22 December 2011

Arise Lord Vader.....

So, I'm pondering....What happened at this time of year before someone published that little book of lies (ya know, that one that makes out a tart was hanging around some bike shed and mysteriously dropped a sprog even tho' she were making out she was a virgin....and who's silly idea was it to call it bleedin' Jesus! What a pathetic name, I mean, if I'd have wrote that fairytale, I'd have at least given the brat a cool name like Darth Vader or something!).

Oh, and in a recent post, I moaned about a certain type of toilet tissue that wondrously appeared before my eyes as I sat on the thrown...Well, blow me down and call me a unfestive scrooge like bastard (Well I'd prefer it if you didn't, even if it is true) but it appears the plucky Reindeer and Snowflake design has now been exchanged for this -

Icey softness for those post Christmas Dinner moments

So, Birding.... it's kinda taken a back seat this month but last weekend (18th December) I and Mikipedia traipsed over to Gedling Pit Top, Notts, and did some staring at a pretty decent Rough legged Buzzard. I'd never visited said site before and was quite impressed with the place. I'm also slightly surprised that it doesn't turn up more quality birds but I ain't a clue how well it's watched. A fly-thru Pergrine was cool has it bombed towards the city of Nottingham, no doubt off to collect it's latest filthy pigeon fix.
Anyway, here's a photo of that RLB, it's shite I know, but I was planning on wapping it onto some editing site and scrawling some festive bollox onto it, ya know to show I'm cool with Christmas and stuff but I couldn't be arsed.
Stay warm.......or if your poor and can't afford double glazing and central heating, Stay Cool!

8 December 2011

Sitting here in silence...

As I sit here, about to begin typing, I’ve just realised that those who read this in order to satisfy some bloodthirsty birding pang, may be left pretty dry mouthed. I had this thought about writing this about 10 minutes ago as I sat on the throne indulging in a ‘post’ work coffee & fag ‘post’ shit.

Now there’s one person who lives in my house, in fact it’s the only other person who lives in my house (apart from Miss Bo Jangles but she’s an Hamster, not a person so she doesn’t count) who feels the need to fritter away money on certain items that I really cannot understand. Again this began, now about 13 minutes ago when as I was sat doing the aforementioned on the throne, I casually glanced over to the loo roll holder thing on the wall to my left. Now normally, I wouldn’t take such an interest in it but a gold sparkling pattern had spiked my peripheral vision and upon closer inspection I was pretty sickened to see fucking Rudolph smiling back at me from within the double velvet two ply! But not just bleedin Rudolph but some Snowflakes, and a Christmas tree! All delicately imposed upon a lovely soft white tissue! Now I ain’t bothered that toilet tissue has patterns on it, whatever floats ya boat, but to have festive characters on a roll of stuff that you use to wipe the remnants of your last curry off your arse cheeks with is pretty ironic considering the whole Christmas bollox is a load of shit anyway!
Anyhow, as I was pondering this issue, I thought about what other things you could have on the toilet roll, what other designs or characters. Personally, and I think a fair few others would agree, I’d like the faces of the moderator of a certain Birding chit chat forum, the leader of a certain fantasy birding organisation and Bob Geldoff just because he’s a scruffy cunt! I’d get so much pleasure from knowing they were getting all pooey and stuff every time I went for a number two!

Anyway, I digress, back to something else which I ponder, why on earth can I not find Mince Pies in any supermarket before the middle of November? Is it cos I’m not looking hard enough? Erm, Noo!, I’ve looked everywhere for them, in the Spring, Summer and early Autumn but they’re nowhere to be found! They’re like the cake version of a bloke who fakes his own death in January but mysteriously reappears in November after spending 10 months with his buxom latino 17 year old fuck puppet in some seedy motel in Benidorm... But this character does it every bleedin year!  Does Mr Kipling & the cake factory get to November and after nearly a year of banging out Bakewell tarts, jam tarts, little apple pies and stuff, all of a sudden strides into his empire of pastry & sugar and announce ‘’Right, my devoted Umpa Plumpers (yeh I did say Plumpers there, I find it more appropriate than Lumpers with it being cake and all) put down the jam filling, stop fiddling with icing and small halves of glacier cherries for it is time, time to begin making those most British of festive treats, the Mince Pie!’’ He probably doesn’t actually.

I have also in recent weeks been pondering (infact it’s been years but it always peaks around this time of year) why some folk consider it a necessity to adorn their houses with such ghastly displays of eccentric Christmassy bullshit. Driving through many local housing estate in recent days (due to work related missions) has seen my eyes being poisoned by an all mighty manner of vile and disturbing visions of yuletide attention seeking. Now I came from a council estate and thus have the relevant background knowledge and permission to comment here that I feel that it’s pretty ironic that the families who reside within such places often are malnourished and dirty, their children patter off to school wearing carpet slippers and hand me downs and their homes inside resemble Steptoe’s parlour BUT around this time they can spend a small fortune in electricity making their homes visible from space!  For what reason? That I am yet to discover...

