The unsound approach


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One June day in the Plantation?

Posted on December 3, 2008 at 2:11 PM Comments comments (0)

Sweet dreams are made of these...

Also, now its gull season, make sure you can identify cachs in all plumages..... 2nd cal. yr birds like this one can be tricky...

Wave-sealing Orcas

Posted on December 3, 2008 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

If these things ever grow opposable flippers then we are all f*cked....

can't believe I didn't think of this.

East Anglia

Posted on September 22, 2008 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (1)
Thanks to Mark Golley for this link, East Anglia forever (well, until sea level rise).................


stand up, sprosser tossers!

Posted on July 17, 2008 at 1:46 PM Comments comments (6)

Right, much as it pains us, we've been driven to briefly resurrect the "blog" in order to try and restore some sanity to webo-land. Lips have been bitten, confused eyebrows raised, and now things are now getting out of hand. Just what the hell's going on with this venomous backlash against birding slang?

It started here, and now it's spread to here, here and here.

What�s the beef? What provoked all these scathing attacks? So far, the best argument put forth against the use of words like �Icky� and �Sprosser� is that �it makes you look like a twat...�. Well, that�s us told.

Why? What�s your point? You don�t like abbreviations? You want everyone to speak the Queen�s English? You�d prefer it if everyone spoke like Huxley? �Oh I say, let us repair to the automobile and hold forth for Wells-next-the-Sea; I hear that my acquaintance has just encountered an Indian Tree Pipit!�   No, it can�t be the words themselves that are causing the upset. It must be something else, something more sublte. But what? Using our fine-tuned human intuitions, we�ve picked up on an undercurrent of unhappiness in greater blog community, and we have our suspicious as to why.

To help resolve the issue, we�d like you all to take the following test. It�s called the �Am I a bit grumpy and bitter because I�m worried I might be getting past-it?" Test. Please answer honestly:

1.      Do you enjoy Top Gear?

2.      Do you regularly complain that footballers earn too much money?

3.      Do you occasionally listen to Zane Lowe in the hope that you can stay up-to-date with modern music, but find you have to switch it off because you can�t understand a word he�s saying?

4.      Do you sometimes watch the BBC Local News?

5.      Do you sometimes drink Real Ale?

6.      Do you think that Natasha Kaplinski is really hot?

7.      Do you own an ipod but never use it because you don�t like the circular wheel thing?

8.      Do you still buy CDs?

9.      Do you think that mowing the lawn is a necessary part of human life?

10.  Do you sometimes get irritated when young people use slang words and nicknames and stuff, like it�s big and clever and makes them all cool and hip and like they�re all down with the in-crowd?

The results: If you answered Yes to any of questions 1 to 9, that means... Well, actually that�s largely irrelevant. If you answered Yes to question 10, it means that you are definitely suffering from �I�m a bit grumpy and bitter because I�m worried I might be getting past-it Syndrome�. It also means that your honest answers to questions 1 to 9 should also have been Yes. If any of them were No, then you must be in denial. Maybe ask your GP about some counselling.

Ok, so we�ve got to the root cause of the issue. Maybe a few people out there are a bit sensitive about all the �Johnny come lately�s� (i.e. young people) suddenly appearing out there in the field, getting all unnecessary and excited about birding, building themselves a �scene�, having fun, making friends and generally ruining it for everyone else.

Go ahead, we understand! They must know the truth! - that they are all pathetic twats for daring to have such a good time. What dickheads they are, enjoying their sad little camaraderie, their idiotic poncy shared dialect. Oddie and Cocker were both full of shit! Birders don�t need their own slang, they don�t need to be part of a �Tribe�! Birding isn�t about being sociable! It�s about filling in notebooks, wearing anoraks and bitching about Lee Evans! The spread of birding slang must be stopped, before we all end up being dragged into some kind of interconnected society! Please, let�s not get drawn together by this silly playground banter, the kind of thing that might make newcomers feel like they are joining something good! Birding isn�t good � it�s boring and grey! It�s uncool and we should all be ashamed of it! Please, no more slang!

