It's been almost two weeks since I wrote a proper blog post and quite frankly I can't promise that this will be one!
As I expected Yellow-legged Gulls have been almost daily at Orgreave since the first one with a peak of three adults on the 18th. Conditions last weekend (17th and 18th) looked promising for waders so it was no surprise that I managed two Sanderling, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper.
As previously mentioned there were a few Yellow-legged Gulls and it would appear that I am slowly but surely getting into these brutes along with the rest of the large Larids. In a moment of birding epiphany it occured to me that the only reason I don't like the large gulls is simply because I don't understand them. It feels good to get it out in the open, no doubt I'll get some stick for it, but I've never claimed to know anything about them and up to now not made any ridiculous claims - so maybe no one will notice!
To my surprise I received a call from South Yorkshire Police regarding the Hare incident. The day following my report an efficient officer had called at my house whilst I was out (no doubt raising the hopes of the old bastard next door that I had been killed in an horrendous car accident or was about to be carted off for crimes against old people).
I read the calling card with some optimism and called the number quoted. Finally after speaking to several officers I reached the right officer!
The conversation did not get off to a good start:
Officer "yes sir you reported an animal incident" She made it sound like I'd reported a cat up a tree! After explaining what the incident entailed and asking if they would be prepared to put up notices, indicating that the police were aware of these acts being committed, I was told that they couldn't do that without contacting the landowner and they didn't know who that was. I pointed out to them that it was Hepworth Estates (a division of UK Coal). This didn't seem to sink in as I had to tell her two further times - she still ignored me, saying that this wasn't something that they usually do and that if there were any other such occurrences that I should phone immediately! "What 999" I exclaimed? "Yes if you feel that a life is threatened" she replied.
I can just imagine it now:
Me "Police I'd like to report a crime."
Police Operator "yes sir go ahead"
Me "I am currently witnessing an attack on a defenceless animal by a man with two dogs"
Me "It's a crime isn't it?"
PO "Well yes sir it is but not exactly an emergency"
Me "It depends how you look at it. If you had long pointy ears, four legs and had a bloody great dog snapping at your backside you'd say it was an emergency"
PO "I take your point sir but it's not an emergency"
Me "Forget it the dog owner's getting in to his car"
PO "Did you get his registration?"
Me "Sorry no it's partially obscured by dirt"
PO "A Swat team with helicopter backup has been sent sir thank you for calling South Yorkshire Police!"
And now for a commercial break:
I saw this the other night whilst slightly the worst for wear following an experiment with a couple of bottles of wine and a Paella. Subsequent searching of the web revealed that It hadn't been some kind of alcohol induced dream!
An evening trip to Clumber for this Great White Egret made a change from staring at the slurry at Orgreave.