The unsound approach

Without Lee – LGRE

"Garry Bagnall, real name no gimmicks"

(Lee’s directing traffic at a twitch)
“For the caravan park Pallas’s go round the outside;
round the outside, round the outside”

Bagnall (Dre) calls in “LGRE, we’ve got a biggie, I’m on the way”

“For the caravan park Pallas’s go round the outside;
round the outside, round the outside”

Guess who's back
Back again
LGRE’s back
Tell a friend
Guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back
guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back..

I've created a monster, cause nobody wants to see Lee no more
They want LRGE, I'm chopped liver
Well if you want LGRE, this is what I'll give ya
A little bit of Arctic mixed in with some Mealies
Some mega to jump start my heart quicker
than the shock when I slap the twats at the big twitch
when they’re flushing the mega and not co-operating
when they’re jumping the queue system I’m operating (hey!!)

You waited this long, now stop debating
Cause I'm back, I’m on Birdforum and contributing
I know that you got a blocker Ms Clarke
but your boyfriends tart problem is complicating
So the BBRC won't let me be
or let me be me, so let me see
They try to shut me down on Birdguides TV
But it feels so empty, without Lee
So, come on and dip, come on a trip
Fuck that, feed the finches, and some of the tits
And get ready, cause this shit's about to get heavy
I just settled all my lawsuits, FUCK YOU WEBB-ie!

Now this looks like a job for Lee
So everybody, just follow me
Cause we need a little, controversy
Cause it feels so empty, without Lee
I said this looks like a job for Lee
So everybody, just follow me
Cause we need a little, controversy
Cause it feels so empty, without Lee

Little listers, kids feelin rebellious
Embarrassed their parents still listen to Garner
They start patchin’ like prisoners, helpless
'til someone comes along on a mission and yells TWITCH!!!
A visionary, vision of scary
Could start a revolution, controlling the rankings
A rebel, so just let me revel and bask
in the fact that I got everyone kissin my ass
And it's a disaster, such a catastrophe
for you to see so damn much of my list; you asked for me?
Well I'm back, na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na
Fix your list and store it on my Apple then I'm gonna
End up under your skin like a splinter
The centre of attention, back for the winter
I'm interesting, the best thing since seawatching
Infesting in your kid's ears and nesting
Testing, attention please
Feel the tension, soon as someone mentions me
Here's my ten cents, my two cents is free
A nuisance, who sent? You sent for me?


A-tisket a-tasket, I go tit for tat with
anybody who's talkin this shit, that shit
The boy Sick, you can get your ass kicked
worse than them little Punkbirder bastards
And Rasher? You can get stomped by Bagnall
You sixty-six year old boy in Barber clothing
You don't know me, you're too old, let go, it's over

Nobody listen to Ticker!
Now let's go, just gimme the signal
I'll be there with a whole list full of new splits
I’ve been researching, suspenseful with a pencil
ever since Lady A’s got Cat C status
But sometimes man it just seems
everybody only wants to discuss me
So this must mean I'm dis-gus-ting
But it's just me, I'm just obscene
No I'm not the first king of controversy
I am the worst thing since Adrian Riley
to do year listing so selfishly
and used it to get myself wealthy
(Hey!!) There's a concept that works
Twenty million other year listers emerge
But no matter how many fish in the sea
It'll be so empty, without Lee




Big List-er

Its a widely known fact that Canadian band Nikelback produce some of the worst noises ever heard since proto-humans invented music. However for the sake of the long tradition of song-piratage, here's a new version of RockStar (here's the orginal if you needed reminding [sorry]). 

I'm through with standing in line
To hides I'll never get in
It's like the bottom of the Dell
And I'm never gonna win
This life hasn't turned out
Quite the way I want it to be

(Tell me what you want)

I want a brand new reserve
On an oil platform
And a Questar I can see Swim Coots with
And a king size Obs big enough
For Ten plus Lee

(So what you need?)

I'll need a massive ego that's got no limit
And a big bad database with a pivot-table in it
Gonna run this game
With thirty-seven hundred gigs

(Been there, done that)

I want a new Range Rover full of the old guard
My own star on East Bank Boulevard
Somewhere between RAR and
Alan Dean is fine for me

(So how you gonna do it?)

I'm gonna trade my solid rep for fortune and fame
I'd even claim Yelk’ Shear to make my name

'Cause we all just wanna be big List-ers

And live in (Cley) Hilltop houses wrecking fifteen cars
The splits come easy and the lifts come cheap
We'll all stay trusted ‘cos we won’t cross Lee

And we'll hang out in the Spiggie bar
In the VIP with the FormFilm stars
Every west pal-lister’s
Gonna wind up there
Every Penny Clarke-lookalike
With the bleach blond hair

Hey hey I wanna be a List-er
Hey hey I wanna be a List-er

I wanna be great like Klaus but without the locks
Hire IRBC members to beat up the cocks
Sign a couple monographs
So I can get my lifts for free
(2am, outside the Unthank chippie...)
I'm gonna dress my ass
With the Goretex fashion
Get a front door key to the Millington mansion
Gonna date a teenbirdchat hottie that loves to
Blow my money for me

(So how you gonna do it?)
I'm gonna trade my solid rep for fortune and fame
I'd even claim Yelk’ Shear to make my name

And we'll hide out at the private sites
With the latest Dutch Birding and today's who's who (in Ornithology)
They'll get you any gen with that evil smile
Everybody's got Dick Filby on speed dial, well

Hey hey I wanna be a List-er

I'm write these posts
That offend the moderators
Gonna rob everything off of Google Scholar

I'll get washed-up County-recs accepting all my records
copy all my descriptions from BWP so I never get 'em wrong


And we'll hide out at the private sites
With the latest Dutch Birding and today's who's who (in Ornithology)
They'll get you any gen with that evil smile
Everybody's got Dick Filby on speed dial, well

Hey hey I wanna be a List-er

Hey hey I wanna be a List-er

Another Siberian vagrant in South America!

