:

P.O. Box 3079
4700 GB Roosendaal
The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 (0) 165 565 005 (Tuesdays between 19.00 and 22.00 C.E.T.)
Fax: +31 (0) 165 566 023

Fuck you then, Bjorn!
And fuck you as well Benny, you bearded twat.


Saturday, 11 September 2010

Here's something that happened on Sept 1st:

After 2 firsts for Spurn (possibly) along comes a first for Yorkshire! It had been found at around 10 o'clock but the arrangements for the car parking for the inevitable twitch meant that news came out around 12ish.  A mate of mine wanted to come, so I (foolishly) waited around for him to finish work and set off around 3.  You know what's going to happen...for 3 hours we stood around and never saw the EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER that had been showing off-and-on for the morning and early afternoon.  Oh well, at least it's on my birdsI'vebeenwithinamileof list as it was confirmed as still there the next morning.  Damn and blast. 
Still there you say?  I best get up there again then.

The organisers had changed their tact.  The bird had favoured the corner of the sheltered field, particularly the big hawthorn in the corner, but due to the volume of people searching, there was always people within a few feet of it's favoured haunt.  So today they sent people arriving all the way around Old Fall, therefore away from the area, to view from a reasonable distance. Good thinking you guys, as after only 10 minutes of waiting, it showed really well for one-and-all.

Olivaceous is a great name for this creature.  When Lee Evans named it (I presume it was him) I think he did a good job.  Less so with his version of Little Shearwater (North Atlantic Madeiran Little Shearwater baroli! - what's he on?)

The Olly was very good, very distinctive.  The tail pumping is diagnostic, with a bill that could take your eye out, plus it gave itself up with a bit of chacking here and there. 

I might count up my Yorkshire list. Not that it's very big or with any blockers on it.  Or has it?
Blackpoll Warbler?  Did everyone see that?  Desert Warbler?  Nah, there's been a couple since the Flamborough bird, or was it Filey?  Amur Falcon?  Oh yes, mamma.  Officially accepted by the BOURC (Bill Oddie's Unfinished Red Cardigan - he knits) and split into 14 different species by the UK400 including Adult Amur Falcon, Female Amur Falcon, Ringed Amur Falcon, and Unringed Amur Falcon.

Bill Oddie once took an Olive-backed Pipit that had been trapped at Flamborough up to Filey in his car, released it and then told everyone that he'd found an OBP!  And everyone said "Well done, Bill, well done indeed!" and Bill took all the plaudits and I don't know why he did it, he just did. There, I've said it.  It's what every birder in Yorkshire has wanted to say for years but they just haven't dared.  Why haven't they dared?  I'll tell you why. It's because Bill Oddie is a brute of a man and will surely now hunt me down and kill me with his bear hands.  He has hands like a bear.  And why has Terry Jones burning a Heavy Metal magazine ended up with rioting in some Muslim states?  It's the most bizarre thing I have ever heard.

"There's Spam, Egg, Sausage and Spam, that's not got much spam in it"
Perhaps it's the spam/pork/holy pig link that they don't like?
Just guessing really.


Saturday, 4 September 2010

Round up II

Blog flagging.  No time to do birding updates.  The celebration that is/was the 100th post got in the way also.  So here's what I've been doing on the birding front, with an 'amazing' 7 posts-in-one for your delectation:

16th August

After yesterday's antics of Citrine Wag, RB Shrike, Iccy and the like, todays antics at Spurn were a bit quiet in comparison.  No Citrine of course (I'd come to see it, so of course it wasn't going to be here) and raging northerly winds were keeping all the passeriniformes very low.  A couple of Willow, a Wheatear, a couple of...wait for it....Whinchat and a tine young bald Blue Tit were the best of the bushes!  A Green Sand, juv Blackwit, Snipe, Grey Heron and 4 Little Egret on canal scrape.
Over the sea, 45 Gannet went north and 2 Arctic Skua went south in 'only' an hour.  Hmmm.  Should've been here yesterday as the saying goes.  At least it shows that, even in mid August, with the right conditions things can get good but with a distinct westerly feel for the foreseeable, it seems we'll have to wait a bit longer for a good spell.  Blacktuft Sands for Nearctic waders anyone?

