Forum dwelling stick spotters were left reeling last night when it was revealed that the Bolton Abbey stick was still present. Indisputable photographs were posted by Britain's leading stick lister Steve Spider, currently exiled in Yorkshire following a smear campaign. Leading forum contributors were dumbstruck having spent the last week 'rubbishing' claims that the stick had been photographed in the UK, with many of them branding it a hoax.
The Stick yesterday
President of the British Stick Association Evan Lees said, "I never doubted this record for one minute. I've known the finder personally for over 30 years and have always found him 100% trustworthy."
Spokesman for the RSPB (Royal Stick Protection Body) Thomas Mark said, "This is the most important stick discovery this year and the stick will be given a round the clock guard against stick thieves." He went on to say that, "Stick collecting is still rife through the British Isles, but we should also be on our guard for people who may just innocently snap off the stick for the dog or worse still for scraping shit off their shoes."
Stick Twitchers were expected to arrive on mass over the weekend, with some predicted to be on site at dawn today. Top Western Palearctic lister Ricardo Bonsai has already filled a charter to Leeds-Bradford, with further charters expected to arrive throughout the day. Sticky wannabe Garry Bag-em-all commented, "You just can't compete with these cheque book stickys. It's not fair. Last week I spent £5,002 and 63 pence twitching a stick on the Heb's. Turned out when we got there it had been re identified as a garden cane - a common captive kept stick!"
Right image shows the stick a couple of weeks ago (complete with a singing Chaffinch) aside yesterdays clearer shot.
Sheffield based research group Laboratory Garner were today expected to take samples from the stick. Head researcher Martin said, "Sampling of the twig is vital in order to prove it's provenance, there has been some debate that it shows features of the boreal race known as Northern Stick."