Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Spurn Weekend Part 3 of 3.

Sunday came.  I had a few things to do like eat curry, drink beer, bathe in the fish pond etc.  But conditions were still the same as yesterday but a little less blustery.  Things are gonna be found.  As the morning went on I was feeling more and more uneasy that I had to be at Spurn.  Nearly dinner time and I rang Adam A to see if he wanted an afternoon raid.  He did.  Game on.  Again.

Had a quick look at the Gas Terminal but I was more interested in mopping some of the goodies up, which is not like me I'd rather be alone in Easington trying to find something whilst the mob are looking at a Yellow Brow in Kilnsea.  We went straight for the Little Bunt on Green Lane and on turning down Marsh Lane a Great Grey Shrike alighted and flew over the hedge with a few Redwing!  Fifty times I tried for one yesterday with Secret and failed yet today the first bird I see is one and I haven't even stopped the car yet!  I text it to Andy as I wasn't sure if one had been reported from there.  Don't think one had - self found tick! Bumped into John H who informed us that a better Little Bunt was giving good views on Sammy's right now.  It's probably the easier option.  Plus Lee Evans pisses on Badgers.  It's what I've been told.  He's just a hypocryte.  I bet he pisses on Western Hedgehogs as well, although that is just a guess, I don't have any facts to back me up on that one.

Sammy's.  The Little Bunt was on the track not far from the car park.  After a short wait it popped up and gave very good views.  Always a pleasure never a chore.  Little Buntings are so named as they look like a small flag.  As I stood there, melancholy, watching this beautiful lost gem, the breeze brisk but calming, I couldn't help but think that the world would be a much nicer place if songs like Fucking Snooker Loopy didn't pop in your head at random times.

Down to Kilnsea, which means "Oven Head" in old norse, and a search for one of the Duskies proved fruitless, apart from while searching I got on a sawbill coming north then west up the Humber.  Red Breasted Merg!  Not a bad bird here.  Sort of.  Apart from seawatching when you see quite a lot this, was only my second at Spurn, the first being a female type on Beacon Ponds in 1988 found by Maurice who used to have a moustache and looked a bit like David Boon the Australian moustachio number 3 batsman.  Maurice was a good bloke.  I wonder where he is now.  I reported this too, only to find later that there'd been quite a few during the day already.
I am shit.

David Boon.  Boon rhymes with "coon" as the Australians are quite racialist.

I've just had a text off Lee from Bucks.  It said "you keep accusing me of pissing on Badgers.  This is obviously a slur and a cheap shot at me".
"It's only what I've been told, Lee, sorry of any offence" I replied.
"No, you need to stop saying on a public blog that I go into the woods at night and piss on Badgers" said Lee.
I text back.  "I've always fancied pissing on a Badger if you fancy going together later on?"
"Yeah can do" said Lee.

Job done.

Loads of people were milling around Kew and the Church and it was pretty good to be fair even though there was loads of people, loads to look at.  but even now I got away from the crowd and wandered into the churchyard only to get straight on a cracking Barred Warbler.  I'm sure it showed some barring especially on the flanks and I'm also pretty sure it had a yellow eye!  An adult!  Male?  Can anyone confirm this?  A few people got onto it in Kew just after I'd seen it so maybe someone else got on these features?  Thanks for that.

A good afternoon out.  Spurn in action.

Terrific scenes down on Clubleys as a Mealy Redpoll shows reasonably well.


Monday, 28 October 2013

Spurn Weekend Part 2 of 3

So where were we?  Spurn, 12th October, down at the narrows for a reported Lap Bunt at Post 21.  I walked upto post 21 and searched in the grass immediately surrounding the base.  There was no Lap Bunt and the radio had clearly stated Post 21.  Disgusting reporting.  I then scanned the FULL length of post 21, even on the top and there was no Lap Bunt on it.  I simply refused to search anywhere else in the area.  We did not see a Lap Bunting as it was not at Post 21 as reported.  We then decided to collect one of the 324 Great Grey Shrikes that were in the area.  First up, two at the Warren.  Easy this.  No Great Grey Shrikes were seen around the Warren.  Not one.  Arsetits.  Not to worry my beloved readers, there's another one up the road on canal.  Easy.  No Great Grey Shrikes were seen around the Canal.  We decided to move around onto the road as one had been showing from there.  There's some people there right now scoping it.  Easy.  No Great Grey Shrikes were seen from the road.  But hey, we'll just go have a look at the one from the church.  Easy.  No Great Grey Shrikes were....etc.  We tried to see a bastard Great Grey Shrike around ten times, albeit not really, really trying, but still trying, and failed miserably.  Was I bothered?