I simply do not know what I'm talking about.

....He's got a pineapple on his head....

19th August

To continue the dipping theme, I thought I best go and not see the White-winged Black Tern that had been frequenting Hornsea Mere for a while, but of course.....not today!  Blast!

A Ruff, 3 Common Sand, 2 Knot, one of which had a limp, and some ducks were no fun whatsoever.  Another dip.  Not giving up, I continued scanning.  Still no sign.  Come on, it must be here somewhere.  I scanned over the far shore....then!  As if by magic.....the shopkeeper appeared.

You always wanted him to get the astronaut costume didn't you?
Go on, didn't you?
I bet you did.
I'm right aren't I?
Admit it.

20th August

The dips go on.  Today I decided to not see the Semi-P that had been lingering at Alkborough Flats.  On arrival, it had just flew out of view "just over those reeds"...."about 5 minutes ago".

I've started a new list. Just now.  It's my "Birds I've been within a mile of" list.  Semi-P?  On my list.
My new list that is.

I did see two Peregrines though.

The road down to Alkborough Flats.
At this point, the Semi Palmated Sandpiper
would've been on view.
The lesson?  Don't stop to take photos for
your blog when on a twitch.
It's a stupid thing to do.

23rd August.

Now this is more like it.  Last night's SHARP-TAILED SAND has been relocated at Spurn!  And I've jut been rained off for the day!  I'm off.

Approaching the group of birders, I knew my luck had been shocking, missing Baird's Sand, Citrine Wag, White-winged Black Tern, and Semi-P all in a week.  One birder broke away from the throng and started heading off.  As he passed me, the age-old question was asked:  "Still showing?"
"Nah mate,not for a while now" came the now expected response.

On arrival at the horde, someone shouted "It's here!"
"Goodness gracious me!" I shrieked. I didn't really.
We all just went mental waving our arms in the air and did a merry jig of delight.

As I ALWAYS need some random picture to finish off a post, I wanted a crowd scene to highlight the "we all just went mental" bit.  Rather hopefully I Googled "Images of crowds going mental" with the idea of some football crowd going crackers after their team has scored with a caption of maybe "the scene at the Sharp-tail" to finish the post.  The images in the results were a bit unexpected.  Here's a selection of the results of searching "Images of crowds going mental":



Images of crowds going mental.
Google it. Go on.

27th August

A generally northerly wind was touching NE at times, so a fall of migrants was perhaps expected, well hoped for.  The first hour was surprisingly dead, or was I just off the pace? Perhaps I was, because it became clear that there were migrants around.  And quite good numbers of the Little blighters too.  I covered most places and left around 1 o'clock just as a weather front came in from the north east bringing with it rain and probably more migrants, possibly even rare ones.  My totals don't compare with the totals in the log (here) but there were still things around to keep us occupied.  42 Whitethroats, 18 Willow, 2 Garden, 1 Barred, 3 Lesser White, 2 Reed, 3 Pied Fly, 2 Redstart, 9+ Whinchat, 6 Wheatear, 12 Yellow Wag, a Sooty north and Gannets going in various directions: left.  And: right
No picture?  What's going on?

28th August

Balls.  My THIRD attempt at the Semi bastard P resulted in, you've guessed it, me not seeing it.
The only thing to do when this happens was to smash my way out of the hide through the viewing flaps, splintering the hide as I went, jump out onto the mudflats, get covered in mud, give an amazing 'battle cry' as I ran at the waders windmilling and shouting "Fucking Semi P bastard!", I chinned a Greenshank that was staring at me, then kicked fuck out of a Shelduck in a blind dipping rage.  The cool, soft mud felt nice on my naked body (did I forget to mention that?) so I stayed out on the mudflats for quite some time, wriggling around and giggling uncontrollably quite to the amazement of the people still in the partly demolished hide.