Fig 1. First field photograph of the Lancy (AL)

Whilst carrying out an avian survey in overgrown cattle pasture dominated by introduced African grasses in Paragominas, PA, Brazilian Amazon on the 23rd November 2010 I flushed a candidate Lancy from long grass near streamside vegetation at approximatley 9am local time. Wary of the difficulty of identifying this species, not least the gross improbability of finding one in the Neotropics, I immediately summoned help from my field assistants and we were able to surround its favourite patch of grass. Views were brief at first as it stayed buried in deep vegetation (Fig. 1), loosely associating with a pair of Masked Yellowthroats, but with patience and gentle coaxing, this mega eventually gave good views, and in scenes reminiscent of the 1990s on Fair Isle chose to perch briefly on my foot (Fig 2.)! Easily identifiable by the combination of its small size, uniform width ‘lettering’ and lack of yellow tones and nature of its ‘barcode’ streaking. Undoubtedly the highlight of a lifetime searching for rarities for this observer.

Fig 2. cripping views of the Lancy (AL). 

 Given the enormity of the find we decided it would be prudent to collect the individual, a decision not taken lightly and based on the following reasons 1)  it was hoped that an analysis of the body condition might provide clues as to what stimulated its vagration; 2) to preserve a voucher of the species to document its presence in South America and let future generations marvel in its meganess;  3) there is no twitching scene in Brazil so no-one would care;  4) we had all been on the go since 3am and none of us had had breakfast. The individual was easily captured by hand and humanely killed by gentle tearing down its dorsal-lateral flank. Later analysis indicated that It weighed 30 grams, with a fat load of 8.6 grams, of which 4.1g  were saturated fats, suggesting that it had been in the area for some time. Its internal contents of wheat, milk, caju nuts and soya, several of which are unavailable in Siberia, also serve to collaborate this hypothesis. Despite past records from Alaska and California this species - which is incredibly hard to detect, must be considered one of the most extreme cases of übermegaextreme-vagrancy ever recorded, although it mirrors a recent record of Red-throated Pipit in Ecuador. Given the lack of observer coverage and the vastness of the Amazon basin, there exists a large amount of habitat for a thinly-distributed population of Lancies; in a similar vein the Amazonian wintering grounds of Connecticut Warbler are still unknown. The specimen was deposited in the collection at MJPEG (Fig.3 ) and the record has already been accepted by SACC as a first for South America, and should be placed before the non-native Toblerone on the checklist.

Fig.3 Prepared specimen deposited at MJPEG (AL)

Ireland - "Do I? Don't I?" - Well now you defo can!

In a news release so quick, Reuters will be officially sh*tting it, we can officially announce that it's definitely alright to tick birds for your British list that are in Ireland. Now that we basically own a majority share in "Ol' Green Place" it's new political position will either be part of the West Country or the main island of the Anglesey Isles (Barry, get that t-shirt back out!). This decision will be left to David Cameron, although he should probably be thinking about which country we can borrow 7 billion quid off now that we have got ourtselves into a fiscal situation that can only be described as "OMG everything's F*CKED!!!"

Being funny about birds on the interweb...

...actually appears to be rather hard. Second hand sources suggest that we may have been marginally funny circa 2006, but have since been rather hit-and-miss. Mostly miss. So we apologies for the apparent (ok, actual) lack of recent effort on our part. You don’t need special training to deduce that the bunch of arch-layabouts that used to reside in Norfolk, jump over fences, and go birding all the time have devolved into a widely-scattered bunch of layabouts who have trouble jumping over fences and only go birding every now and then. Still, we've not given up on the old interwebs yet. In the future we promise* to produce more material than a few semi-garbled field reports and an annual thinly-veiled, ostensibly hypocritical ‘we hate gulls' article.

*note promises of equal value to coalition promises.

The last week has been pretty stochastic on the internet, with regards to the ‘being funny about birds’ business. We bid goodbye with mixed emotions to Reservoir Cats; we loved the bits that were funny, didn’t love the bits that were about us (except the bits about us that were funny, which was most of them to be fair) and were generally indifferent about the bits that were neither funny nor not about us. We could wax lyrical about what we think, mixing superlatives with unprintable swearwords, but we'll leave it to journalist Ragee Omaar who's comment best reflects our views:

A handful of British birders were last night distraught in learning that Mr White, the author of the recently terminated Reservoir Cats blog, has been placed on suicide watch after a lukewarm response to his shock announcement that the blog had come to an untimely end.

Nice Guy Eddie, a spokesman for the elusive Mr White, said, “he’s taken it really badly. Mr White couldn’t believe that the interview on 10,000 Birds only got three replies overnight, and it hasn’t even managed a thousand views on Birdforum yet. It was quite simply a shambles - nobody seems to give a sh*t.”

“We thought it would set the bird blogging world alight,” said Charlie Moores of 10,000 Birds, who somehow managed to procure an exclusive interview with Mr White by making the whole thing up himself, “but sadly it plummeted faster than a Honey Buzzard over Malta. When I saw that the Cat had quit, I decided that I’d have to get in quick and pretend that he’d contacted me. So I stayed up all night and wrote the interview myself, stealing quotes from Birdforum and dropping massive hints as to who I’ve always thought Mr White was. But in the end it was so obscure that most readers seem to have given up reading it after only a few questions. Anyway, we’ve decided not to do anything like that again - one of our regular readers had to be resuscitated by paramedics after seeing the word c*nt.”