Right, I’ve got that out my system, I’m off to post this to the world and perhaps get some angry replies, in fact that’s inevitable I guess.
Oh, just for the bird nerds who may be still reading, I saw a Merlin & some Red Grouse yesterday near Glossop. Intriguing hey!

20 November 2011

It's been an eventful few weeks

With it being all 'orrible and murky outside this morning, hence preventing me from getting out birding locally, I was perusing various birding blogs on t'net when I came across this blog called 'Half the bird away' - A great read but it hadn't been updated since early October... Then I realised it was MY blog and I'd been a lazy c*nt! So, with a mug of coffee and a couple of pre-rolled fags, I decided to write a small piece, primarily in order to get my recent adventures out of mind and onto 'paper' but also to satisfy my loyal fans who obviously must have been suffering greatly for the last month without some cool wordage embellishing their retinas!

There's a few episodes I need to 'write-up' but to save time I'll bang them all in one post. So, where do I start. After the already published Rufous-tailed Robin incident, I think the next adventure involved a snazzy lickle heron in Nottinghamshire (I say 'think' because even though I habitually carry a notebook, I never can be arsed to scribble anything in it).

It started on Friday 28th October with a text mid-afternoon from Phil Locker asking 'Do you need that for Notts?' - A frantic search ensued for the pager and after reading the message put me on a downer for the rest of the day! There was no way I could get away from work there & then and getting to Attenborough after work was almost impossible! I spent the evening at home in a somewhat stressed mood. The next morning, saw me on 'The Bridge' at Attenborough before it was light and within seconds, out of the gloom a small heron shape flew out from beneath the bridge and away! Yep, that was it but did I see it in Notts or Derbys! My fears were soon washed away however as the star of the show soon reappeared and gave it some proper mincing in amongst some reedy weed stuff on the right side of the border. A short while later, a couple of fishy men arrived and despite being politely asked to fish elsewhere, completely ignored us & the presence of the bird and deliberately flushed it! Yep, they were cunts alright! Anyhow, a few minutes later during the ensuing verbal battle between the birders & gnomes, the Squacco (that's the first time I've mentioned its ID I think) was picked up flying high to our right, over the main reserve (in Notts) and away down the river. Wanting some more time with it, we headed off in an attempt to relocate it. Twenty or so minutes later, with the group of birders now spread out all over the place, I received a call from Alan Clewes. He was in hysterics and demanded that we come back to 'The Bridge' pronto! Initially thinking that the bird had relocated back there, it soon transpired that something even more eventful had just occurred. Allegedly a couple of late coming birders had arrived at 'The Bridge' and after hearing of the 'Fishing Gnomes' selfishness, had confronted him, gave him a bit of the old Alex Ferguson stylee 'hair dryer treatment' and then proceeded to launch his fishing trolley into the drink! Class! Sadly, the ruckus had halted when we got on scene and the only evidence of said events were a shifty looking bloke shuffling away and the lovely red wheels of aforementioned trolley bobbing up & down in the stream -

Terrible innit!
With more and more Squacco spotters arriving on scene, we decided to have another attempt at locating the bird, and following a brief in-flight view by Dan Martin, I relocated it grubbing about on the edge of a channel behind the sailing club, much to the pleasure of the many rapidly turning sour faces, although viewing here wasn't the most comfortable -

The Squacco Heron constituted my 247th species in Notts, following the proper rules, making up for missing the last one in the late 90's.
I did manage a pic of the creature but it was pretty shite so I've been kindly given permission by Rich Collis to use his image below -

Right then, what was next...
I'm struggling to recall the next event although I know I had this shortly after the Squacco

Ah, I remember now, the next event was a trip to Spurn, East Yorks, for a very obliging Isabelline Wheatear on Saturday 5th November. Unfortunately, there weren't any controversial incidents and all in all was a rather mundane episode. I can't recall any other interesting birds here other than the Izzy and a single Snow Bunting. Once again I managed to rattle off a few shots of the bird but only one came out worthy of even considering looking at

Below, Lord Archer comes face to chest with the tallest birder in the world, Martin 'Thuglife' Smyth