The Shelduck gingerly made her way back to dry land... to die...

31st August

A mysterious Flyctacher had ironically been caught at the Warren.  The initial ringer suspected something 'wrong' with this 'Pied' when the wing length fell 5mm too long for an average Pied and 2mm outside the upper limit for Pied.  Other features were looked at and news of a probable COLLARED FLYCATCHER, the first Spurn record, was put out.

The 'probable' aspect of this bird was due to a couple of features not quite supporting Collared.  After processing, the feature count was a great-game-for-the-neutral 7-2 in favour of Collared.  The two anomalous features being a discrepancy on P2 and, when the nape feathers are ruffled, a lack of horizontal line running through the feathers!  How do they know this shit?  Supporting features for Collared included primary pattern, tail pattern and when some skin is scratched from the leg with a scalpel or such like, the open wound smells minty (it smells like custard in Pied).
The wonders of modern ornithology.

So what chance of this getting accepted by the authorities?  Well, the relevant people from Spurn are in contact with certain Swedish people who are authorities in the separation of Collared and Pied, and are, almost definitely, blond-haired.

I found the bird in question rather pale overall, with much white in the wing, a quite definite pale throat, and cooler tones to the mantle and nape.  Whether these features are relevant or not, I don't know but I was just trying to add some detailed substance to this blog as a change from the usual "swearing...birdy...gratuitous violence....more swearing....another birdy.....went drunk....random picture" kind of post you're used to.

Random pic.


Thursday, 26 August 2010

The 100th Post! 20 questions.

Over time, I've received various comments/questions/queries regarding blogs, birding and information in some of my posts.  These questions are important to me and I feel that the 100th post is the time to answer some of these.

1.  In your post "The Opponent Lottery" you say, and I quote "I simply undid my belt, jumped out of the car, gave the international hands-by-your-sides gesture for 'come on then'...." does this mean you were going to whip the lorry driver with your belt or that you took your belt off just so your trousers would fall down?
Jim, Sheffield.

It was just so my trousers would fall down, Jim

2.  Hi Q, how many birds are there in the world?
Molly, Cheltenham.

Hi Molly.  It's a tricky one to answer, but I've always thought it was about 9500.

3.  Do you think mankind will ever visit another galaxy?
Brian, address withheld.

No Brian, I don't think so.  Our galaxy to is some 100,000 light years across, so at the speed of light (which is physically impossible) it would take 100,000 YEARS (!) to cross it, never mind get to another galaxy!

4.  What's your favourite, Golden Grahams or Cinnamon Grahams?
Alan, Leeds.

I haven't tried Cinnamon Grahams, so by default, Golden Grahams.

5  Will putting a plastic Heron i my garden scare away little birds like finches and tits?  I don't want to scare finches and tits away, I just like the Heron.  My wife's Dad, my father-in-law, bought a plastic Heron online but when the package came, they'd sent two by mistake!  So I got the spare one out of the loft.
Jim, Sheffield.

I don't think a plastic Heron will scare away little birds like finches, Jim.  Although they might not go too close.  And thanks for the interesting story regarding the plastic Heron dispatch cock-up.

6.  Does birds do flying south when?
Peter, Broadmoor.

I have no idea what you are asking whatsoever Peter.

7.  What's your favourite area at Spurn?
John, Kilnsea.

I like canal hedge.  Although I preferred it years ago when you could walk between here and little hedge.  It's the area I cover first.

8.  How's your blog going?
Craig, Hull.

Erm, you're asking a strange question there, Craig.  The question implies you don't read it, or you'd already know how it's going.  Which means you're not interested in it. And if you're not interested in it, why are you asking about it?  Ginger twat.

9.  Why are you always having a go at me in your blog?  Can't we be friends?
Lee, Bucks.

That's two questions Lee so fuck off.

