Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Passerine sp.

First day out for a while due to contractual agreements with new child.  The sun was blazing. Blazing I tells ye. In just a T-shirt all day at a warm and still Spurn (although when I say 'just a T-shirt' my lower half was actually covered too.  With a pair of jeans.  You knew what I meant).
It started off quiet.
"Hmmm...quiet" I thought.
Just a few Whitethroats around canal hedge.  Then it got pleasant.  Pleasant, I tells ye. A Common Sandpiper was piping sand on Clubley's Scrape, a Little-Ringed Plover flew south, calling as it did so, then a Stock Dove also went south but wasn't calling as it did so.  Pleasant.  I walked fucking miles today.  Miles, I tells ye. A walk around the Triangle produced as many Wheatears in the same field as anyone has ever seen ever ever.  16.
There were 4 more near Big Hedge.
A Reed Warbler was the first of the year, a Sedgie was the first of the year for me, as was a House Martin (!), a Whitethroat (!) and the aforementioned waders.  Stood on the mound near Big Hedge something called, going north.  A soft "chup", a bit like a Tree/House Sparrow but not as harsh.  It flew right over my heed, a Wagtail-like being.  A Wagtail-like thing with a Yellowish hue on its underparts.  I've never heard Yellow Wag do a call like this before.  Grey Wag?  Can they make this call?  It didn't look like a Grey Wag though, no way.  Citrine?  Not sure how they call.  It carried on north very strongly and was lost to view way up Beacon so it never dropped down, so I never looked for it again.  A look at the literature suggests that no Wagtail in the world ever ever makes this call ever.  Oh.  What the fuck was it then?

I went up Beacon Lane anyway.  10+ Whitethroat, a Chiffy, and a singing Lesser Whitethroat.  Pleasant.
Onto Sammy's Point, I told you I walked miles.  A properly identified Yellow Wag then flew past me and 2 Lesser Grey Shrikes perched on the fence looked remarkably like Wheatears.  In fact, they looked so incredibly like Wheatears that I started to suspect that they were, indeed, Wheatears.

"Jesus Holy Mary Mother of God" I screamed at a Whimbrel as it flew past on the Humber shore.


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Sing hosannas, it's a girl!

A full day in hospital.  I fucking hate hospitals.  Nicola was in proper pain, which was sort of funny, and got on the gas and air pronto which was funnier still cos she was out of her nut.  Women think they've got it bad in this childbirth lark, but it's us blokes who have it worse.  Much worse.  My feet were killing me because I was stood up for a full three hours while she gave birth.  Aching like fuck they were.  She was just laid out all the time, almost falling asleep between comtractions!  They've got it fucking easy.  The midwives never once asked me how I was doing.

A baby girl was delivered at 21:50 which meant if I get her a bath run and help her in and out of it, I could make last orders. 

6llb 12oz, Olivia Mae, she's ace.


Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Stones

Not been out much because Nicola doesn't want me to stray too far away from her.  She's about to drop second child, you see, and she's gonna need taking to hospital.  It should be any time now.  I'm not saying she's fat or anything, but when she comes down the stairs it sounds like Eastenders finishing.
A lot of birding blogs talk about music, so I'm gonna throw my tu'penneth in here and give you a link for your perusal and pleasure of The Stone Roses performing a song live that is perhaps underrated, but I happen to think is one of their greatest.  "Tracks of your Tears" is fucking brilliant and I to say that Browny isn't the greatest live singer ever (although some would argue that this makes the Stone Roses sound their very own) but he is a great frontman.  I used to listen to this track laid flat out after a hard day at football and in pub with nothing but a JD to hand.  Fucking brilliant track, click here:  Tears

Not many big rarities around so far is there?  Okay, Lesser Kes is mint, flyover Calandra is good but obviously didn't stay, so where are the megas?  Best get out there and find my own then.........

............well, after baby turns up.

The Stone Roses.
I don't need to say any more.


