Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Opponent Lottery....

On crossing the Humber Bridge, I was surprised to see a badger asleep by the side of the A15.  It had blood coming from it's mouth.  It shouldn't sleep there, it's far too dangerous.

I got to a newish RSPB reserve and started looking at a Pratincole.  A Pratincole with a very short tail. A Pratincole with rufous on it's underwing. With no white trailing edge to the wing.  Shit!  I was looking at Britain's 6th (possibly 5th if this is presumed to be last year's West Sussex bird.  Or did that bird show something of a white trailing edge?  Maybe immatures can show a white trailing edge, where adults cannot?  Perhaps this is the same bird, just lost it's trailing edge in the moult?  I simply do not know what I am talking about) so, where was I after that massive pair of brackets?  Oh yeah, so I was looking at Britain's 6th ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE, mamma!  It hawked and it swooped and it swept and swooped some more, showing well at Frampton Marsh near Boston.  A good little reserve, two drake Garganeys were doing their usual shit; dabbling amongst some weedy area of lake, as was a drake Pintail, although one of its wings didn't look too clever.  Curlew Sand, nice.  Missed a Wood Sand, not nice.  Little Gull, a couple of Grey Wag, then a singing Corn Bunting.  I was actually quite pleased to see the Corn Bunt given the species decline over the last two decades, so pleased in fact that I told another birder about it.
"Alright" he said.
"Corn Bunt singing just over there" I told him.
"Yes, great sound isn't it?" he replied.
We then had a discussion about eco farming, set aside fields, crop rotation, grass margins, hedgerow formation and preservation, pestcide reductions, ditch naturalisation, saline strength, sustainable growth, eco-warrior, rainbow warrior, greenpeace, whale harpooning, seal clubbing, blue-finned tuna, fishnets, overfishing, fishing quota, get the spanish out, dolphin baiting, cock fighting, badger dating, horse racing, the grand national, whip the fucker, fox hunting, foxy bingo, hares, tiny rabbits, bald baby rabbits, pest control, shotguns: a history, agricultural genocide, cultural homicide, viva la revolution, buttercups, nice spring days, farmland trio, population slump, rattling of keys, and corn bunting decline.  At this point, we realised it was dark, the reserve was shut and I wandered off to sleep in a reedbed.  Don't know what the other guy did.

On the way home, my lack of local knowledge of the roads made me go straight on at a roundabout in the right hand lane on a dual carriageway (which was the correct lane, as both lanes were 'straight on') but this suddenly changed to 'right turn only' before the next roundabout.  I nipped in in front of a wagon.  If this was intentional, it's a twat's trick, overtaking everything then nipping in in front of a wagon, but it wasn't.  I had my window down so I gave a wave of apology to the lorry driver. 
Ten seconds later and this is honestly what I heard:
"Oy! Oy you!  It's no fucking good waving your fucking hand at me, young 'un, you fucking wanker".
Come again?  I leaned out of the window and replied "Who the fuck are you talking to?  It's a right hand only lane that I didn't know about".
The lorry driver then said "Well don't fucking pull in in front of me then fucking wave your fucking hand, it doesn't wash with me".
I simply undid my belt, jumped out of the car, gave the international hands-by-your-sides gesture for 'come on then' and screamed "Who the fuck are you talking to? Come on then, let's fucking have it" at the top of my voice.
The lorry driver all of a sudden didn't seem to think I was a young 'un anymore and also didn't seem to think that this shave-headed lunatic stood in front of his cab in the middle of the A1 holding traffic up perhaps wasn't a 'wanker' anymore, so he just bowed his head and looked at his steering wheel.  It was quite possibly the greatest road rage of all time.

Fun times had by all.

Fig 1.  The opponent lottery.
Road rage is such good fun due to the randomness of the opponent. 
I mean, he was obviously game due to him giving it large,
so he could've actually got out and been a man mountain
and kicked my fucking heed in.
But he wasn't.  Not today anyway!


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