Publicist Max Clifford had repeatedly warned Mr White that he simply hadn’t been blogging long enough to expect a memorial akin to that of Princess Diana. “I told Mr White that he had to continue, he had to do at least two years. And it would also have helped if more of his posts were actually funny, as opposed to being simply spiteful and nasty. Obviously some coward cloaked in anonymity, spraying his bile at people from the safety of a keyboard, wasn’t as amusing as he’d assumed.”

Arthur Balsam, a twitcher from Winchester, said, “Has it finished? Oh, I don’t check it that often.”

Tom Logan, a character shamelessly robbed from the Daily Mash, said, “To be honest I didn’t understand half of it. The thing about the kittens in the bin was good, but most of the posts were so cliquey and esoteric that only Mr White probably had a f*cking clue what they were even about.”

Tom Mackenzie, owner of the Twinkling Paddypaws Wildlife Sanctuary in Derbyshire, was more positive: “It’s a real shame to see it go, it was f*cking hilarious. But I suppose it’s a good thing that we’ll never truly know who Mr White was, it all adds to the mystery. It could have been anyone. I mean, for all we know it could have been some guy living outside England, perhaps maybe in Scotland, and who once happened to forget that by posting a comment on someone’s blog he’d give up his IP address, and that the owner of the blog could check the IP and know exactly where he was from and thus have a pretty damn good idea who he was. But what are the chances of that happening?”

In what can only be described as some sort of karmic event, the new superblog has quickly filled the void of humour/satire/bile left by the loss of Catz. Just to prove that you don’t need to be anonymous to be brain-haemoragically funny, Tom Mckinney has re-entered the ring with a piece of prose so sublime, three of us has to be hospitalised after reading it.

No really.     


American Bittern at Trewey Common

I'm sure everyone who saw the American Bittern at Trewey Common over the last week appreciated the hospitality of the local landowner. Therefore, I would like to send him a gift to demonstrate our gratitude. As it was not possible at the time to organise a collection, cheques can be sent to Richard Moores, 92 Cambridge Street, Norwich, NR2 2BE. Any leftover cash will be given to charity (please indicate your preferred charity and the one with the most votes will get the pot). Get on the Wall of Fame (those who donate), not the Wall of Shame (those that keep their money in their pockets) - we know exactly who was there......

Wall of Fame                                                                                          Wall of Shame


Punks in Nike/Swarovski Advertisement Shock!!

It  seems the recession has hit even the commercial world's biggest players as this advert/ridiculous video compilation will testify...(apologies for quality, it's complicated....)


In lights of RDMs Bilbao training course - MIA/Jay-Z on the prospect of being a Marine Mammal Observer (MMO)

Time after time
You been twitching mine
But can I have a good time with whales tonight?
‘Cause every time
We try to get close
There is always something that I’m thinking about

(You want me to be)
(You Want Me)
(You Want Me)
(You Want Me)
(You Want Me)

You want me be
Somebody who I’m really not
You want me be
Somebody who I’m really not
You want me be
Somebody who I’m really not
You want me be
Somebody who I’m really not

A blow at the port
And then we hit the (Monkey Island) floor
And all I know is you leave me wanting more (beer)
I don’t let it show
But I think you know
‘Cause you treating me like Shirihai on the (Pride of) Bilbao


That’s not a Sei’s pectoral
that’s not a Long-finned Pilot Whale
this is more like letting them Fins blow
This is more like Port when they say Starboard
When the whales do you wrong but the dolphins right
This is more like calling that White Whale
When the world try to put them in a tight spot
Coming up from the abyss with the lunge feed
Cuz you dont give a fuck ‘bout no carbon sink
Ya'll comin up MM, MM, MMO
Constant spray
When you in my way
I’ma be who I’m goin be
I’m just a boy from The (BP) Hood
what you want from me?




Spot the difference!

Thanks to an anonymous internet tipster, even the high and mighty (and anonymous) can make schoolboy mistakes (like Brown for Spotted Fly and Nashville for Canada), usually best to own up though - rather than try and cover your tracks....

Manufactured Scarce?

Any comment on this Lee? Have we uncovered a secret conspiracy? Or are we really short of material...?

Goverment poised to downgrade illegal eagles...

Sea eagle warning on the B1159 between Waxham and Horsey

There is widespread fear and panic that downgrading of sea beast to AC status may make them more accessible to people used to seeing softer raptors. Sea Eagles are totally hard core and many people may not be able to cope with scoring them regularly in lowland Britain. Users of vagrant White-tailed Eagles in Norfolk have reported intense excitement followed by a massive come down. Not unlike the 'mega white thing' experience that users of other strong raptors (like Gyrs) sometimes get. Anti-sea beasters point out that a recent paper in Journal of Applied Ecology suggests that productivity in Scotland is unstable and may not warrant a category change. Local people are threatening to lock up their children lest they get addicted and stop playing video games. Its unclear how the divergent views held by the new coalition govenment can be reconcilled. Lib Dems want to declassify sea eagles and Tories want to get rid of them entirely. It seems highly possible that Sea eagles may destabilise the goverment and lead to anarchy, the extinction of Bitterns and piglets and possibly nuclear war.

  Find your Ukrainian Beauty before its too late!

no really.

Royal Boozer?

A bit behind the times (I just kept forgetting to get a photo!)...Prince Harry's favourite pub? (it's got targets and everything)..... 


From the board that brought you argonautus.... To be honest, this is so funny it doesn't need annotations.

