British Pie Week

Oops it appears that I have received some well earned stick for not mentioning British Pie Week. Well in a nutshell I forgot. I have no excuse as it was pointed out to me earlier in the week that as a mark of respect that we should have a pie a day. However as a mark of respect to my waistline I quaffed only one, a fine homemade chicken and mushroom. The rest of my Internet time was spent reading 'Britains Top Birders'views on the Siberian Thrush - when will we ever learn, probably never. To save anyone the boredom of trawling yet another pointless BF thread here are Lee's thoughts on the Thrush.

Unfortunately, due to laws of libel, I am not able to go into the 'ins and
outs' of this record on any publicly viewable email group and for me to explain
the reasoning behind my statement would involve such, particularly as the
record is so much in the public domain and the claimant is so readily

There is a long history surrounding this sighting and it involves Kent,
Norfolk, Siberian Meadow Bunting, released Silver-washed Fritillaries, rare moths
released from pupae, obtaining Red Squirrels for release, Egyptian Vulture,
Lesser Spotted Eagle, Masked Shrike and many other species of birds. For
legal reasons, I am not able to elaborate on this.

The bill on the Siberian Thrush appears far too large than normal and this
may be due to the fact that the feathers are all missing from around the base
of the bill. The bird has a particularly long hindclaw and has damage to the
primaries, distinctly cut in the same places on both wings. It has also
replaced completely at least one primary.

Unfortunately, no photographs have become available showing the bird before
it was placed in the cage so I can only study those which show it afterwards
and I am being told that all of the damage was caused in the cage. However,
many of the caged photographs were taken shortly after news was released of it
being in care (between 1300 and 1400 hours), when I was lead to believe it
was sitting quietly on the floor of the cage and not getting agitated and
flying back and forth into the sides of the cage, which happened much later (at
about 1450).

It has been a particularly bad winter for Siberian vagrants with no Hume's
Leaf or Dusky Warblers, no Black-throated Thrushes and very few Yellow-browed
Warblers. Sweden is the only country that did perhaps benefit from an influx,
with a Dusky Thrush in Belgium.

Siberian Thrush is surprisingly frequent in captivity and at present, I am
trying to trace all those that have been sold in recent weeks. Pegasus Birds
believe that there is a minimum of 40-100 birds in captivity in Britain (and
have been so for at least 10 years) and will be surprised if breeding is not
taking place - I am trying to get hold of more data on this.

Best wishes


It's getting increasingly difficult to tell which Lee Evans is the comedian.


Andy Mackay said...

Well that's a first - Evans being bothered about 'the laws of libel'!

Anonymous said...