Snapping ASBO, ASBOette, ASBO & Thuglife ASBO

The next installment was a trek North East for a Greater Yellowlegs in Northumberland on Sunday 13th November. With Mikipedia being the designated driver, we set of with some trepidation but thankfully we arrived unscathed at Hauxley NR and made our way to the hide. Rather expectantly it was crammed full of geriatrics and a bloke from Cumbria and despite trying to wiggle wiggle wiggle to the front, it was impossible to see the bird. We evacuated and luckily found another much smaller hide, where we were greeted by a pair of lovely pensioners who ushered us inside and took immense pleasure in pointing out the Greater Yellowlegs and it's Grey Phalarope escort just yards from the flaps!
Below, Rob Capewell got this cracking IPhone shot of the pair -

And my not so cracking HTC phone image of the 'Legs' -

For a few minutes, us four midlanders had the birds to ourselves and soaked up the serene scene but as expected, we were soon suffocated by the loser's from the other hide and I made a quick exit. As regular readers know, I get as much pleasure from watching & papping the crowd at such events as I do from seeing the bird so while my companions had a Yellowlegs overdose, I hung about outside, smoked some fags and papped some twats! I love it!

Can you spot the tripod? No, me neither!

'The Snapper' and I, looking unruly!

Our next destination was Greatham Creek, Cleveland, where our target was a Semipalmated Sandpiper that had been present for a few days. Although it had not been reported today, we were pretty confident that it would still be around. Within minutes of arriving on site, we had located it, and although distant, it was another nice addition to the day as were a couple of Short-eared Owls and some rather vocal seals.

En route home, we eventually located a place called Kirkleatham, Cleveland, where we duly bagged a couple of Bean Geese.

And so, that brings us to this weekend, 19th & 20th November. as I sit here in the lounge typing this, I'm currently witnessing (and hearing) a young brat outside on the street calling his mate a 'toilet wipe' - Nice! My regular birding companions are up in Northumberland again(!) having a look at a Orange bellied Charcoal faced Redstart, a bird I really couldn't muster the enthusiasm to go and see. Apparently we'll all be dead before we can add that bird to our lists, and yeh, I know it's a nice bird, but if I/we can't tick it, I may has well go to the zoo to see some nice birds!

Philistine, me? Never!

16 October 2011

Tragic RTA in Norfolk....... (Rufous-tailed Accident) 15th Oct

I won't go into graphic detail about how we, along with about 100 birders and about 400 casuals arrived at dawn at Warham in North Norfolk and proceeded to not see a Rufous-tailed Robin. All I'll say/type is that despite the target being dead/fucking off during the night/still there but eluding everyone, the day didn't turn out to be a complete disaster. A whole host of transient bits were buzzing about overhead, geeses, thrushes, finches & buntings, and would have been a pleasure to behold had I been stood on that hill adjacent to King's Mill Res! Within the bits that bounced overhead, the highlight was a trio of Lapland Bunts that headed west'ish and some smart Starling murmurations! We kicked the shit out of some coastal habbo for little reward and with no Raddes or 'Throats or even YBW's wanting to be discovered we headed for them pastures where every fucker else had gone and pathetically and ashamedly joined the queues to see other folks' finds! Wells was pretty shite and the 4+ reported YBW's were represented by just one vocal individual. The highlight here however was a snazzy yet cheeky red dragonfly thing that took a shining to Mikipedia's clothes and then to myself and Archers shiny skulls!
Moving on, we dropped into Holme where the inevitable autumn Bluetail was brushed on to the day list along with some SEO's in-off. A monster Peregrine lounging on the beach was pretty drab until it decided to have some fun by pursuing the in-coming Owls. The ensuing dog-fight (Bird-Fight?) was without doubt the highlight of the day! There's a whole plethora of images below to peruse if you're bored or waiting for the kettle to boil.
Oh, and on Thursday 6th October I predicted on the ASBO Ornithological Debating Society FaceBook group that a 'rare robin/chat' would turn up on Thursday 13th...One day out aint bad hey?!

My prediction for next week

Old bird

Archer meets Osama!


'The Crane' was present in Norfolk Saturday afternoon!

Classic ASBO pappage

The inevitable...It's an age thing apparently!

13 October 2011

Mersey Misery

A rare American cuckoo has been been stolen and then viciously killed in Liverpool. Our reporter in Merseyside explains...