Wednesday, 14 April 2010


Or should that be "hello?"
With a sharp north easterly it was cold.  One of those winds that goes right through you.
Firststop (alloneword), Sammy's Point.  Walked the full length of it which is about, ooh, 82 miles at least.  A Ring Ouzel, a male bastard, nice migrant and a year tick.  5 Chiffy's and, erm, not a lot else mamma.  A Long-eared Owl....ha, I just did a typo (syntax) error and spelt it 'Log-eared Owl' which is a much better name I find....anyway, a Long-eared Owl had been frequenting said area for several of the preceding diurnal courses and was again reported today over the tannoy.  I mean radio but it would be good if there was a tannoy system wouldn't it? 
Wouldn't it?  All units to Post 42 please, all units to Post 42 please, thankyou.
The radio said it was "in the fucking bushes near the fucking car park, you fuckers" and I swear that's what it said and definitely not just my foul mouth kicking in.  After climbing into and through every bush even remotely near the car park and being ripped apart and shredded by the buckthorn, I ended up slipping in-and-out of consciousness before bleeding to death like the bloke in Saw I who had to escape through the razor wire.  There was no Log-eared Owl in these bushes.  Well, not any more anyway.  Ha.

Down to Ye Olde Spurneth Pointeth.  Up 'Big Hedge' which is now a shadow of it's former glories.  Hedges these days - honestly.  Tut.
A 'Continental' Stonechat that's been around for a while showed very well for a short while. It's collar as white as snow and it's rump with a pale glow...hang on, that rhymes.  Could be a poem....

The Stonechat.

Twas on the eve of a thousand stories,
A hedge beyond it's former glories,
A Chat of Stone, made haste in vain,
Ne'erless a year tick gain,
It's collar as white as snow,
It's rump with a pale glow,
Not as clean or as pale as a 'Siberian' race,
The further east you go the whiter the rump,
That's my theory anyway,
Not that it's a theory with any substance.
Or perhaps it might be.
And only on males with big black cocks.

by Thomas Hardy, c1894.

Seven Eider duckies (oooh!) went south, 3 Drakes duckies and 4 bee-atches.  Not really much after that.  A Linnet started staring at me, so I bricked the fucker. It went down in one, the big tart of a Linnet.  "Not staring at me now are you?" I shouted at the poor tiny bald baby Linnet.

Thomas Hardy was fucking rock hard


Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Untitled as I can't think of one.

Right then you bastards.  I've only had 5 votes on my poll, which in itself is amazing because only four people actually read this drivel.  But when you take into account that one of them is me and another is me mam it's a bit shit really!  Ha.
Anyway, I've seen that there's been quite a few hits over the last couple of days, so if I look at this logically, I can deduce that:

a)   'People' other than mother and I have viewed the page.
b)   The 'people' have seen the poll.
c)   They haven't voted on the fucker, which means that they don't give a fuck, so......
d)   ...there is an option on the poll that is "Who gives a fuck" so.....
e)   ...If they don't give a fuck, then why didn't they vote "Who gives a fuck"? cos they don't give a fuck!
f)   There is no option f.

I don't know why I bother sometimes.  That poll took me at least 10 minutes to do.
Oh fuck it. Do whatever you fucking want. In future I might even do a poll that is slightly interesting.  Something like, 'best Spurn rarity' with a list of erm...Spurn rarities funnily enough.
Or I might even put pictures of women with their women's tits out and ask you to vote on the one that gives you most blood.
Top women's tits = voters.
Sex sells.

I've backed Southampton on the asian handicap tonight. I think they're good value at -1.5 at Evens.  Sorry, wrong website.  What I meant to say is I went back to work today.  It fucking killed me.
Hence, I am drinking strong cider and watching Southampton later on the BBC website as I have a vested interest in it.

"I thought this was a fucking birding blog?" shouted one unhappy reader.
"It is, hang on".  I'll look out of the window and report something.
2 House Sparrows just flew over the house opposite, and 2 Woodpigeons are perched upon the chimney pots of the house opposite.  The house opposite is the melting pot for birding down our street at the minute.
It fucking rules.
Shame about the Harlequin at Filey wasn't it?
Well I think so anyway.


Saturday, 10 April 2010

Where will it all end?