White Tern (Gygis alba) : a new Western Palearctic bird

Alexander Lees, Daniel Brown, Christopher Batty, Thomas Lowe

Dawn on the 22nd July saw a crack team of birders not looking for rarities in westernmost Ireland. Several hours and several coffee shops later they hit the road, having precipitated a local exhaustion of the supply of carrot cake (Daucus carota var. desertii). After spending the previous day at sea failing to find an extralimital tubenose, the team were delighted to find a new Western Palearctic seabird from the relative (relative) comfort of DB’s Japanese-brand wheeled motion-sickness simulator. While everyone else was being travel sick, DB’s eyes were drawn to the unmistakable symmetry of an unfledged juvenile White Tern (Gygis alba) by the roadside in Letterfrack. This individual showed well on a board promoting tours on a glass-bottomed boat, and is unequivocal evidence that a White Tern was present somewhere in Galway since the invention of colour photography in 1877. Allegations of fraud can be quickly dismissed as the Trade Descriptions Act of 1968 prevents manufacturers, retailers or service industry providers from misleading consumers as to what they are spending their money on. Obviously they would not risk prosecution and a hefty fine in today’s economic climate by simply culling any old image of a ‘tern’ from the internet. Moreover, the supporting cast of Celtic fringe species is typical of the region (er, any more images of that gull...) and it seems unlikely that anyone would profit from a forgery. Thus this image must pertain to a bird that can (and has) been seen from the boat in recent history.  Ever handy with a camera, AL was rapidly able to secure a single image (Figure 1.) that documents this important record.

Figure 1. Digital field-photographs of the 1st White Tern for the Western Palearctic at Letterfrack, Galway in July 2009. Right hand image, has been cropped and magnified and arrows indicate salient field marks (AL)

This was a critical skill, as the sign could easily have been removed by the owners, or blown over in the semi-inclement conditions (notwithstanding the possibility that the group might lose interest in this tedious link before an image was procured).  The bird was present in the same bay where Andrew Holden infamously refused to remove his shoes for a vagrant Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea). This is an unprecedented record in the North Atlantic (the tern, not the shoe-removal, sensu Batty [2009]) although both species have previously occurred as vagrants to Bermuda (Wingate 1974) also in the North Atlantic. Indeed, Bermuda Triangle related vagrancy may explain the occurrence of both these species in the same Irish littoral zone, and is a phenomenon generally poorly-explored in contemporary ornithological literature.  Conditions at the time: westerly winds, force 2-3, above average sun-spot activity and an exchange rate of 1 GBP = 1.15968 EUR all point to a natural origin. Furthermore there was a movement of Sooty Shearwaters off Bempton in recent years and a minor earthquake struck the Cheviots a little after 1400 GMT. Further records of White Tern should be investigated at other potential hotspots, such as Morston (Norfolk) and Seahouses (Northumberland). Periods of westerly winds with little or no migration and concomitant boredom are probably most productive for searching for this species.  Procrustes analysis of the image using a shape-preserving Euclidean transformation indicated that the image did indeed depict a White Tern and was not some sort of other object; such as an RSPB-branded cuddly toy or a next-generation energy-efficient fridge, that might otherwise come to resemble a monochromatic sternid. With these barriers to acceptance removed, we anticipate the swift admittance of White Tern to the Irish list, the 76th tern species now recorded from the country. An intriguing possibility exists that this bird, evidently photographed from a glass-bottomed boat may represent a new subspecies owing to its presumed subaquatic habitats, we reserve judgement in designating this individual as the iconotype pending further investigation into the taxon's gill morphology.  


Batty, C. 2009. Batty Night and Day. Vol. 5.

Wingate, D. 1974. First North Atlantic record of the White Tern. Auk 91: 614-617

The search for the funniest place name is over...

So picture the scene, it's late at night, you have a hangunder and are wading through some heavy Brazillian ornithological literature for an even heavier paper and then, suddenly, out of nowhere everyone's favourite canonical transistive verb appears as a proper noun where you least expected it. Shetlanders will find this very hard to match, best get discovering and naming some new geos fellas...


So, considering its status as a global mega, who's interested in a signing up for Punkbirder Tour to Fuck for Marsh Tapaculo.....

Stop press: New gull taxon!

Always one step ahead off conventional alpha taxonomists, West Runton District Council have published the description of a new large white-headed gull. Unconventionally they have not ascribed a new English name (which may cause some confusion) but note this species' diagnostic combination of yellow legs, stubby all-yellow beak, black tail with a white sub-terminal band, short primary projection, a limited number of flight feathers and no toe nails (far from recognition just as a new species we propose erection of a new class on the basis of this latter feature).

The bird's latin name honour's the friends of the discoverer - Jason. He collected the type specimen on his way home from the Golden Fleece mission; it is a little known historical fact that Jason lived in Sheringham with his mate Sinbad, and although they loved the amusements, neither of them were keen on the local Roc.   

Trailer: Punkbirder the Movie

Always willing to experiment with new media, we may be coming to a village hall near you soon.... (but don't hold your breath)

News & Comment

Xmas Dipping



Slaty-backed Gull - a photoessay

Are you overcome with excitement at the thought of that Lithuanian Slaty-back making it over here?

Click here to get all the hot tips on picking out these laro-cripplers. Get your schist- on! 


From time to time we take it upon ourselves to act as an independent panel, conducting thorough reviews of past UK bird records. Whilst driving back from Cornwall the other day we passed the county of Devon. The thought struck us that we had been here before, and one of us remembered that we once drove down to see a Murre-let there. Incredibly this wasn't the only Murre-let ever to be seen in Devon. After remembering how many other contemporary records of murre-lets there were in Coastal European Countries (none) we calculated the probability that both of these Mu-rre-lets could occur in Devon and not elsehwere (based on a standardised observer density index and percentage of suitable water-body ratio). This was roughly very small. Perplexed, we stopped off at a motorway services for some Information. This proved very revealing:


We interviewed staff at Living Coasts, who could remember losing an affable M-uureelet called Suzie a couple of autumns ago....

Essex place names explained

Fingringhoe:       errr, that's probably enough Essex place names explained...*

*You should go there its not as filthy as it sounds.




by Robin Sandham

Another one to sing along to... 