10.  Can't you just answer my first question please?
Lee, Bucks.

That's three now Lee.  For fuck's sake, you can only have one.

11.  Jim from Sheffield's had two.  Why do you keep on having a go at me in your blog?
Lee, Bucks

Cos I want to.  Happy now?

12.  Is there any chance of a virtual tour of Spurn?
Colin, Portugal.

Yes, I can do that for you Colin.  Quite a good idea that.

13.  Who's gonna win the fucking World Cup?
Bill, Norfolk.

As in the next one?  Fucking Spain.  You started the swearing.

14.  Are any of these questions real?
Elvis, Graceland.

Yes, some of them are, Elvis.

15.  Can't we just be friends?
Lee, Bucks.

Lee, will you just fuck off.

16.  Why did you mention my bellend in one of your posts?
Bill Oddie, London.

I don't really know, Bill.  Sorry if it caused offence or embarrassment.  I wasn't suggesting anything about you bellend.  I've never even seen it, for the record, readers.

17.  In your post from 7th April, there's picture of a bird with the caption "a person from lincs" underneath.  What does that mean?
Graham, Lincs.

The bird is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Graham.  Does that explain it now?

18.  Are you just padding this out just to get to a round 20 questions?
Anon, 17 Cliff Terrace, Portsmouth.


Bill, Question 16.


Thursday, 12 August 2010


Well, it's been a while.  How are you all?  Fine? Oh that's great then.  I was worried that all of my readers (2) had disbanded and deleted me from their favourites.  Oh the relief.

Woe is me.  Everytime I decide to "go for" something, it duly fucks off that very day.  First the Seaforth White-tailed Plover/Lapwing decides to fly to Holland whilst I was driving to see it on Merseyside, then the Welsh Marmora'a Warbler does one after spending a week in south wales, now the Baird's Sandpiper that has been frequenting, wait for it, Kent, no Nottinghamshire, decides to leg it just as I was going to pay homage to this little nearctic wader bird.

Still, it's the 100th post of this blog next time 'round, a true cause for celebration or total dispair, whichever angle you view from.  It's going to be a big one, trust me.



Saturday, 17 July 2010


"We're just waiting, and hoping for an explosion of Messi magic" the commentator said during the Argentina game during the World Cup.  I thought I'd turned over 'accidentally' to Babestation for a minute.  He really did say that too.  Notice how it's taken me a long time after the World Cup to mention football?  That's because I'm only just getting over the performances of our national team.  I've just noticed that an anagram of "it's the national team" is "the total inanimates" which describes the movement and desire perfectly. 
Hell's teeth, I must be bored/boring/inane to work something like that out.  What the fuck am I talking about?

Rambling - jewellery for sheep.
Think about it.

"So this is a birding blog, ja?"
Ja, for sure.
"Well where have you been to lately then?" I hear you cry.
Well, I'll tell you, my little imaginary chums.

Last week, a Bonaparte's Gull AND a blinking Ring-Billed Gull were found over the bridge near Far Ings on the same night (hence I couldn't drive due to lager retention) along with a load of Med and Yellow Legged Gulls!  Jesus Holy Mary!  I turned up there the next morn to find the car park absolutely rammed with birders whatsoever!  I couldn't believe this.  Bony's and Ringer at the same site at the same time and nobody showed up.
I had a good go at the Gulls on Chowder Ness but only found 2 adult Meds amongst the common fodder.  Not good! 

I tried again....wait for it....two days later and guess what?  Well, I'm pretty sure that I had the Ringer off Far Ings from the brick hide looking over the Humber plus a near adult Caspian!  Get in.  But nothing worth mentioning back at Chowder Ness though (where the birds were originally found). I've found myself being drawn into "Gulling".  I still think they're hard though.  Am I alone in this?  I can't be.  Practice needed methinks.

