17 November, 2011


What other title could I use for my 300th post?


So, what news do I have to impart? Well, not much really. No invasions of Starlings even, let alone flyover Cranes [though something set the gulls off strongly enough to wake me from my slumber at about 2-15 this afternoon. I didn't see what, despite giving anyone looking towards my windows a horrible shock....] [[Yeah, you really needed to know that, didn't you?]] There have been a few Greenfinches and Sparrows and Blue Tits in the Garden, plus the usual Herrings, Crows, Jackdaws, Magpies, Wood- and Feral Pigs flying about. The odd [more local] Starling. A few Redwing over calling after dark, 'tis true. Pied Wags. Nothing spectacular. Still no owls on the commute..

Why the post? 'Temminck's Stint on Colyford Common'. Oh, that brings back a painful lesson. The last time this happened, I was working the 4-shift at the merry 'vox, and I uttered the fateful words; "It's clearly hanging around, it'll still be there tomorrow" to myself as I decided not to twitch it straight from work. Ouch. [[So, the lesson; For a filthy twitcher, Hubris equals death dipping.]]

Reading about it and seeing those lovely pictures today - when it was just too late to get there before dark - I must admit I wailed a little. I know they're not the most spectacular of birds, I've dipped far better and hunger for need much prettier [[Bee-eater, anyone?]], but Temminck's Stint is one of the personal ones. Will it stay? I don't usually call my twitches, but you know where I'll be tomorrow...

But wait, there's more! Time for a burble - I keep coming up with great ideas for these while I'm away from my computer. [Inevitably]. At work, driving, limping around Exminster...
Speaking of, and very quickly, I think I've said all that needs to be said on the subject of Red-breasted Geese on here before. But that won't stop me from re-saying it;
Is the Exe bird the one that was at Stanpit? If so, does that mean its actually wild? I say it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. Its a 1w, with no rings or signs of captivity, acting just like a wild Red-breasted Goose would. If its not kosher, then none of them are. Anywhere. End of.

Time for a bit on gulls.
[[Run now, while you can...]]
Thayer's Gull in Scotland? Or not? Ah, the joys of large gulls. Reading the thread on [Famous Online Forum About Birds], I cannot help but wonder at the use of 'typical' and 'pure' and so on... With big gulls there is no such thing. Show me a typical Herring Gull, please! Not just gulls, either, so many 'species' of birds can interbreed, that I do wonder why the term is still in use. I suppose its laziness convenience; the term 'the person on the street' understands.
But that's a digression [[What's stopping you? I hear you cry.. ;) ]]]. Gulls vary. No two are completely identical, so saying "Oh, we can't put Thayer's on the British List until a perfect one shows up to prove they can get here" is, well, insert your favourite invective here, boys and girls. Because once such a bird does appear, with enough photos to make the online snarkers relevent committees happy, magically, not-quite-so-good birds will be suddenly ok. I know, I shouldn't be going on about this, it doesn't make any difference to me personally how they play their little games, but.... well, what are blogs for if not to exercise the odd rant? [[Oh, I've been through that before as well, haven't I?]]

Let me finish on a much more positive, birdy note; aren't Snow Buntings wonderful? I for one don't get sick of seeing them.

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