27th December. 3rd Generation Scum

Whilst I pride myself on my left-wing values I cannot help but find myself slipping ever nearer to the right and todays events only confirmed this! Whilst waiting for the local chemist to open in order for me to aquire medication for my worsening man flu, another vehicle pulled up at the side of me. Nothing unusual in that I here you say - well no. The couple in it were sucking on a couple of fags (their choice) when suddenly from among the smog and off the female occupants knee popped up a very small child whose lungs by now probably contained the equivalent of an Embassy King Size. Finally the chemist opened and the female occupant went in and picked up a pregnancy test off the shelf WTF. It got better she handed it to the assistant and asked if she could have some cough medicine - for her two year old!!! I had to restrain myself when the assistant asked what kind of a cough it was, the voice in my head was screaming A F*@KING SMOKERS COUGH YOU MORON!!!! I pray to god that the test proved to be negative!
The problem with modern society is nothing to do with the credit crunch or the price of oil it's the amount of handouts that we give to these freeloaders who see children as a way of earning a living. This has been going on for too long now so much so that we now have three generations of scum spanning less than forty years - they see nothing wrong with what they do and our society continues to support them. Sterilise the bastards now before it's too late. Now back to my Daily Mail!

26th December. Boxing Day

Unlike the rest of the nation I did not feel the urge to stand outside some F'ing shopping centre on a cold boxing day morning in order to bag a 'bargain' sofa, TV etc etc. A walk round Pit-house West revealed that even the birds were having a lie in as in a 2.5 hour walk the best I could muster was a couple of Willow Tit's which unless you live down south is pretty crap. Having burned off the equivalent of a spoonful of trifle we went home and ate more food!

24th December. Merry Christmas

Due to another bought of this stinking cold any birding that I would have done today was put on hold.

So with mince pies in the pantry, made by Beth, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.


22nd December. Asking for trouble

I foolishly bought the latest edition of Birdwatch. Unfortunately as it comes in a sealed bag you can't have a flick through any more to see if it's worth buying. A couple of articles caught my eye The Punks selling out with their new column and a I.D check card for the identification of Slender-billed Curlew. I was curious at the logic behind this jointly published pamphlet as the majority of Birdwatch readers probably struggle with Whimbrels!! What this guide will not doubt do is ensure that the two listed contacts are constantly answering enquiries relating to 'funny curlews'. To save you the bother of parting with your hard earned cash (I could have bought a copy of Nuts and marvelled at the lovely Sophie's charms and still had enough left for a box of mansize tissues) I have reproduced the front page below - well sort of!

A full two pages has been dedicated to the Steppe Grey Shrike, featuring the finders account, a shot of a group of birders crowded round it like a group of middle aged British 'tourists' at the opening of a Cambodian orphanage and an abhorrent posting of the editor of a rival magazine trespassing in a field and being removed by the local constabulary.

21st December. In The Bleak Mid Winter

Well not so bleak really, though if all the Christmas Fairy has brought you so far is a P45 then things will be looking bleak. I suspect that who ever wrote this carol had more than a passing interest in birding as mid winter birding is very bleak indeed. I spent 3 hours at RV yesterday counting the wildfowl and given the mild conditions it felt like late march. Wigeon numbers were well down and Coots were struggling to get up to 200 compared with c.500 in previous years. Just a thought but has anyone ever seen a Coot (or a Moorhen) undertake flight of more than a couple of hundred yards? Do they undertake some bizarre overland migration? Have they discovered teleporting or are they smuggled across the Continent in huge trucks. Search the Internet for flight images of Coots, there's nothing showing a Coot more than a couple of feet above water. My conclusion is that they have the flying prowess of a chicken and are smuggled in overnight and dumped on large expanses of open water. A paper on this subject will appear in Birding World shortly - probably! The short birdless winter days are clearly affecting my sanity only eleven more weeks until the migrants start returning.

4th December. More moaning

A nice bright start to the day so rather than get the paint brushes out I decided on a wander around Pit-house West. Several Tit flocks to check with good numbers of Goldcrest among them. A Buzzard and a Woodcock were the best I could manage so I went home for a corn beef sandwich and a grumble.

In a time when we have government agencies exterminating introduced species (albeit accidental introductions) due to the apparent threat to a species that is undergoing a terrific comeback. We find other publicly funded agencies throwing our money around on publicity stunts such as the Rutland Ospreys and now Natural England’s pathetic White-tailed Eagle scheme in East Anglia. Why introduce Ospreys, White-tailed Eagles, Common Cranes and Great Bustards? Because they’re bloody huge and even the most myopic individual couldn't fail to see them through an old bog roll. They are Zoo attractions that will pull in the green pound. What the general non-birding public want to see are big birds eating things. The conservation industry knows this and sees the pound signs. There are of course some exceptions, for example several utilities companies have supported ‘proper’ conservation schemes in the north of England such as Hen Harrier protection. Sadly the little brown jobs don’t pull in the money – they’re just not impressive enough.

Natural England should mean just that putting in resources to help support our dwindling fauna and flora, not pissing about with species that never naturally occurred in these areas masked up as conservation projects!