There were a million people at the Warren waiting for something to be ringed.  What have they got?  Oh, it's just a crazy bus trip from probably Shrewsbury looking at Blue Tits and Robin Redbreasts.  Red breast?  Red?  Did someone say red?  Oh fuck me, pot the reds and screw back for the yella green brarn blue pink an' black.....shit.  Stop it!  Leave me alone Chas an' Dave you cockerney cants!


As we stood at the Warren watching a Mealy Red entangled in a mist net, when we became increasingly worried that they HAD actually caught something decent and wandered over to the assembled throng to make sure.  Can a "throng" not be "assembled"?  It's a bit of a double positive isn't it?  Lee Evans pisses on badgers I've heard.  He goes into the woods at night and does it.  Anyway, Adam emerged with a Lesser and a Mealy Red.  Yeah, we'll have a look at that/them.  Then out came the Northern Treecreeper.  Not bad.

Onwards, straight to the pub for a couple of pints of refreshment.  We then retraced our steps a bit and tried Easington again but still to no avail.  We finished on Westfield lane where it seemed quieter than everywhere else so we turned back at the top of hill.  This was half an hour before a Little Bunt was found just a few hundred yards further on.  Who knows, maybe we could've found that little bastard if Secret hadn't wanted to get back home to watch Strictly Come Dancing.

No rare, not really many padders but a good day out all in all.  Fuck me, we tried.  When Spurn's like this you can't fail to be impressed.  Next time we'll find something.  IT was still out there.....would I be tempted tomorrow (Sunday)?  Will I ever get Snooker pissing Loopy out of my mind?  Will Chas and Dave ever re-release it?  Will Secret vote for Keith Chegwin to win Strictly?  Would the big one be found overnight?  I mean next morning?  To find out, tune in next time only here at Q@Spurn.

Keep it real.

Chas and Dave have re-released their seminal 
album "ain't no pleasing you" and re-titled it in support of 
the badger cull and against the antics of Lee Evans.


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Spurn part 1 of 3 maybe.

Wednesday 9th Oct, I text Secret and said "Nah then white shite.....Leeds are shite blah blah blah...and the conditions are looking like Beyonce sat in an Amsterdam window for the weekend.   Backlit with red.  You fancy an all out assault on Spurn from first light?  Leeds are shite.....your ground is falling down blah blah blah..."
"Yep" said Secret.
Game on.
Saturday morning, 06:00 and Secret is late as he'd drank four shandies and a lime juice the previous night.  It is also pissing down.  I'm bathing in the fish pond for some reason after a night when I drank 84 pints of lager, 24 Jaeger bombs, 2 baileys and an Um Bongo, then chinned our lass for talking without permission, fucked the next door neighbour (his name eludes me) and ate a Chicken Phal, NO rice as it's for girls, a Prawn Puri (nice) and some facking diddy doughnuts.

In the shower....naked....suds....BALLS....etc....you get the picture....when I heard Chas and Dave's subliminal classic "Snooker Loopy".  Are Chas and Dave still under the floorboards playing The Best Of on betamax?

Der der de de de der de der de der de.
Snooker Loopy nuts are we,
Him and us and them and me,
We'll show you what we can do with a load of balls an' a snooker cue.....

Oh fuck off.  I can't have snooker bastard loopy in my head all day.  Fucking leave me alone!

Owld Willy Thorne, his hair's all gorn
and the lads all take the rise,
his oppownent said cavver ap his 'ead
cos it's shining in my eye's.....

Oh God.....how does one wake up with Snooker Loopy in one's head?
What I do know is during one night out in Sheffield with Jim, we were on a Leo Sayer and just got twatted and stumbled upon the Crucible Theatre on the way home at some ridiculous hour.  We did a jig and a sing song of Snooker Loopy in the doorway of the Crucible.

