20 December 2010

Scope Packing Rambling

The following is a very brief load of nonsensical rambling bollocks based on my own random ponderings of Sco-Pacs. It's a pretty weak affair which I've aired merely to vent my own frustration (I've tried Sco-Pac porn but have been met with 'currently there are no results that match your search') - Anyway, please don't read if easily bored, a UEA bumboy, one of them cunts who will attempt to pull me up for having an opinion or one of them cunts in birding who spout shit on TwatForum - you know what types I mean!

Sco-Pacs - those tripod X rucksack contraptions that are now extremely common place on the birding scene. They're bleeding everywhere. At any twitch nowadays you'll inevitably witness a plethora of birders (and i use the term Birders very loosely) adorned with a tripod with a rucksack attached. That's basically what it is.

If you're unlucky enough to share your patch with other birdy enthusiasts you'll quite possibly know someone who owns one. This year I've been foolishly attempting to (not)see 300 species of bird in Britain and on reflection, I honestly think that the non sco-pac wearing brigade are now the minority, although I have to add that the stereotypical 'beginner birder' was the fundamental culprit in this survey.
On my last visit to the British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water in 2009, I was pretty stunned to see and bear brunt to the Sco-Pac revolution within the confines of the jam packed marquees! Why on earth would you feel the need to proudly exhibit your 'scope atop your tripod, on your back, within the stuffy, birdless, birderfull enclosures of a giant tent (with your bins draped around your neck too - What's that all about? Do you do that when you go shopping to Morrisons?).
Sadly I have a few birding brothers who also feel the need to traipse around with their gear strapped to their backs - A telescope is made to be combined with the eyes, which are on the front of the human body, not the back! I've often enquired into the need for the Sco-Pac with them and their response has invariably been 'cos it's easier(?) to carry and saves me the pain of carrying it balanced on my shoulder, ya know, the tripod leg digging into my shoulder bone innit'. This I can very slightly kinda agree with but only if you're trekking the length of three Blakeney Points, blindfolded. One of my example arguments is what if whilst out birding, say at an inland reservoir, your trusty Sco-Pac strapped to your back, when in the distance, thru ya bins, you pick up a Skua shaped bird bombing across the sky. By the time you've unhoisted your 'pac from your back, checked to see if any unfortunate souls are within 'bashing' distance (yeh, like that happens) and extended the legs, the target could quite possibly have done one and that self found patch/county/British(!) tick opportunity has gone! - This, combined with the cost and that you look a proper cunt wearing one (YES you do!), ensures that the Sco-Pac has not featured on my precious list that I sent to Santa this year!
NB. I have been reliably informed recently by my contacts on the inside that there is to be a FaceBook campaign within the next 6 weeks to make Sco-Pacs 'Kool'. Apparently, the master plan is to get all birders aged between 14 & 34 to carry a Sco-Pac by April 17th 2011!

I personally wont be joining said campaign, I'm more interested in joining the campaign to get a song entitled 'Use my Arsehole as a Cunt' by Kunt & the gang, to No.1 in the charts by the end of 2010!

Below are an handfull of losers who I've 'papped' this year...

19 December 2010

A quick catch up

Considering I haven't 'blogged' on here for over a month, and the fact I'm bored with FaceBook and the missus is watching Scrooge (for the 73rd time), I thought it only right that I put finger to keyboard and briefly spout some nonsense about what I've 'done' since the Amerian Bittern trip.
On November 13th, I travelled with Archer up to Hollingworth Lake, Manchester, for that Pied-billed Grebe. At that point in time, my interest in this year-listing malarkey was taking a very steep nosedive and I wasn't that bothered about going but a few words of persuasion from Archer got me motivated and off I went. Arriving on site, we got among the crowd and soon I was enjoying decent views of only my 2nd PBG (287).

The next morning I met up with Archer & Devvo (Rich Collis - the middle aged Doncastarian Chav) and after abit of a bish, bash, bosh on Beeley Moor, Derbyshire, we eventually 'booted up' the Richard's Pipit (288). It was on this eventful trip that Devvo was sworn into the ASBO massive...

On the 20th November, myself, Mikipedia, Archer & Rich Challands made an early morning trip to Long Nab, Burniston, North Yorkshire in the hope of bagging Desert Wheatear. Suprisingly, other than Devvo & a couple of shady 'Aviarazzi types', we were the only sad, cold losers on-site! Unsuprisingly, the target had f*cked off overnight and we had to settle with a bit of piss-poor seawatching.

We then gave in to Mikipedia's craving for food and headed to Flamborough for some grub! The day got worse with the discovery that the Headland Cafe had shut up shop for the winter! Brief compensation came in the form of a Merlin tanking it in-off (289). The decision to go hunting for a 'golden arches' was soon made but as we travelled down the A614, news was relayed to us that a Black throated Diver was present at Swillington Ings, W.Yorks, some 70 miles away! Regrettably this would be a much needed year-tick and like proper sad bastards we headed inland! An hour (and abit) later, we arrived at the location, and after a '6ooyd walk' (more like a mile & half - thanks youth!) clapped eyes on the bird (290) - Nice!
The next morning, the same crew, minus Archer, caned it down to Rutland Water and swiftly knocked Lesser Yellowlegs off the list (291).

At this point, with 9 birds to go I was pretty confident that I'd hit 300, no issues! The next day at work I banged my last two days holidays in for the 29th & 30th November giving me a nice four days weekend coming up! Unfortunately, some snow casually arrived on the scene and hid my car from me for the duration of that aforementioned 4 day break!

The following weekend (4th & 5th December) was also shagged by the weather so I remained at home and subsequently discovered a healthy swarm of Waxwings loitering on our street in Tibshelf, Derbys.
On the evening of the 5th, I decided, with a heavy heart, that with just 6 remaining 'birding days' available for me during December, I would not be hitting 300 this year! The 11th & 12th were spent doing ridiculous xmassy type things like shopping & partying so we now come bang up to date to this weekend. On Saturday 18th I decided to do the patch (King's Mill Res', Notts) and realised just how shit (and unbelievably cold) patching can be, the highlights being 13 Teal, 10 Gadwall, 3 Wigeon, 1 Shovelar & a very obliging Water Rail that was trying to keep warm by cosying up between a Redwing & Blackbird!!!
Today, Sunday 19th, I again did KMR (with Mikipedia) and not suprisingly saw sweet F.A apart from quite possibly a record number of Common Gulls (too cold to count them but estimated to be over 160) and two Willow Tits at the feeding station in the car park. A sweep of fields nearby at Penniment Farm produced a very pleasing feeding flock of c150 Skylarks and 7 Grey Partridge. To finish of the morning, we, for some reason unbeknown to me, twitched a flock of 30 Waxwings at Pleasley NR, Derbys!

That latter episode kinda makes me think that's the end of that for this year...I may write an end of year review, I might not, just depends how pissed I get in the next week or two. I might try for 300 next year too.......Hang on, it's only quarter past nine, I'm not that pissed, am I??