On the 13th I headed up to Filey to have a look at the beautifully patterned* first year male King Eider.  It showed very nicely.  Very nicely indeed for a sea-duck.  They're pretty fucking** god*** damn rare here in Yorkshire, with a record from Flamborough last year and before that a bird way back in 1846 or summat.  This bird was actually seen passing Flamborough the week before and seemed pretty settled with the local Eider group.

So, who says that this isn't a birding blog.  There.  A post about birds just to keep you happy.

*     heavy sarcasm is used in this blog.
**   I nearly went 3 posts without swearing.  Nearly.
*** I didn't even put a capital letter on "god" which shows my general attitude towards deities - pure anarchy!

Sheep jewellery


Friday, 16 July 2010

Hit parade

Fluff thought that he'd bring you his version of a hit parade, as is popular in other birding blogs.
Alright.  Greetings, pop pickers.  Nod Harf.

Don't blame me, I didn't cook it.  Alright.

1 And now to a pretty cool acoustic version of one of the Chili Peppers more famous songs.  Check out the crazy boiler suit antics of Big Tone Kiedis, alright: 

under the bridge

That was written way back in 1992.  Can you believe that?  18 years ago, man! 

2 I think this next track hit the charts around 94 and I should point out that I HATE anybody who calls their sound "American alternative rock" because that means, without contradiction, that they are utter shite.  Well, apart from this one little contradiction by Beck who is utter shite apart from this track, alright:

soy un perdedor

I can read many influences into that song, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, George Harrison's wailing sitar-based wonderwall records recordings.......erm......and some more.  Nod 'Arf.

3 Straight in at number 3 this week is Bad Company with a song about a boy who is brought up by a pack of wolves!  Sounds like an unlikely subject for a soft rock composition to me, but here, have a look for yourselves:

Run with the Packi

Check out a young Tony Blackburn on bass at around 2:30.  The studio version of that track features a piano-led fade-out which Paul Rodgers touches on but doesn't continue in this footage which, in my opinion, is excellent. 

4 Well.  I'm not sure about white guys trying to rap like black guys but generally rubbish band Faith no More have a decent punt at it here:


Whilst you're on, click on the War Pigs cover that they did or alternatively find the proper War Pigs by Sabbath, it's much better.  Speaking of Sabbath....

5 Fuck Faith no More, here's Sabbath live in gay Paris in 1970.  Ozzy - a proper legend:

As the war machine keeps turning....

Everyone's heard of this famous yarn, but I'll tell you anyway.  Sharon was pissed off with Ozzy's partying and general rock 'n' roll lifestyle so she hid every item of his clothing and locked him in the house to keep him off the beer for a while.  Ozzy being Ozzy, put on one of her dresses, jumped out of the window and went on a three day bender!  True genius.

Jordan seems to regret having the tattoos.


Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Alarming information

If you ever buy a house/car/hat without an alarm, simply don't worry!  What's the point in an alarm?  When does anybody (myself included) react to an alarm going off? Let's think about this:

If you hear an alarm going off at 12 noon you are meant to assume the following:

a)   If 'going off', this alarm is here to say that something is wrong....
b)   .....usually that something is being taken, and/or....
c)   ...that someone has broken in without permission.
d)   Alert the emergency services at once.

And do you?  Well?  No, didn't think so.  This is what you really think:

If indoors at home and hear the alarm you think:
"Bastard alarms.  I hope it gets turned off soon cos Loose Women's about to start".

If outdoors and hear the alarm you simply walk past it and think:
"Fuck me, that's loud".

Pointless!  Now visualise hearing an alarm at 12 midnight:

If indoors at home and hear the alarm you think:

"Bastard alarms. I hope it gets turned off soon cos Babestation's about to start".

If outdoors and hear the alarm you simply walk past it and think:
"Fuck me, that's loud.  This kebab's fucking nice, I'll go there again".


