Saturday, 29 March 2014

Spurn. 24th March

Went to Spurn again.  Not been too many times this year what with working away pet refurbing and installing portacabins.


Did 'BehindWhiteHorse' first as I often do.  Nil.  Nada.
Then Sammy's in the hope of a Wheatear or a Yellow Wag then I realised it was still only 24th March and thoughts of a Yellow Wag were probably somewhat frivolous.


characterized by lack of seriousness or sense when hoping for a Yellow Wag in March: frivolous conduct.
self-indulgently carefree; unconcerned about or lacking any serious purpose when thinking about Yellow fucking Wags in March.
(of a person or Yellow Wag) given to trifling or undue levity: a frivolous, empty-headed person or Yellow Wag.
of little or no weightworth, or importance; not worthy of serious notice especially of Yellow Wagtails in March: a frivolous suggestion of Yellow Wag.  In March.
1425–75; late Middle English  < Latin Motacilla flava worthless, trifling.

So there.  How interesting.
There were no Wheateaters or, somewhat unsurprisingly, Yellow Wagtails in the area.  I did however see a Meadow Pipit.

It's high tide.  I might go have a look on Beacon Ponds.  Alright, I will.  And I did.  The water level was ridiculously high and any chance of wader action was defunct.  Poor fieldcraft.  I picked up a calling Chiff along Beacon Lane before heading to Kilnsea Wets to see if any wader action was appertaining.  There was but not much.  Curlew, Redshank, and a Snipe.  Hmmm.  Ha, a White Wag with two Pied Wags!  Beautiful sub-species migrant action.  The Brents then started coming in to bathe, drink and piss.  I started counting them to relieve the boredom but some of them were walking: LEFT, some were walking: RIGHT and some were still but then decided to move LEFT and RIGHT.  Just keep still.  I got upto 118 when another load flew in.  Shit bags.  Starting again, I got to 176 when another load flew in.  Tits.  I did this 48 times until I got to a figure of 365.  They then shimmied off into the next field so I left and as I got to the car another c.120 Brent Gooses flew in to join the other 365 Brent Geeses.  So after obtaining a really accurate count I then had to guess at c.120 to add to the 365.  The accurate count that took about two months to complete was then downgraded to a circa 485 which is quite a good number really.

Now the grand finale.  The contents of this post have been quite mind numbing so far but this should lift your spirits:

A crane lifting a bordagabin.



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

TBC, PC as well. Not that you're bothered.

Crikey.  Whilst ranting about people who live in their homes I forgot to mention the Two Barred Crossbill that was found the day before the Yellow Rumper just over the bridge in yeller belly country at Forest Pines Golf Course.  I had, of course, been to have a look the previous day as the result of a message on Birdguides (other rare bird information websites are available):

Two Barred Crossbill           male in conifers to right of reception at Forest Pines          Lincs    

Okay.  Easy.  It never is in north lincs.  I'm not knocking them as there is some great birders over there but they must have a really intense rivalry as news is always sparse from this neck of the woods and usually wrong!  I even said to Fats before I went that I won't see anyone else, nor find the bird, nor find out anymore about it.

I arrived at the site, I didn't see anyone else, I didn't find the bird, nor did I find out anymore about it.
North Lincs news dissemination at it's best.  There was no one else there!  None of the staff knew anything about it.  Nor had they seen any geeks peering into an area.

The next day, I was en route home from Durham when a somewhat better message came through from Birdguides (other rare....etc):

Two Barred Crossbill           male still near 6th tee Forest Pines Golf Course          Lincs

Arrived.  Found 6th tee.  Four other birders looking.  Promising.  They hadn't seen it for a couple of hours.  The first bird I got on was the TBC.  "Hey, you lot" said I, "it's here".
Everyone patted me on the back and threw their arms around me and started chanting "Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q" whilst holding me aloft in a mad crowd surfing celebration.

I also forgot to tell you that I went back to Budby Common and finally nailed the Parrot Crossbills!  "How could you possibly forget to tell us that, Q at Spurn?" I hear you yell, and you are right to yell.   How could I possibly forget to tell you that indeed!  Well, I'll tell you then.

I went back to Budby Common and finally nailed the Parrot Crossbills.
Fucking six of them.


Big game on Saturday now in the exciting race for the coveted 7th place in the Prem.  Saints vs Newcastle.  I just can't wait.  As a neutral it is the closest finish in years......

