Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sex, drugs and partidges

So, I seem to be getting about 1000 hits a month, which is way more than this stuff deserves, but small fry compared to some other blogs. I heard the best way to up your hits was to write about sex. So, without wanting to offend any remaining visiting Birdwatch readers... here goes

- Oh darling!
- Yes darling?
- Oh darling! I love you!
- Yes darling, I love you too!
- Oh, I wish we were married
- But we are married!
- I meant to each other.
- I see. Come here you sweet romantic fool
- Oh darling!

- MMMmmmmmm
- Mmmmmmmm
- I say, that's a very unusual way to check my papers are in order.

[cut to fireplace]

Classic writing eh? To birds... to set the scene, our end of the village is total middle class bungalows and neat open plan gardens, substantially populated by oil company administrators who spend their Sundays washing
the car and buying settees. So I opened the blinds early this morning, ready for another pleasant valley Sunday in status-symbol land and bloody hell there was a family of Grey Partridges sat on the lawn across the road. Mum and 5 full-grown kids, bold as you like. I rubbed my eyes and they were still there. What the small fat furry hell was I drinking last night? Started to panic and went round the front room checking for empty bottles, dregs etc. Turns out I was drinking red wine, cooking sherry, Windowlene and Diane's special mushroom tea. Probably not good, but I've tackled that combination hundreds of times before and never hallucinated partridges (who by now were pecking about on the pavement in from of my house!). I needed a second opinion so dragged Lizzie off the settee where she had been enjoying her bowl of Chocolate-frosted Sugar Bombs, with strawberry milk and a half-litre of Coke (I really shouldn't let her fix her own breakfast). We were in agreement, one adult grey Partridge, with the orange face, and the belly patch, and the body like Hettie Jacques, and her five kids. Then I realised I'd left my camera at work. Took a photo with Diane's, but it's one of those 20th century film-type thingies that will need to be processed at Boots before I can get the picture up. They stayed for 15 minutes, then took off over to the school field, for no reason. Only my second patch records (previously 2 on Cran Hill a couple of years ago), but I guess if I explored the fields inland a bit more, I'd bump into them now and again. I was a bit perplexed about that they were doing in Newtonhill, bearing in mind a Partridge can live its entire life in one or two fields. When I stepped out birding, things got clearer - the stench!! Argh! Muck spreading! Jeeeeezzzzus! No wonder they got out of the fields, it must have been making their eyes water. Oooh, I wished I hadn't breakfasted on all those lambs' kidneys and oysters. Dry boke. Still it was a decent atumn morning with Meadow Pipits flying over (never a bad thing), and again 100s of Barn Swallows going south. Turned out to be a bit of a false dawn, though, as the patch was dead dead dead, again. The trek to the beach was punctuated by a couple of Willow Warblers, a few Robins, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, but frankly not much else. And the smell was getting worse... was something dead on the beach? maybe only a pile of cowshit that had hauled itself ashore and was rotting in a sheltered cove. Sandwich Terns,2 Common Terns and 4 Arctic Terns offshore, and I watched a Great Skua giving the Kittiwakes a run out before being mobbed and chased off by a pack of Sandwich Terns. It was obvious by now that this was not going to be a great day of birding, so I figured the best option was to cover as much ground as possible and hope to bump inot a shrike or something. The trudge to Muchalls... I realised I'd lost my biro, so prayed to our god (dess) Michaela Strachan (may her beauty and really-wildness guide our thoughts, words and actions) that she would not send any rare or interesting birds my way that might need some notes taken. And she, in her wisdom and graciousness, granted my boon, such that no noteworthy birds were in Muchalls either. There was an unusual number of Great Tits around though (several parties of 5+) - not sure if Michaela was trying to tell me something. Otherwise more of the same, with rafts of auks offshore at Muchalls including 1 Puffin, and another Great Skua. Can't believe that lot took my four hours on foot.

All kneel

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