Dawn.  Just north of the gas terminal.  North easters.  Clag.  And shit.  And rain.  Mid October.
Jesus Holy Mary it's looking good.  Honestly,  IT was around somewhere, you could smell IT, but would IT be found in the gales?
The first sortee ended after four minutes with the rain too heavy for our first stint.  If we'd got soaked then (which we would've) we'd have been fucked for the day.  Back to the car.

It was hard going.  Proper hard conditions.  Bad light, wind, rain, falling leaves, you just couldn't get on anything.  If you got summat, by the time you'd got you're steamed up wet bins on it, it was gone.  By a mile.  Never mind, the big one was just 'round the corner.

We did the Gas terminal (north briefly and south side was flogged) where we both thought that the habitat and the places we'd covered must - just MUST - hold something decent.  The south side of the gas terminal is a good place.  I like it, and I know it's covered but I still think it's a little underwatched which is why we started here really.  We then did behind White Horse which I also like, then Sammy's.  To this point, totals were just common, 2 Woodcock, Ring Ouzel, 10 Chiff, a million Redwing, Brambling, Lesser Throat, 2 GSW, Crests, 20+ Alva Wag, etc.

We decided to mop up a few things to pad the day out.  First up, Long Eared Owl roosting behind the Crown.  Sorted.  Easy.  Next up Treecreeper at the Warren which, somehow, I "needed" for Spurn!
"this could be a bit tricky" said I
"I've got it!" said Cleggy, the grandson of Michael Clegg.
"Alright then" said I.
Lap Bunt at the Narrows next but no joy.

part two to follow as I'm bored...

White Shite.


Monday, 14 October 2013


Hello, and good evensong. 
I went and had a look at the Olive Backed Pipit that was at Spurn last week.  After a half hour wait, Messrs' (alas) Smith and Jones had a walk over to see where it was hiding.  They called us over as it was on view from where they were.  Good views, with sun to our backs, it was a nice bird.  Better than "nice".  Nice is just a shite description really but I'm not going to use adjectives like "lovely" or "beautiful" as they're far too crawly bumlick.  Tell it like it is, put facist bully-boy!

Darling Facist bully boy,
Give me some money.  You bastard.
May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman,
If that doesn't work, I don't know what will.

I got sidetracked.  I then did some hardcore birding dawn til dusk stomping, KICKING nettles,  THRASHING dykes, WALKING through fields, and PISSING on bushes.  Well, I did canal hedge and churchyard for an hour.  But it was an enjoyable hour, with a Firecrest c/o Mr Whitehead in canal hedge with a couple of Chiffs and 3 Goldcrests, then 3 Chiffs together in Churchyard with a Brambling.  These meagre totals are nothing compared to the last couple of days, but on that particular day, it was enjoyable.  Simple as that.  We get spoilt at Spurn when conditions are right but on a day of westerlies and sun like this, just finding these small smatterings is what it's all about. 
Or summat.
I was talking with Mr Roadhouse at churchyard as I was about to leave when the radio crackled into life:
"We've caught the fucking Pipit you set of bastards".

Honestly that's what they said.  Sort of.

So we all went down to the Obs and waited, and whilst I waited I had a quick look on the estuary off the Warren.  A "nice" male Ring Ouzel alighted from the saltmarsh and flew past us (I was talking to an old dear who was complaining that her husband had had the OBP right in a full frame shot when everyone rushed it to net the poor bastard thus losing the photo opportunity).  In the hand views later, after Mr Collins had offered those at the back (me) a better opportunity to view, and I was off on my way home.  Glory.

I've name-dropped a lot haven't I?  Wait until I tell you about the time I saw GEOFF fucking DRUETT at Notlob Abbey.  Beat that.

I'll tell you all about the weekend next time.
Oh I bet you can't wait!

I cannot think of a caption.

Just think that an Olive-Backed Pipit doesn't even know that it is called an Olive-Backed Pipit or has the latin name Anthus hodgsoni.   Just like a chicken doesn't know that it's flesh is white(ish) when cooked and delicious.  I find it....
..............sort of interesting.  I'm pissed up.


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Man U / Great Snipe

Fucking Mancs.
Manc jokes:

After 11 years of trying, David Moyes has finally got Everton above Man U.

With Liverpool fans naming Suarez And Sturridge "SAS" Man U fans have come up with their own catchy acronym: Welbeck Anderson Nani Kagawa.