I can find a Shrike with no telescope, no telescope, no telescope,

I can find a Shrike with no telescope, no telescope, no telescope


Look at me, look at me, hands in the air like it's good to be in’a ‘HIDE’

An’ I'm a famous patcher even when the paths ar’all crookedy,

I can show you how to bash the bushes, I can show you how to accept a record,

I can pull apart my reputation, and I can almost put it back together,

I can tell you about all d’birds I’ve seen, I could tell you about Lars Svensson,

I know all the words to a Dunnock’s song,  And "I'm Proud to have seen a PELICAN",

Me and my friend went to Donna Nook, Me and my friend read the Collins book,

And guess how long it took, I see anything I want cuz, look:,


I can keep connected with the Pterodrom’, the Pterodrom’, the Pterodrom’,

I can hear you diss-it down the telephone, down the telephone, down the telephone,

Look at me, Look at me, Just called to say Im in’a ‘HIDE’....

In such a small world, All curled up with no book to read,


I can spend my money on a trip up north; Can’t make a living off those magazines,

I can make an engine go sixty four Miles to see a Teal preen,

I can make an Isotope Discovery; I can make my optics survive aquatic conditions,

I know how to pitch a mist-net, And I can make you wanna fly into IT,

Birders, Dudes and the Diss’ers, Me and my friends understand the future, I see the Stringers that control the systems and I can String with no assistance.


The ‘Legend’ leads a twitch with NO microphone, No microphone, No microphone,

He can split the Acro’s from the Alaemons, from the Alaemons, from the Alaemons,

Look at me, Look at me, Driving to a twitch and I won't stop,

And it feels so good to tick it off, and I didn’t shop.


My quest….is global, My ride……is secure, My cause….. is futile, My funding… is poor,

I can hand out a million birdcake rations, Or let'em all die of botu-lism,

Habbo all tampled n’No veg’tation, Have'em all killed by assassination

I can make anybody glare down’a prism, Just because I don't like'm

And I can STRING anything with no permission, after all I’m wearing ‘cammo’,


I can track a ‘plastic’ by SATEL-LITE, By SATEL-LITE, By SATEL-LITE,

And I can see the f###er through my Rifle Sight, through my Rifle Sight, through my Rifle Sight, and…

I can end my birding with the FUEL COST, with the FUEL COST, with the FUEL COST …..

I can end my birding with the FUEL COST, with the FUEL COST, with the FUEL COST…..


I can’t find a Shrike with No telescope No telescope No telescope…..

I can’t find a Shrike with No telescope No telescope No telescope………

I can’t find a Shrike with No telescope No telescope No telescope………


New Read!

They say video killed the radiostar, this maybe true. Another truth is that the internet killed the monthly magazine. Gone are the days, when you couldn't sleep at the end of the month because you were so excited about reading the rarity roundup in birdspotting and looking at out of focus pictures of some cosmic mega. Now you get to see pictures of the latest rarities within minutes on the net, sometimes before the finder! Its tough for publishers and with this in mind we have tried to create a magazine that people really want to read, a magazine with lots of hot pics of nubile teen hotties holding binoculars, but also interviews with the big names, truly ground-breaking articles and did we say teen birdchat hotties? Enough said, order your copy of For Him Birding Magazine today...  

Punkbirder merchandise!!!

By extremely popular demand, we are proud to introduce a new range of hot Punkbirder official merchandise. Get them now while stocks last!


These limited availability high-quality non-sweatshop shirts are available in three sizes: SJMG, RFP and RGM. Order yours before Kate Moss snaps them all up!

Shocking report:

What are the chances of that? This priceless excerpt was very nearly used to mop up sheep shit on our floor on Foula last week, note the unerring ability of the young Fray to look some sort of naughty kid-lister. Seems like a good time to flag up the New Look Llamas.

Have you stared into the black pit of death? No? Well, like everything else it's available on Youtube, since I uploaded my observations on the cruel brevity of life as viewed through the dimming eyes of Larus ridibundus. He's not laughing anymore. View now, if you are reconciled to the brutal fact of your own mortality. 

Something they're not telling us?

Not sure what the RSPB will have to say about the NWT's choice of flagship species. If they are trying to capture hearts with such species that don't occur in Norfolk then maybe Amur Leopard would be more appropriate than Eurasian Eagle Owl ssp (sibiricus?)? It does state 'protecting Norfolk's Wildlife for the Future, so maybe an intraguild predator is an effective management technique?

Tommorow's seawatch?

The pioneering team at SeaWatch SW have invented a new specialist telescope that can function as a remote sea-watcher (robo-birder?), these automatons have been installed at headlands throughout Cornwall and are systematically logging data without many of the problems that affect human seawatchers (time constraints, eye fatigue, drunkeness, stringing, marriage etc). However, the prototypes are not without a few problems, most notably the fact that they can be really annoying.... 


Hoodies behind bars

A disturbing new development from our ornithological brethren and betters* across the sea: the Dutch, in the race to get more year ticks, are apparently now taking rings off escaped waterfowl. We can exclusively reveal that they have been de-ringing escapes (including recently Eastern Crowned Warbler, Pygmy Owl and flocks of Griffon Vultures) with this specialist device. We at Team PB cannot condone this 'clouding of the waters', and are concerned that this poor bird, with maybe 20% of a ring left, might get caught up on a large trout and inadvertently drown. Rolf Harris was disgusted about this when we emailed him.  

*we are currently in the process of reinventing ourselves as Hollandish to get more respect and proper ornithological jobs

Tourette's Starling

Critically endangered birds and tic disorders shouldn't really be laughing matters, but we couldn't help but notice this description of Bali Starling's vocalisations; Click here and read Identification - voice. One you're done, buy this and donate your pocket money.    

sing the great heron blues

everyone's fav '90s Chrissy number one

New Government report on the dangers of Twitching 

1. The House of Commons Health Committee published its report Effects of Twitching on public health on 3rd November 2007. This Command Paper sets out the Government’s response to the recommendations in that report.