It’d had been a morning like any other, local lad, Kenny Koogan (originally from Rotherham but has also lived in Newcastle) had been busy with his usual daily routine of  chasing local scallys out of his kitchen, patching up the smashed window in his XR3i and booting a few homeless geriatrics out of his garden. He was just tidying up the remnants from the latest bin dipping episode when his ever shifty eyes caught sight of a flash of gold at the bottom of his boundary Privet hedge – ‘’I was startled like, though it was a gold earring from some local lass who’d lost it in mi garden like, cos they use mi garden as a knocking shop ya know, to get a bit of latchlifter. I dived on it like Grobbelaar but I was proper shocked when the bit of gold turned out to be the beak of some brown parrot . I held it for a minute and wa gonna throw it back in the hedge bottom but then it looked at me with these like moody eyes and felt a twang of pity so I took it in the house and put it in the cage with mi grey parrot that I got off Billy the Fish down the Pinch & Penny last Sunday dinner. Anyhow, Horace, mi parrot, didn’t like the new bird, kept pecking its arse and that so I lobbed the new bird into a cage I’d got from when we used t’go down field catching magpies for Rita at number 53. She’s a gypsy ya know and uses their feathers for telling fortune and that. I put cage in garden so bird could get some air and that then went in to watch How safe is your shed ont I-Player’’

Sadly, Kenny was in for a shock when he stepped back outside later to chain his wheelie bin up for the night ‘’The fucking bird had gone! Some thieving bastard had nicked mi new pet! I was off my head with anger and that and even kicked Jerry, next doors cat that was sitting on my new patio. But I soon calmed down when I heard that our Sharon’s mate, Mandy was coming round to borrow a CD off me. She’s dead fit and that. Anyhow like when she’d bin and gone, I went down to Threashers for some tinny’s and Fat Mal from Nesbitt Street was walking towards me and he’d got my new parrot but it was dead and its gold face thing was missing’’ I asked him where the fuck he’d got it and he said to me that he’d just bought it from Garry Menzie who’d chopped its beak off and took it to that shop on high street where they give ya few quid for some bling. I asked Mal what he were doing with the body and said he were taking it give to his Ferrets, Mick & Mike. Anyhow, I’m dead gutted and that’’
Sadly, Kenny then had to leave us as his mother rang to say someone had just set fire to her dog.

Thankfully we managed to track down Kenny's pal, Fat Mal and luckily he had yet to set his ferrets loose on the corpse so with a bit of bartering and us being left £37 lighter he allowed us to take it. After having the remains analysed it transpires that the feathers actually belong to a member of the Cuckoo family, A Yellow-billed Cuckoo from America! Our contact in the 'Liverpudlian  Good Relations Embassy' also known as the L.G.R.E was informed of the sad events and offered to cover up the story by releasing the news in a more sedate manner. The L.G.R.E did a stirling job and earlier this evening the following message was broadcast by various birdwatchers information services -
M’yside Yellow-billed Cuckoo y’day Liverpool in garden taken into care then died.

15 September 2011


As the title of this post nods towards, the much wanted seabird at KMR happened and excuse my language (no don't) but it was a fucking mega shitting crippling bastard!
Ok, maybe it wasn't THAT big, but for me, someone who gets more thrills from an inland seabird than a necrophiliac gets from discovering a 17 day matured corpse in the boot of a ditched Ford Mondeo down some lonely lovers lane, this was immense!
I'd been dispatched on a work related mission to Evesham in that cider swilling region of the midlands mid-morning. I'd chosen to take my own motor for the mission, knowing that with my optics in the boot, if the pager would 'squeak' with some news from down that way, I'd be prepared...
I arrived at my intended destination around 12:40pm and after the obligatory paperwork shit, I was sat in the motor awaiting the parcel to be processed and passed onto me. I sparked up a fag and had a quick gleg of the pager. The first message that flashed up was this -

As any hardened patch watcher can sympathise with, my reaction to that sort of message is equivalent to the 'big boys' reading about a Black-bellied Petrel loafing on the sea off St Mary's for 6hrs before being chewed by a Joe Pender tagged Blue Shark!
For the next 95 minutes, my motor kinda resembled a piece of space debris re-entering the earths atmosphere as I spanked it at pace along the M42, destination Notts!
After very rapidly off-loading the collected package, my obligatory unpaid lunch break began I guess, so I tanked it to the rezza. Upon arrival, I was directed by some cunt that it was showing well from the visitor centre jetty...And so it was! Get fucking in! Fuck the numerous Scoters, Kittiwakes and that L-t Duck that I'd previously bagged down there, this was the real deal!

Well, after ten minutes, it suddenly dawned on me that it was actually Thursday, not Saturday/Sunday, so I begrudgingly headed back to work. Needless to say, at 5pm, like a rat up a drain pipe, I caned it back to king's Mill and spent a good few hours soaking up some proper vintage patch quality with the majority of the KMR regulars -

Even one of the major D*rbyshite flushing photographers was on scene (ya know, the one mentioned in a previous post) and did his best to get stuck in some squishy water side vegetation in order to get that 'ONE' shot!

I reckon this takes me to 180 species for King's Mill Reservoir.............not bad for a grotty inland urban reservoir hey?!!

Roll on the Sab's.........................


1870 - no date (shot)
1885 - October 17th (shot)