My car alarm started to wail for no apparent reason today, whilst in transit.  There was no way this thing was turning off.  I even drove to a remote part of town so that I could take the fuses out without waking the dead.  This didn't stop it.  I took it to a mate of mine and as we were working on it by the roadside which is the very same road that the runners in the Humber Bridge half marathon had just ran down so there were police everywhere.  Three cop cars and a copper on a bike all passed whilst we were there!
Again, this alarm is saying to passers-by (in particular police passers-by) that:

a)   There is something wrong
b)   This alarm is going off because someone has started the engine without the correct key/fob
c)   This alarm is going off because someone has opened the door locks without the correct key/fob
d)   It is possible that whoever has stolen this car will have taken it somewhere to be immobilised
e)   Contact emergency services at once.

The emergency services cruised by......4 fucking times!!!!  They didn't bat an eyelid.  From a police point-of-view they probably, and rightly thought "Oh, there's two blokes mending/disabling a car alarm that has gone off accidentally".
So, again, what is the point in this alarm?

I suppose if it's YOUR vehicle, or YOUR car, or YOUR hat, i.e. YOUR alarm, then I suppose it is relevant, but only to you.  So why, if it is only the owner that needs to hear it, are they so loud??!! So a simple, quiet, discreet alarm is all that's required, perhaps the alarm sends a text to your phone?  This would even be better for catching any suspects instead of scaring them off.  I might market that idea.  Dragon's Den, here I come.  I'll take along my other idea at the same time.  It's a new kind of book where all the months of the year are laid out into 'dates'.  Under each 'date' you can write something to remind you of something that's happening on that 'date' or even something that happened on a previous 'date' just to record for posterity.  You will never miss a dentist appointment again.  The book shall cover one whole year, January to December.  I shall call it 'Reminder Book'.

1 Sparrowhawk.

An early prototype.


Thursday, 1 July 2010

As this is a Spurn blog, today I went to North Yorkshire

Wykeham Raptor Viewpoint.  I'd never been here before.  I'd thought I'd let you in on that. But it's good.  You should go. If you haven't already.  But if you have (been before) then forget about me telling you to go (there) because you've already been (there) and therefore know that it's good.  Or bad, depending on the day you had.  This has started really badly.

Let's liven things up by throwing TWO Honey Buzzards straight at you.  Pow!  Then let me enchant you further with tales of TWO Goshawks.  Thwack!  Now let your imagination run riot with TWO Turtle Doves and TWO Tree Pipits.  Sock!  There's something going on here.  Two of everything.  Oh, just one Hobby, that's alright then, there's nothing going on.  Or perhaps there is something going on but the Hobby just isn't in on it?  Shit!  Then only one singular Peregrine.  There's nothing going on after all, what a relief.

Onto Forge Valley for the usual fodder of Nuthatch and Marsh Tit.  And Chaffinch.

After that, I visited a place of magic, mystery, enchantment and cliffs.  Bempton RSPB where 3 or 4 Quail were calling.  Amazingly, one peered out from the barley!  Then another strutted into full view on the track!!  Then another walked upto me and walked over my trainers with contempt!!!
"What's up with him?" I thought.
Of course this is all a figment of my imagination, I didn't see one, you never do!  In fact, how the fuck do I know that it was actually Quails that were making this noise?  I've never seen one do it.  Has anybody ever seen a Quail before?  No.  Then how does anyone know what they sound like?  I'm simply going on what others have told me through the medium of the book.  Can I trust them?  Have 'they' ever seen a Quail making this noise?  How can I trust them, I've never even met Ian Shellguide before.  So, these 'Quail' certainly cannot go onto my birding mental year tick list as I cannot be sure who or what were making these noises.  And, whilst we're on the subject, when people talk of second world war heroes and say 'You'd be speaking German if it wasn't for those brave men'.  How do they know that?  I mean, the Germans don't speak English do they?  No.  It seems that the winners of any world war competition do not get to impose their mother tongue on the losers.  So stop telling me they do.