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.......


Tuesday, 25 March 2014


After idiocy came successful jaunts.  Green Winged Teal went storming onto the already massive year list at North Cave Wetlands with a Peregrine over as a padder.  Great.  Padder?  Then Great White Egret.  Then a close-in Black Throated Diver off Easington caravan park was a nice but not mega year tickage.  I also forgot to report this.  Poor observatory skills.  3rd March if anyone is remotely interested.

I was back working away and I had to be down in Bedford so I set off a bit early and cruised my way to Lowdham in....wait for it......Nottinghamshire.  There was meant to be a Glossy Ibis present.  In a field.  Then I saw a Glossy Ibis, in a field, and soon realised that there was, indeed, a Glossy Ibis present, in a field.  [The Glossy Ibis has fallen, Cleggy!].  Betwixt above tales, a Yellow Rumped Warbler turned up in Durham!  Well!  So I drove my new motor car north and saw a Yellow Rumped Warbler.  I'd just turned up when it showed immediately.  Tree.  A few twitchers were in the road, whenever a locals car approached, fellow nerds twitchers would call out "Car coming", "Car" or even "Hey car" to alert others.  Everyone would move from the carriageway.  Then, when we obtaining excellent views, a local woman screeched up, not giving anyone time to react and blow her horn very loud and very long.  She then started shouting from within her car.  I can only guess what she was shouting as I couldn't hear her but I'll bet by the look on her face that she was using words like sad cunt, my road, fucking nerds, get out of the way, and "fuckers".  She then pulled into her own personal drive.  The Yellow Rump had fucked off long ago.  She got out and someone said "thanks for that".
Someone else countered "It is her street, she's got every right"
To which I said "Don't talk shite"
As birders/twitchers we have responsibilities, true.  Don't upset the locals, don't trespass, don't block roads.  Fine.  We weren't.  At the end of the day there was around five hundred people there looking for one stray yankee doodle.  To half block a road for a split second isn't the end of the world.  Her reaction was over the top.  I think because twitching is viewed as a strange hobby and the partakers seen as socially inadequate, we do get a rough time, and it IS because of the nature of twitching and how we are viewed to the "public".
If the dustmen were in the road, maybe bad example, nay, some builders unloading some sand from their van would this lady have started shouting and blaring her horn?  No.  She would've just waited patiently, the builders would've finished what they were doing, moved their van, give the hag a polite wave, no harm done.  Even if there was some thieving pikey bastards (see Mr Lethbridge's latest entry over on Wanstead Birder - he's not happy!) "collecting" scrap metals and stealing tiny bald beautiful bouncing baby's perambulators, she would've stopped even for them!  She would not have ranted and blasted her horn!  The thieving gypsy pikey bastards would've simply loaded the tiny bald bouncing baby's pram onto their horse and clopped off down the street with a wave to the woman.  Birders?  Worse than pikeys.  Her reaction was disproportional.  It was!
"Fuck her" I said, to which some older gentleman reprimanded me.  I put him right that she should show some humanity even though we are sad, filthy, depraved twitcher-types with no sex lives.  What is wrong with waiting two seconds for us to move, then asking with interest as to what we were looking at?  Manners.  They don't cost anything etc Ps and Qs etc.

Rant over.
Padder:  Waxwing.

Manchester derby tonight and it's as exciting as it gets as the title race is wide open and should go to the wire.  Let's also spare a thought for the red third of Manchester and their terrific battle for 7th.  With Southampton playing Newcastle on Saturday, Man U could really put the pressure on them with a win tonight but, with only four homes games to go and having scored only 18 goals at home so far this season, I can't see it.  But let's hope they can snatch that 7th place otherwise Mr Moyes might get sacked and nobody wants that, he's doing a great job!

Just bought a new Man U lamp.  It looks great in the middle of the table.....

Man U are still determined to be in a big European tournament next season, even if they have to write the song themselves.....

What comes in a variety of colours and fits nicely on a cock?  A Man U shirt......

Just found out that my son is a secret wanker....and I've found the evidence under his bed....
...a Man U shirt...

That was a good joke....

 Yellow Rumped Warbler showing exactly why 
Yellow Rumped Warblers are actually called Yellow Rumped Warblers


Tuesday, 4 March 2014


My life is like a Country & Western song.  Only perhaps more woeful.  But let's not beat on about my woes.....actually I'm about to.  But not about my PROPER woes, I'm not one for all that in the public domain, just ornithological woes.  Indeed my ornithological idiocy, of which a blog is named (and is on my blog list on the left so read it you bastards) knows no bounds.  I am rubbish.