Now I've been out birding and stopped and spoken to people who have said things like "I've just had a flyover Richard's Pipit, I did it on call" that's fine, good birdspotting knowledge shown there.  But today I was with a birdspotter and a passerine flew over, quite high, didn't call, couldn't quite get enough on it, so went unidentified. Or so I thought.  The bloke went "Rustic Bunting!"
Now I'm not one for questioning people who demonstrate greater birdspotting knowledge than my own but in instances like this I want to learn from the bloke who's demonstrating greater birdspotting knowledge than my own.
"How did you ID that?" I asked.
"Oh, I did it on smell".
Fuck me!  On smell?
Birds have their own characteristic smell? Fucking hell's teeth!
Doing stuff on sight, yeah, I'm mostly on it.  Doing stuff on call, I'm not quite there but whatever.  But doing stuff on smell is fucking mental!  The front ears of birding are being pushed further and further.

This will be the next big thing in bird identification.  Wandering around the Point, a bloke comes up.
"Had much?" I said.
"Yeah, I could smell a Common Rosefinch in them there bushes".
In the Spurn log.
The question will then be whether you can tick stuff on smell alone.  New field guides are being produced as we speak. Killian Mullarney's future classic "The Smells of the Birds of the Western Palearctic" with scratch and sniff areas next to each species description, and Lars Johnsson's "Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll Fucking Stink" will be published in British Birds and is a paper at the cutting edge of bird identification.
Really though, when will it stop?
When I were a lad there was simply a Herring Gull.  Nice.  Easy.  From this one species the listers (it is their fault) have managed to squeeze out Yellow-Legged, American Herring and Caspian to bolster their figures, with Armenian, Azorean, Kazakhstanian and South-East Norwegian all being touted as future splits to aid the ailing British List.

Seriously, the level of knowledge these days is phenomenal.  Which I suppose also relates to most subjects in these modern times.

Take this Gull for instance.  A Herring Gull?
No!  The tick on the side of it's chest was identified as
of the genus Givus Fellatio which is endemic to the
Aleutian Islands, which identified the first record
of the race Aleutian Herring Gull in Britain.
I joke, of course, but things like that may not be
as far fetched as it seems in years to come.


Thursday, 8 April 2010

I'm back swearing again.

After last nights shenanigans, I waited on news of the Flying Chicken Barn Door KFC Family Bucket as I call them, when mid-morn a message appears over the world-wide information super highway:

White-Tailed Eagle...Lincolnshire...Whitton Sands......Immature present to 10:15 when flew north.

Erm, come again?  It was in the same fucking spot?  Are you fucking kidding me?
What is the fucking point of reporting it as soon as it's fucked off?
It might as well have said:

White-Tailed Eagle...Lincolnshire...Whitton Sands...Immature been here all morning eating dead geese, showing really fucking well, but I've only decided to report it now that it's gone.

Fucking cheers, cock.
"Yeah, I've been watching it all morning but now it's gone I've decided to tell you all. It was great, but now it's gone" said Ken 'Sixfingers' Jackson of Lincolnshire.
Now you're all thinking that I'm stereotyping people of Lincs as in-bred backward types.  Well, I'm not.  Ken is actually a mad-fuck gangster and has lost 4 of his original 10 fingers to gambling debts, other mobsters, and raging combine harvester incidents.  You thought I meant 6 fingers on each hand didn't you?  Didn't you?  Go on, admit it, I caught you out.

A typical Lincs wedding.

A-ha!  Caught you out again.  You thought I was definitely stereotyping then.  Well read the caption again carefully.  That's right, it's an a-typical Lincs wedding, as in, they're not like this at all.
Need something good to turn up.  Something like a Harlequin at Filey, something like that.  That would be good wouldn't it?


Wednesday, 7 April 2010

No swearing today, I promise.