Where the fuck did that come from?
Hark, the Herald Angel sing.
I haven't mentioned football once.
Rabbits live in hutches not warrens.
Two footballers called Warren.
Warren Barton and Peter Beardsley.
You're bored aren't you?
Yes, I am.

The new Abu Hamza Key Holder
Only £12.99 from most good household goods stores
Out Now!!!


Monday, 28 June 2010

Goldcrests = tiny bald baby mites

Goldcrests!  Local Goldcrests.  And a family party of local Goldcrests too.  Evidence of localised breeding.  That's good.  I haven't seen many this year, local or otherwise.  Throughout this year at Spurn, Firecrest records have outnumbered Goldcrest records, which is a bit mad to say the least.

I've just found out that the Duffbirder has added a link to me (this?).  I really should return the compliment.  Has anyone else added this (me?) to their website and I've not linked them? 
Please e-mail me at if you have or you want me to link your site on here.
"Who in their right mind would?" I hear you cry.
I was just wondering if I'd been ignorant to the fact that someone has linked me and I've not linked them that's all.  I presume it's internet etiquette?
"It is I suppose" said, erm, you.

This is a new book I've bought.
It's her follow-up to the hugely successful
"Hide and Seek World Champion Found Dead in a Wardrobe"
The old ones are the best.


Friday, 18 June 2010


For the life of me, I don't know why the fuck it's big news on this side of the pond, but local loono, Robert Lee Gardner who "just killed a bunch of people and stuff" got absolutely shot dead today by firing squad over there in Utah state county.  He was on death row for 25 head-doing years. He actually got to choose the method of his death. What a proper mental decision to have to make.  I think I'd have said "Ooh.....I'll go for.....erm.....yeah, old age for me, thanks". 
So he asked for the firing squad which are now illegal, but at the time he was sentenced it was still law so he had the right to choose it.  I think I'd have asked for Emile Heskey to be doing the shooting though.

I saw a bloody Spoonbill today.  Imagine that, a Spoonbill.  It was just stood there with it's bill tucked into it's body.  It seemed to be asleep here at Blacktoft Sands.  Some time later it lifted it's bone idle head from it's slumber to reveal a bill that was indeed shaped just like a spoon!  It's a good job they're called Spoonbill and not something else like "Hammerbill" or maybe "Hatbill" because those names just wouldn't suit a bird with that shaped bill.

The journey to Blacktoft was amusing/stupid and/or frustrating, depending on which angle you're viewing from.
"Pay your surgeon very well to break the spell of aging,
sicker than the rest, there is no test,
but this is what you're craving...
A first born unicorn...
Hard core soft porn...
Dream of Californication, dream of FUCKING BASTARD, I've missed the fucking turn off, fuck off" I sang/shouted, funnily enough just as I careered past the turn off from the M62 to Blacktoft.  Spun it around at the next junction (about 400 miles at least).
Red Hot Chili Peppers had long since gone from the radiogram and had now been replaced by Queen's seminal, subliminal, beautifully written and subtle classic "Fat-Bottomed Girls".

".......Heap big woman you done made a big man of me!

Now get this!.....

AAAAAAH, (I know),you gonna take me home tonight (please)
AAAAAAH, down beside that red firelight
AAAAAAH, you gonna let it all hang out
Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin' world go round
Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin' world go round
OOOOOOOOOH yeah FUCKING ARSETITS!  FOR FUCK'S SAKE I'VE DONE IT AGAIN COMING BACK THE OTHER WAY!!!!!" I harmoniously sang beautifully as I whizzed past the junction yet again. Over the Ouse bridge, spun 'round and went back back over the Ouse bridge.  Four times I went over that bastard bridge today.

Two (of five in total) Spotted Redshanks were feeding close to the hide in full summer dress. Now I know Spot Shanks are common (ish) but these were quite possibly the best birds I'd seen this year.  I mean that.  They were in proper mint plumage, legs still jet black, showing really well, until I had a very loud random outburst about 'my needs throughout the night' and flushed everything to the other side of the scrape. 