Idiocy 1:  Betwixt Yuletide and Hogmanay there is a strange period where people get fed up with ham, pickled onions and bastard pork pie.  As I was fed up with red cabbage (David Moyes? Ha, that was a good joke) I decided to go to Budby Common to look at some Parrot Crossbills.  Or not as it happens.  I tredged (?) along the various paths that had more liquid mud than anywhere I've ever seen apart from the top of beacon lane back in '85.  I was wearing:

shirt underneath
brand new Boss jeans,
brand spanking new Forest Hills.
Blue on white.
First time I'd ever worn them.
In pure liquid mud.

After trying to skirt every speck of mud, it took me around an hour to walk 5 yards.  At this point I'm dirty.  You can only get dirty once.  So I traipsed through, squirming at every drop of liquid mud splashing my clobber.
Good lord.  I walked around all day with my new best mate from Driffield and saw 0 of 14 parrot crossbills.  Bird of the day: Jay.  4 of them.  I hate Jays.  They look like homosexual magpies.

Wears pink.  Nice moustache.

And my sneakers were fucking fucked man.  One wear, one wash.  In the washing machine they go.  A washing machine is a machine that's designed to wash things.  When my nice-fitting brand spanking new Forest Hills came out of said washing machine they were not that nice fitting.  Ill-fitting I now feel.  Facking weasel Tits.  Olives?

Idiocy 2:  Idiocy 1 is perhaps excusable.  I was expecting nice clear paths through pine covered forest.  But to do it a second time is just, well, that's just thick as pigshit.  I went to Spurn and called in at Welwick saltmarsh en route.  Brand new Forest Hills, blue on white, and is that the same Welwick saltmarsh that was flooded only 10 days before creating slurry filled paths all the way from the car?  You know where this one is going.... Worn: twice.  Washed: twice.

Me.  Yesterday.

Idiocy 3:  Crossbill saga number 2.  Loads of Two-barred Crossbills have been knocking about Broomhead Res for about 87 months but me being the mental twitching type I haven't bothered.  Sorted.  M62, M18, M1, look at a map, take the A summat summat, nip between two reservoirs, easy I don't need to plan this route no way!  Not enough research one feels.  I'll find it anyway.

It's about an hour and fifteen minutes drive, Two and a half hours later I'm on a moor in a lay by not knowing where in the world I was and not enough diesel to get probably ten miles!  A Red Grouse looked at me as if it knew how stupid I am, and this is coming from a bird with the brain the size of a walnut.  An elderly couple were in the next lay-by and I pulled up in front.  I took my top off and started flashing my lights but it was no use.  They told me the way to Broomhead.

 "Is there a petrol station on the way?"
"Oooooh not rarnd these parts.  Thy nearest one is back onta main rooad.  We be ganning that way if thee'd like ta follow thy.  Thee thart twat".

I followed them for ten miles.  South.  As in AWAY from home and AWAY from Broomhead Res.  I ended up about thirty miles south of where I wanted to be, and I'd used enough diesel to get me to the moon.  I set off back towards Broomhead but had to rapidly detour home on the back of a phone call.  I won't say why, it's not for the public domain.  Some of you know.

Idiocy 4:  Everyone is going for this Smithy's Gull in bonny Scotland found by Dan Brown.  How come?  When a very possible one was found just over the bridge at Elsham (scene of the Thayer's Gull a couple of years back) I went the next day and found a MASSIVE crowd of.....erm.....2 other birders.  Eh?  This bird was photographed and the only clinching feature that wasn't seen was the tail pattern.  This looked good to me although I'm not exactly great on Gulls, but THREE birders the next morning?!  Disgraceful scenes.  I sat there for most of the day with a couple of odd looking things but no sign of the possible (probable).  Two days later I decided to have another go.  I set off in fog.  Over the bridge and into Lincs and it was foggy.  I got to the Elsham and it was foggy.  I pulled up to the viewing area and it was foggy.  Really foggy.  A single Black Headed Gull walked out into visible light just to mock methinks.  As for me, I, Terry Fuckwit, went back home.....


Next time, a bit more success on the birding front.

Night Princess.