Sunday, 30 June 2013

Guest entry from George Michael the popstar (you know where this is going)

When news broke on Wednesday of a drake Surf Scoter at Filey, my overwhelming urge to twitch it got the better of me and I made the journey just three days later on Saturday.  I contacted a minority Bird Information Service and they said that the bird was still there!  I rang a few people on site who told me the Surf Scoter was swimming back and forth on the sea, occasionally utilising neighbouring hillocks to gain speed and drift.


It spent ages doing suchlike, in fact over two hours or more, quite often swimming to within four hundred metres of observers, Chris Birding obtaining the remarkable image below - the best image I have ever seen of the species.


At around 1220 hours, the RAF on training exercises flew low over Filey, spooking the Scoter and it dived strongly to the south. Some 45 minutes later, I and 437 others arrived from Arndale, after enduring a near 15 minute journey across from Brid Harbour in NE Yorkshire - and the mood went from exultation to despondency. Was it to be a repeat of the Spurn Icterine Warbler where both MJDRBD and I missed that mega by the same time period after trying to twitch 'on the cheap'?. Although I had seen two Surf Scoters before in Britain (both in the Northern Isles), I had resorted myself to a classic dip and was in depressive overload. A number of us split up and explored different areas but after four seconds of doing this, I eventually became so depressed (particularly after hearing of some blokes life-thrilling experiences) that I decided to wander back to town and commit suicide.
Just as I was about to jump off the cliff, a middle aged man relocated it in Filey Bay, where it had been all morning, an astonishing 20 metres south of where it had last been seen.  Pandemonium set in as we all lifted our bins to our eyeballs.  This seemed to take a lifetime but finally my bins were actually at my eyeballs.  I looked through them and there it was!  A drake Surf Scoter!  That's 178 for the year.
At last it felt good to be alive, although sleep deprivation over the past 2 hours was having some serious affect. Also, the ice cream van beckoned at 1600 hours, and reluctant as it was, we had to pull ourselves away and leave this clown-billed perspicillata for others to enjoy.
Thanks for that cracking read.
So yes, a drake Surf.  A cracking bird that shows really well for a seaduck if you know what I mean.
I 'needed' Surf for Yorkshire.  A bit tarty I know, but I was trying to think of other records.  Not that many for a no-longer-a-BBRC-rarity I believe.  Scarborough a few years ago.  Not many though.
Similarities to living people used on this web shite are merely coincidental and the authors take no responsibility if George Michael is upset.

Friday, 28 June 2013


A swift flew at a windmill, the twitchers said Damn,
The windmill was winning it's hardly suprisin'
The twitcher who missed it said, "How unlucky I am,
Those fucking windmills should go down the pan"

I saw a Swift!
Dead and ultra rare!
Where's the ultra rare?
Right there!
A needletail with his clogs popped
Well I declare!
Going flip-flappety-flap ultra rare
Oh yeah
Right there
Oh yeah...

It's been an amazing couple of weeks on the garden listing front.  About three weeks ago I was barneying on the phone with fatty my darling when a Hobby flew past only twenty yards away!  Jesus Christ!  An adult, red trousers, I interrupted fatty shouting at me on the phone, "Hobby!  Fuck me!"
She said "What?"
"Hobby! Fuck me!"
She said "What?"
"Hobby! Fuck me!"
It was like Crazy Chris Rea when he's trying to tell his bitch all about Texas and she hasn't got a fucking clue what he's on about.

I said Texas.  She said what?
I said Texas.  She said what?
I said Texas.  She said what?
I said Texas.  She said what?

At this point, if I were Chris Rea, I'd have lost it with her.  What the fuck does she not understand?  He's only telling her about Texas. 

Crazy them women.


Fast forward three weeks after the Hobby shenanigans and there I am, alone, with a three litre bottle of White Lightning, a Tesco's own lasagne warming in the microwave, piss stains on the tea towel, no kids cos they now live with their mam and "Derek", Babestation on the black and white portable, a birds eye potato waffle still floating in the sink, and a strange call from over my shoulder.  "Crayk"  I said "What?" It said "Crayk"  I said "Erm...what?". It said "Texas" I said "What?".  It said "Texas"..... I was skywatching, as I always do.  It was a Purple Heron!  Shit me!  Quite low.  Erm..... shit!  I watched it until out of view then wrote a description down on my phone:

Streaking on the breast down the full front (what?!) rufous on breast.  stripey fucker along neck and head.  distinct yet subtle.  neat maybe better description.  call "crayk" repeated four times.  maybe crek.  short.  underwing uniformly dark.  flight quicker than Grey.  slim.  looked like it was going down near the new flood area til mobbed by 2 herring gull which looked only 10-20% smaller when together.  the bird took rapid evasive action with head and neck strangely out, neck almost anhinga like.  that's how I would describe I but i'm a touch mental.

That's what I wrote.  And that's what my official description is going to be when submitted. 

Best I've had at Spurn just lately was one of many Red Backed Shrikes.   And an Eider Ducky.  Left.
Not North.  Just "Left".

Nicola is out tonight.  Earlier, I had a quick tidy of the bathroom cabinet.  I found something that looked just like toothpaste.  I picked it up thinking that we've got more toothpaste than I thought.  Same lid and that.  Same tube and that.  I stood it up like a toothpaste-type-thing.  Several hours later and she comes out of the bathroom shrieking that she'd just cleaned her teeth with hair removal cream!!! ha ha ha ha ha ha at least her minge will smell minty ha ha ha ha ha ha ha  and she won't have hairy teeth anymore.