A Ruff, a Common Sand, a Snipe, 30 Blackwits, some Bearded Reedlings, and a cheeky little Stoat than ran across the path before my very eyes made the preposterous journey all worthwhile.  Perhaps. 

My first ever attempt at phone-digi-binning.
This is a Whitethroat, although you can't see it.

This is my second attempt.
Getting better.
This is a Goldfinch.

My third attempt came out quite well, I thought.
This is a Spotted Redshank.


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Guest Entry From Lee, FROM bucks

Hello.  We've got Lee on here again.  Another guest entry.  Apparently Lee has mde the BOU redundant.  Anyway, enough of me talking, over to Lee, 62, from Bucks:

"Welcome, my subjects.  It's nearly the 16th June and, amazingly, Britain and Brazil's combined total of species seen has gone through the 1000 barrier, whereas another combined total that nobody really cares about, and relates to two totally different countries, the Anglo/Nordic list, stand at 446 with the addition of Icterine Warbler at Spurn and Ross's Gull in high arctic Norway now that we can actually see up there after the winter darkness and daylight being afforded to us by God.  Not me, the other one.
I have also looked into changing the boundaries of the Western Palearctic as some of my species fall outside the recognised perimeters.  Who makes the rules anyway?  The officials?  Oh.  Well, with me being Presidente, I really must question as to who gave these people the authority to set such boundaries. What if I were to come up with new boundaries?  Who's to say I don't have the authority?
Honestly, the lack of respect in British birding.
I'm pleased to announce that the British Association of Birding has made some taxonomic changes to the British List.  Eurasian Blackbird now falls into three species, The nominate and two new full species, Albino Blackbird (Zoothera Honkinegrus) and Partial Albino Blackbird (Zoothera Seminegrus).  This now brings my personal British List to 754 (BAB) or 386 (BOU).
This weeks round up features RANDOM capital letters, unexpected CRAZY colours WITH no real pattern.  The marmora's warbler CONTINUES to perform, and A possible BOOTED eagle was DISPROVED by ME as just a BUZZARD.  I don't believe ANY record OF honey buzzard THAT is seen OVER london.  Meanwhile, in, wait for it, Gwent, AN IBERIAN chiffchaff of unknown origin CONtinues to SING from A fucking branch ON a FUCKING tree".

Well, thanks Lee.  I'm not sure what the fuck that was all about but I'll go with it.  Thanks and happy birding to you.


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Into June...

Straight from Hell's Teeth, a wind did blow,
'Though just too late for a major show,
Surprised there wasn't a Marshie,
Recompense with and Iccy,
A flurry of Shrikes, and south yorkshire tykes,
And a Flycatcher in a privvy.

Spring finally sprung with some good 'scarce' around here at Spurn Bird Observatory Yorkshire Wildlife Trust National Nature Reserve.  An Icterine Warbler singing down at the point showed at times, with a Red-Breasted Flycathcherer in the same bushes which was proving elusive until I got on it distantly albeit briefly.  Albeit must be the shortest word with three syllables in the world.  Ever. Nah, what about casino and albino?  There's loads of six-letter-three-syllable words out there.  Hang on, what about ratio?  Ray-she-oh.  3 syllables, 5 letters, a new English language record. 


Who said that?


Well that's pissed all over my bonfire. Right over it.  An AMAZING 4 letter, 3 syllable combo!
What the fuck am I talking about?

Three Red-backed Shrike were seen today, a male and a female around chalk bank of which the male showed well, the female not so well.  A breeding chance?  It's over 100 years since they bred around here.  Maybe there not quite enough cover for them at chalk bank?

A Gull looked just like a Yellow Legged Gull.  Amazingly like one in fact, which I suppose means that it was, in fact, a Yellow-Legged Gull.  2 Sandwich Tern flew north. Where are they all this year?

A nice mural of todays sightings