Ahem. Sorry, it all went a bit mental there.

Anyway, if you really can�t tolerate the UK birding slang, maybe we can borrow some from these guys:-

Yes, we�re going to be using Begrippen, Blokker, Twitchbitch and Moss as much as possible from now on. While you�re over there, have a look at this page. Seen many scenes like that in Britain lately? (And no, we don�t mean the vizmig rares � sorry � visibly migrating rarities - we mean the big gangs of enthusiastic kids out birding and having a great time). Wonder why we don�t get that kind of stuff happening over here these days?

Think on...

Video birding

Posted on January 20, 2008 at 2:46 PM Comments comments (1)

Its winter, you probably noticed already. Thus, tiz the season for looking at videos on the internet and not even contemplating any real birding. With this in mind, we present to you a series of offerings that you can't afford not to see...

So maybe that'll make you a bit more respectful of el tigre when you are trying to get your wren-babblers on.

This next video should also generate new-found respect both for those chaps and chapesses who put the hours in in photographic hides and for the G-eagle.... var smac = "nrk_st_no"; var smcc = "no"; bmSCaptureState(smac, smcc, NewState, ctl00_ucPlayer_Player); 1) && (adafter_is_video == false)){ showAd("adafter_div", adafter_duration, false); } break; } } catch (e) {} try { thisMediaPlayer = document.getElementById("ctl00_ucPlayer_Player"); if (thisMediaPlayer.currentMedia.sourceURL == adbefore){ if(adbefore_clickurl != "") myRef =''+adbefore_clickurl,"_blank",''); // these variables are defined in OAS_script } else if (thisMediaPlayer.currentMedia.sourceURL == adafter){ if(adafter_clickurl != "") myRef =''+adafter_clickurl,"_blank",''); // these variables are defined in OAS_script } } catch (e) {}


Posted on January 20, 2008 at 2:41 PM Comments comments (0)


we also recomend this, a lot.

Orcas wave sealing

Posted on January 3, 2008 at 1:34 PM Comments comments (0)

one day this will be June in the Plantation....

Connecticut Warbler in Central Park

Posted on January 3, 2008 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

This is all we ever wanted, and not just for Xmas.....


If these things grow opposable flippers then we're proper f*cked

Quizz Results

Posted on October 27, 2007 at 11:03 AM Comments comments (0)

The moment you have all been waiting for:

1. transitional plumaged Temminck's Horned Lark (Western Sahara, Morocco, March 2006).

2. Cassin's Auklet pullus (California, USA May 2001)

3. Yellow-browed Warbler (Lundy, UK, October 2005) 

4. adult male Rufous-bellied Euphonia - thats the alula, not the bill.. (Mato Grosso, Brazil, June, 2006)

5. Rufous-eared Warbler, ok, that was hard (Cape Province, South Africa, July 2007)

6. unknown Tyrannid, maybe aberannt Pale-bellied Mourner (Mato Grosso, Brazil, September 2006)

7. Australian Brush-turkey (Queensland, Australia August 2001)

8. hybrid Flame-coloured x Western Tanager (Arizona, USA May 2001)

9. Large-billed Lark (Cape Province, South Africa, July 2007)

10. Least (left) and Alder Flycatchers (Nova Scotia, Canada September 2002).

11. New Caledonian Rail (Jardin des Plantes, France September 2007 [not seen alive since 1890])

12. Black-vented Shearwater (California, USA September 2000)

all photos (AL)

The sole winner (and sole entrant) with no correct entries was Dave J. The certificate is in the post....

Annual Snickers

Posted on September 25, 2007 at 5:54 AM Comments comments (0)

Everyone loves ID quizzes, its scientifically proven. Here we present, as a one-off, the hardest ID quiz there has ever been in the history of ornithology. If you get more than four correct then you get to become ID consultant to the Queen.

Please post your answers at the bottom of the page, the eventual winner will receive a certificate signed by someone important and a years subscription to our website. All the best of luck....


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