2. The medical and scientific evidence of the risks to health of chasing and obsessing over rare birds is well established. Through the Choosing not to go twitching White Paper, the Government has set out a clear strategy to tackle twitching, as well as the effects of twitching on others. Twitching is known to be the principal cause of stress, anxiety and uncoolness in the United Kingdom.

3. One key aspect of the Government’s strategy is to shift the balance significantly in favour of suppression of all news of rare birds through legislation to reduce levels of birdfinding, breaking up of rare-birding reporting cells and reducing exposure to secondhand bird news. Through the inclusion of rare-bird-free provisions in the Health Bill, which is currently being considered by Parliament, the Government has taken steps to ensure that workplaces and enclosed public places will be rid of the engines of bird news dissemination.

4. The government recognises the need for proffesional ornithologists to study rare birds to further scientific causes and that low-level amateur ornithology poses a less serious health risk. Still there are plans to draw up safe levels of observation to be expressed as units of common birds seen per week; exceeding these limits may result in significantly increased health risks. 

5. The Government’s objectives through rare bird-free legislation are to:

  • reduce the risks to health from exposure to secondhand (used) rare birds
  • recognise a person’s right to be protected from harm from used rare birds and pedantic discussions of their relative merits, provenance and importance of seeing them often pedled on underground internet websites 
  • increase the benefits of rare bird-free public places* and workplaces for people trying to give up twitching so that they can succeed in an environment where social pressures to chase after rare birds are reduced
  • save thousands of lives over the next decade by reducing both exposure to rare birds and overall twitching rates

*a pilot scheme has been under way for several year in Buckinghamshire

There is a strong pro-twitching lobby, mostly funded by companies selling rare-bird observation paraphernalia. Their continued sale of these items which encourage the serial observation of rare birds has been condemmed by the Government. In an apparent compromise deal, all mechandise will henceforth be heavily taxed and come with government warning labels, examples of which are appended below.

Nature Notes

Agresssive behaviour towards non-conspecifics has been frequently documented in Holarctic Tetraonids; elevated testosterone levels in some 'rogue' males may be the root cause of this behaviour. Others have hypothesized that such males may be frustrated homosexuals. Fylde supremo Stu Piner, set out on a quest to Finland (Piner 2007) to falsify this hypothesis in June of this year, and couldn't wait to fondle one of these gay supercocks...  

Plate 1. Love is in the air...(Photo Mike Hoit)

Edit - If only THIS had happened!!

Sign up...

...or we send ilya round...

rate my lister 

Tired of our original ideas being ripped-of by unscrupulous parties, we have decided to do the same so:  

think you're a bit of a hotty? Fancy being stared at by millions of Punkbirder readers?

Think you can do better? Send us your photo and the readers will decide how hot (or not) you are.

this week Becky Searle from Devon:

Hot or not
Not bad
Free polls from

"The Gulls" by Calvin A.C.L. Harris (old timers click here for the music)

I get all the gulls, I get all the gulls x 8


I like them black-billed gulls,
I like them white-eyed gulls,
I like them asian gulls,
I like them mix-raced gulls,
I like them Spanish gulls,
I like them Italian gulls,
I like the French gulls,
And I like scandinavian gulls,
I like them glaucous gulls,
I like them little gulls,
I like them brown-headed gulls,
I like them slender-billed gulls,
I like them big gulls,
I like them skinny gulls,
I like them carrying a little-biddy-weight gulls.

Now baby (baby)

I've got alot of love to give

And I've been over

over-subscribed with Birding World

See you've got (you've got)

A little thing (tertial crescent) I haven't seen before

But I must warn ya

That I can't help but play around for sure, for sure


I get all the gulls, I get all the gulls x 8


Now maybe (maybe)

I can learn to give up gulls one day

But right now

I'm living life to mess around and play

See you've got (you've got)

A little thing I haven't seen before (2nd generation scapulars?)

But I must warn ya

That I can't help but play around for sure

I did it before…


I get all the gulls, I get all the gulls x 8


Birds and.... Tours

Most birders have interests other than birds. Some are a natural extension of the fascination we feel for birds and there are few birders who would not pause to admire a squashed rat or a nice spider if they were to encounter one on a birding trip. Others equate the existential beauty of birds with art, music or class A drugs, while for a limited few it is the intriguing reminders of history (= stuff that happened before ’82) to be found at many good birding sites that inspire them to a greater appreciation of the habo; and perhaps permit them to look at birds in a slightly different light (such as twilight), viewing them as common living witnesses that have been present throughout all the ages of Phil Davidson.

For these very reasons, and many more other reasons, we have been developing our 'Birds and...' tours since last Tuesday. They have proved to be ‘extremely’ popular and we invite you to share in the veritable delights of:


Birds and Cage-Fighting

This exciting half-day trip will be based at Cley NWT – where we will be erecting the fighting arena which will afford a panoramic view over the marshes. Four participants are allowed into the cage at a time and the aim of the game is to see more fly-through scarce migrants than your opponents whilst at the same time beating seven kinds of shit out of them using only your fists, optics and carbon-fibre tripod. The winning team is the one with the most teeth and initials in the Norfolk Bird Report.


Birds and Dogging

We will take you to Whitlingham Lane, the best place on that side of Norwich for waterbirds and somewhere that used to be really good for waders too. Possibilities include Black-and-white Warbler, Egyptian Goose and Alpine Swift. Afterwards the group can either split up or stay as a cohesive unit to ‘engage’. Not everyone has to participate but we recommend you watch.