Woooooooooooooooaaaaaah!  This White-Tailed Eagle (also known as Sea-Eagle) that's been doing the 'rounds looks like it's been pinned down over the Humber Bridge.  Whitton Sands to be jolly precise.  I rang Blaggdovd Zandz to see if they had any more gen (info) on this crazy claim.  They jolly well did.  I say!  The Sea-Eagle (also known as Erne) was dining upon a flaming dead goose on the sandbanks of the Humber itself!
"Where the flaming heck do I go?" I screamed down the telephone.
"Sorry, what was that, I couldn't hear you?" said the gentleman at the other end of the telephone.
"Where the flaming heck do I go?" I said softly down the telephone.
"Just go to Whitton village and view from there" was the helpful response.
This will be easy.
It flaming wasn't.
20 minutes to get to Whitton and I ended up at a couple of dead-ends, one which overlooked the Humber.  Had a scan.  Scanned again.  Scanned some more.  Scanning now.  Scanning.......you get the picture. No Erne (also known as Flying Barn Door), no birders, no future.  This can't be flaming right.  Further gen (information) on Birdguides, a grid reference map grid code. 
"Right, now we're flaming getting somewhere, pet" I thought to myself as there was no one else there to share my thoughts.  But if there was no one else there who the flame was I calling "pet"?  I don't know, but I'll find out. Oh look, 2 Swallows!  Grid reference entered into portable telephone device.  It was actually nearer Broomfleet on the north bank of the Humber where I'd just flaming come from and was nowhere near flaming Whitton village.  Oh look, a Marsh Harrier!  I tried to Go West nearer the grid ref. and ended up down more dead ends and private lanes in a Lincs village called Alkborough.  Oh look, a Grey Heron!  Finally got to view the Humber from a decent distance but alas, there was no Flying Barn Door (also known as Poor-Mans Chicken), the little flamer had by now flown north and probably to flaming roost.

Time now to go home and drink lager flavoured drinks and watch Man U get dumped out of Europe by Ze Germans.  And they did!  Wahay!

A person from Lincolnshire.


Monday, 5 April 2010


As Blaze Bayley once said "Its no good looking at the person next to you and going Ooh, I feel embarrassed.  This is your last chance, this is the last song and this is the end of the show.  This is you, don't have any regrets, this is about going absolutely fucking wild".
So this was my last chance.  Possibly the very last chance.
Waxwings at the beginning of April is probably the very last chance I'd get to see one this year.  So I went to Cottingham to see 12 reported.  I saw 13.  Must be bakers (now that is a proper funny joke).  After I saw them, I went absolutely fucking wild, just as Blaze had told me to do.
I then mimicked another Blaze-phrase ('Blaze-phrase' that's good innit?) and shouted "Fucking Brilliant Bastards" at the Waxwings at which point they flew off singing "Manhunt" never to be seen again!

Jesus, you get the best wildlife photography on here.

Notice the composition of this shot.
Notice how it captures the hard, unyielding urban metropolis
and beautiful wildlife living in perfect harmony.
Mankind CAN live alongside nature, and vice-versa
and we should build more power plants, I think
they would provide more safe places to perch and roost for
some birds in an otherwise featureless landscape on a coastal marsh.

Wolfsbane.  A localised plant with a relatively small but vociferous
and loyal following, fronted by rock fucking madman Blaze Bayley.


Thursday, 1 April 2010

Blaggdovd Zandz.......

......RSPB reserve, which today stands for Really Sodden Paths Beware.  The paths were wet.  Proper wet.  The couple at reception just laughed when they saw me in trainers.  They got drenched.  My trainers, not the couple.

I started at the end and worked my way back.  The hides have got names. Sometimes the names are quite fitting.
Singleton Hide.  Fucking right it's 'Singeton' 'cos there was only a solitary fucking Coot on there.
Then onto Townsend hide.  As in Pete Townsend, as is The Who the fuck wants to sit in here and look at 2 Black-Headed Gulls?
Onto First Hide.  As in, I shouldn't have come here in the fucking 'First' place.
I then went into Xerox Hide, as in, erm, you need fucking copying if you want to sit in here.  Not that that makes any sense.

Pete Townshend was actually sat in his very own hide.
"Alright" I said as I walked in and went to sit down.
"You can't sit in here, this is my hide, can't you fucking read?" rock stars always swear.
"Well if this is just your hide, how come you've built it big enough to seat 15-20 people of medium build?" rock stars have more money than sense.

It actually got better from Xerox onwards.  Loads of Marsh Harrier of course, some displaying, Avocets, Bittern low across the reeds (I see one everywhere I go now), then Sand Martin, then a Buzzard flew in, fucked about with some Marshies then did a fly-past past the hide.  40 Blackwits and a Chiffy from Ousefleet Hide finished off the day in SPECTACULAR fashion.

This was the scene on the path to Xerox Hide today. 
Someone even had to carry a televsion on his head.
What the fuck is the bloke behind doing?
Whilst his mate struggles with a televsion on his head,
he's doing "I'm a little teapot short and stout".
Notice that he cannot put his arm onto his hip for the "handle" bit.