Or my cockerney take on it: Ferdinand Anderson Cleverly Kagawa Ince Nani Carrick Anderson Nani Tevez Smalling.

That was a good joke.

What's the difference between a dead dog in the road and a dead Man U fan?
You'd see skid marks in front of the dog.

That was a good joke.

What's the difference between a Man U fan and a vibrator?
The Man U fan is a proper cock.

That was a good joke.

Erm.....How many Man U fans does it take to change a lightbulb?
1,550,001.  1 to change the bulb, 50, 000 to say they've been changing it for years, 500,000 to jump on the lightbulb bandwagon and 1,000,000 to buy the replica shirt.

As a few of you know, Hull City are now to be known as Hull Tiger-feet or summat.  "That's neat" I hear you cry?  Well, some of the fans are against this, as am I, and they've put together a sort of protest against said matters.  Yesterday, before our "thrilling" 0-0 drubbing of Villa, they were handing out leaflets drumming up support for said protest.  Here is an account of one of our fans handing leaflets out:

On getting a leaflet  this bloke says "Nah mate I'm not bovvered, anyway we don't want AFC we are not a AMATEUR football club! Cos that's what AFC stands for"
When his mate corrects him "that's not it it's Association football club" and he is getting laughed at he then adds "Anyway I'm Man U so I don't give a fuck about the name".
Good job he wasn't near me.

If I were ANYWHERE near this "person" I promise you I would've dotted him on the spot.
Dotted the twat.
It's just so wrong on so many levels, although not surprising.
I shall say no more on the matter except that if you know a Man U fan, simply disown him, delete his number from your phone, ignore him in pub and make sure everyone else ignores him, and even....EVEN....dare I say it.....delete him as a friend on Facebook!!!!!!  Jesus, No!!!!!!!

Spurn.  The Great Snipe was so called as it was, indeed, "Great".  It showed great, it was a great bird, in great surroundings and it was great right until the point it was partially eaten by Tiddles.  There's a moral tale here and I was going to go deep into it until I realised I'd just go right around the houses to come up with the fact that no one or thing did anything wrong.  Shall I expand?  Okay then.

I'll keep it in summary.
  • In hindsight (a wonderful thing) maybe the birding authorities should have moved the bird to somewhere more suitable.
  • They did this with a Bluetail that was underweight so it could feed up.
  • They DIDN'T do this with another Bluetail found the same day that weighed even less than the first!
  • Why?  Because it was already in an ideal area for not being disturbed (i.e. Point Dunes) I'm not sure "i.e." should be in parentheses?  Surely bad grammar?  Anyway, this shows an understanding of a bird's welfare including whether it is in a natural environment, and a healthy state, and whether it's in a natural state.
  • The Great Snipe was feeding very well.
  • It was in a natural state albeit in a strange (to us) environment.
  • It looked and seemed healthy apart from the strange location choice.
  • Why interfere with nature, David Attenburgh, lions hunting, interfering, Jimmy Savile, interfering, let nature take it's course, etc...
  • But cats aren't native.
  • Neither are lots of things but human nature has chosen to domesticate cats.
  • Just like cows.
  • But you wouldn't morally blame a farmer if a cow had trampled the Snipe would you?
  • A lot of vagrant birds are genetically fucked up.
  • Reverse passage migration.
  • What influences these mites to go the wrong way?
  • Rare pied variant form of Varied Thrush, Baillon's Crake in a kid's park, frigatebird on a boating lake in Scunthorpe, Pacific Diver in a puddle....Great Snipe running over a bloke's foot.....
  • Indeed this Snipe may not have even seen a human being before.  Certainly not the ugly, motley crew that stood before it on that day.
  • So, we could deduce that the Snipe believed it had migrated (it had, although a bit....erm....wrongly)
  • We could also deduce that the Snipe thought that this actually WAS it's wintering grounds, it'd never been there before!  How would it know?!
  • With me so far?
  • The bird was a bit fucked up.
  • A cat got it due to it's strange tendency to habit a garden.
  • Cat eats Snipe's head.
  • Natural selection at work.
  • A genetically fucked up Great Snipe's genes should not be passed onto future generations......
  • .....hence, natural selction.
  • So the decision (if there even was one) not to move this bird was morally sound. 
  • There.
  • Next.
 Bullet point points.
Coming next week, OBP shenanigans.
Well hi there.