Birds and Happy Slapping

This is a highly flexible tour of Norfolk that may take in all three coasts, the Broads, Brecks and Norwich High Court. We can guarantee that ALL tours will include Titchwell RSPB. We will phone Rare Birdnet-Guides in the morning and progress to various twitches over the course of the day. Once participants have obtained satisfactory views they can begin beating the crap out of other field ornthithologists whilst documenting the event with their digital cameras and Remembird recorders. Optional You-tube video-posting workshop and slide-show afterwards. Get in the mix! 


Rate my lister

Are you brave enough to submit a photograph of your goodself to us for the great british birding public to decide whether you are hot or not? If so, send away:


"Thou shalt not..."


a song for Europe

Norfolk place names explained


As a tribute to (its not 'cause we're running out of ideas) Not BB & the Llamas we bring you the lingo you need to know...



Burnham Overy: mystery illness non-birding partners seem to come down with; effectively cancels pre-planned trip


Blo Norton: regrettable collective decision made by two punkbirders in July 2005


Rockland All Saints: rough East Anglian version of attractive pop act


Blofield: new villain in forthcoming Bond film “Licence to cannon-net


California: the number one holiday destination in east Norfolk


Ashill: new profanity currently pioneered by today’s youth


Hockwold cum Wilton: German gay porn film


Feltwell: rarely experienced phenomenon


Great Snoring: usually emanates from rear of car during long overnight twitches


Hoe: last resort of sexual desperation


Clenchwarton: nasty STD caught off above


Melton Constable: force to be wary of if considering interaction with Hoe


Woodrising: see Hoe


Toprow: less risky alternative to Hoe


The Hangs: predictable feeling of despondency when you arrive on Blakeney to find that Maclean has found Pechora (and that it has just been eaten by a stoat).


Trunch: the walk back from the point accompanied by the Hangs.


Winfarthing: archaic competition still being run by the Eastern Daily Press.

Featured Website

As a one-off special feature, we review our new all-time favourite non-porn website For those of you unaware how far ahead of us the Danes are, we're providing some insight into the formative gems of gen available on this amazing site. For non-natives, the netfugl provides an opportunity to list how many birds you have seen in the wp, how many wp birds you have seen beyond the wp (we request a list of non wp birds you have seen not in the wp) and hosts an eclectic collection of photos from all over.

This site lets you know what car Garry drives; gives you an idea of the dedication required to get vagrant Gyps in Denmark; is a reminder of what gull proffessionals look like; contains evidence that Alex was cloned when he went ringing at Falsterbo in 1997; and shows us what optics we should be using to find proper megas.  



We provide a host for Asia correspondent Dave Farrow's supporting online material for a forthcoming polemic paper on vulture ass-mastering. 

For those with a strong constitution, late-released footage of Simon Mahood's botfly removal in Brazil, other neotropical videos recently uploaded to Alex's site.

Fairytale of Dawlish Warren sing along


Scottish correspondent Ilya Maclean reports on a punkbirder find of the century: IBWO in Norfolk! full story released on BBC here

Apparently it was us, presumably we were drunk at the time.


Calling all identification gurus!

Would anyone like to comment on this?:

The bird on the left was originally identified as a Rosy Starling on Blakeney Point (2.9.2005), but on reflection we now have reason to believe that it was actually Norfolk's first Olive Tree Warbler!!! See the clear similarities to the bird photographed in Turkey (right). What a crippling record! Thank god for digibirding.

The Olive Tree Photo was stolen from the excellent, we hope they don't mind...


We at Punkbirder appreciate that not everyone is blessed equally when it comes to skills in the field, but thankfully a little modern technology can go a long way. We have therefore taken it upon ourselves to showcase some of the latest gadgetry that has become available to the birding market. Stay tuned for more...

Crowd trouble at twitches? This should sort you out some space to see the gripper, and we’ll throw in two local news channels too.

Can't control your involuntary yelling when the mega pops up? Eliminate embarrassing flushes with a sprinkle of "Stealth Dust".


Crap at calls? With this gizmo you can bird with the all-hearing ears of Dan Brown...


Found a vagrant goose subspecies and want to hide its shame?


Someone you know belatedly claiming Sibe Thrush the day after it was thought to have left? Worry no more


Worried you're going to get thrashed in this year's county yearlisting attempt? Just slip one of these onto your competitor's ankle at the next twitch, and that UK400 certificate will be all yours...


Also, some top materials to avoid dipping bear and wolf on your next trip to Croatia...


Finally, for those reserve wardens with difficult decisions to make on releasing rarities, you can now catch a grosbeak at Holme and still release it at Snettisham, without even leaving the parish…..



Its Friday night: there's an escaped owl in the Home Counties, a mollymawk off the Grand Banks and a yellow-billed tern (Sterna superciliaris) in Wales; however it's your girl/boyfriend's birthday, you have an offer of a lift to France for red-billed archaeopteryx and you promised you'd watch your brothers grow up? Triple- booked?Got a headache? No fear, you need....

This, the latest, greatest service from the people who brought you the rare-ometer, aukball and Simon Mahood will change your life forever . From their unique position at the heart of the birding community, Richard M*ores and Alex Lees will take decision-making out of your life....... forever. 

We will phone Lee, Killian, Chris, Andy, Birdnet and Garry. We'll tell you what they think, whether it is one, whether it will be accepted, whether you need it and how much pocket-money you need to go for it. We'll phone your Mum, your boss and your girl/boyfriend and tell them the lame excuses so you don't have to. We do tide-tables (just about), plane & car-hire, alpha-taxonomy and blackmail. Now there is only one phone-number you need, ADVICE LINE - its bonzer.

New advances in fieldcraft:

Conservation News


Aside from the problems that those giant wind-making turbines might pose to incomming American vagrants, local resident Mrs D. Ethelthwaite pointed out: "we don't need a wind factory, we have got enough wind already!". However, Mervin Scottish declared that with the ability to manufacture strong westerly winds, they could blow more American vagrants off-course to compensate for those lost to the blades - a boost to the Island's ailing tourist industry....


Changes to the Western Palearctic Boundary


Following the accumulation of nearly half a century of ornithological knowledge post BWP we have taken it upon ourselves to redefine the borders of the WP. By removing some countries we will then compensate for the area lost by adding additional neo-classical WP territory. Changes will be as follows:




AZORES: some guy went last year and only saw Nearctic species.

CAPE VERDE: last time we checked Grey-headed Kingfishers and Magnificent Frigatebirds were afrotropical taxa.

CHAD: we can’t find this on a map and Ryanair don’t fly there so it’s out.

IRAQ: we Brits can’t go because the bloody Americans started a war, so no peace-loving foreign types can have Indian Roller either.

LUXEMBOURG: nothing to see here anyway.

LIBYA: Foreign Office say no.

KAZAKHSTAN: you’ve got to be joking




BERMUDA: we used Google Earth to recalculate distances and found it’s actually closer to the Isle of Wight than New Hampshire. Recent reports of Wheatears, Lesser Black-backed Gulls and breeding Canaries suggests that it is part of Macaronesia.  

GAMBIA: News from last winter of Avocets, Yellow-browed Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins, Common Sandpipers etc. Sounds like Holkham, its in.

GOA: a surprise to some but we found it covered in an early edition of Where to Watch Birds in Europe.

NEWFOUNDLAND: we drew a line round this like they did for the Banc d’Arguin, annual Lapwings, Redwings, Common Gulls suggest it’s good to go on.

FALKLAND ISLANDS: if we are going to fight the Argentineans over the lovely sheathbills then they may as well count for something.

GREENLAND: when all the ice melts this place is going to be the new Foula, only a bit bigger and with more room to camp. Best to claim it now before the Americans pioneer it.

Product Review:


Nikon Fieldscope II.


Nikon lent us a brand new fieldscope to review, we took it to Winterton NNR in mid February. Unfortunately we couldn't find any birds to look at, so we tested it with an Adidas Size 5 Football. After trials we found it functioned equally well through either end - excellent for beginners....




4th Archbalding Expedition to “The Island” Langley Marshes, Norfolk


Few unexplored corners remain in our crowded planet, parts of the Amazon basin; some remote valleys in Papua New Guinea and Langley Marshes in the Norfolk Broads. Many have stared across these vast wastes whilst supping a cool ale at the Berney Arms but none have ventured there and returned to reveal its natural secrets.

An International Geographical funded expedition used Great Black-hawk helicopters to access the area on the 31st February 2005. The results are due to be published in Nature next week, but what they found both shocked and awed the scientific community. After a two days trek to the centre of this wilderness they made the most significant anthropological discovery of the last two centuries, when they came across previously un-contacted Broadland people with a stone-age level culture and only 2nd generation mobile phones. These Broadband people had never left the island in ten million years, and communicated with each other using a series of grunts, clicks and sounds like “ilyvnerebraydon”, “gereoffmilamd” & “rsse”. They used primitive hand-axes and stone frisbees to hunt the herds of pygmy hippos that roamed across the marshes….


Around the Region



BIS are pleased to anounce the completion of the Cley Eye. "we're watching you....."




You can't call yourself a Cambodian if you don't use puff every day.

2006 News and Decisions

from the Records Committee (BERC)

30 January 2006

Changes to the British List

The following changes have been made to the British List and take effect when published in Ibint, which is expected to be in January 2121.

Ruffed Wader Philomachus pugnax to be treated as two species:

  • Ruff P. pugnex
  • Reeve P. pugnax

Committee comment “these are obviously really different, even my mum can tell them apart”. Superduper-miniplaystation analysis revealed different chromosome assortment between the two taxa. Splendid.


Bean Goose Anser fabalis A, Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus A, Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons A, Lesser White-fronted Goose* Anser erythropus A, Greylag Goose Anser anser AC2C4, Snow Goose Anser caerulescens AC2, Greater Canada Goose Branta canadensis C2, Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis AC2, Brent Goose Branta bernicla A , Red-breasted Goose* Branta ruficollis A to be treated as one species:


·         Goose Anser branta


Committee comment “it’s for the best”. Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca will be retained as a different taxon, a microphylo-ectoplasm analysis revealed it to have closer affinities with Badgers Harry hillus. However to better respect its world distribution it will be renamed:


·         Western European With A Small Population In California Feral Goose Alopochen holkamensis


Committee comments: “respect”

Committee secret off-the record leaked comments “idiots, and they thought we were going to split the grey geese, they’ll never see this coming…”


Rock Ptarmigan Lagopus mutus

The correct spelling of the English name is Roc Tarmagin (Davids & Gossel 2002. Bull. Br. Pornogr. Club 122: 257-282).

Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor shakira

A new subspecies has been described from Spern, Humberside. These partly terrestrial and fossorial species has evolved in splendid isolation in the insular spurm biome (well I haven’t seen any others there). to lose its tail as a predator escape mechanism in a spectacular example of evolutionary convergence akin to the lizards (lizardy sp). However this habit may render it vulnerable to Kestrals (Snacko blythsus) but it is presumed that this trait is still adaptive. Since the collection of the type feathers there has been no further sightings, and the bird was presumed to have been harried to its death by teenie-twitchers wanting to “blast” it or something (I’m not down with the kids ed.). Amen.

Edward Wilson commented “F*ucking kid listers”. 




Does the picture make you nervous? Then click here to solve all your Phalacrocoracine woes...



Caller: "Anything about?"

Hugh: "Nah..."



The new Barber Skullcap range will be available from early April 2006;

lightweight, waterproof and ergonomic, no lister should be without one.