Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bird the weather

Bird the weather, they say. They presumably didn't say it in bloody Scotland in October. Rain battering against the windows this morning. And I mean TIPPING down. But this was my first chance to get out birding for a week, and quite possible my last for another week - I hate it when the students come back and we have to start doing some work. Not really... I love it! :-) So it was now or never - I birded the weather. I weathered the weather. I wore the weather. Yes, on the plus side, at least my army surplus coat got a long overdue rinse through. Not kidding tho, the water dripping out the bottom of it was grey/yellow like dirty dishwater. Mmmm... maybe I'll be able to let it in the house now.
Still, maybe there might be some migrants brought down? Maybe there were, but not easy to see. 1 Blackcap in the Mill garden, a few Barn Swallows, 1 Goldcrest. A stream of Gannets going north offshore, and plenty gulls, a couple of Sandwich Terns, 25 Red Knots flying past. Actually nothing very interesting, unless you actually were one of those birds. When I got home 4 hours later, I had to stand in the hall while my family laid blotting paper all round the floors and walls before I could come in. *Of course* as soon as I got in, it stopped raining and brightened up. I could have expected that.

And also came home to bad news from the Newtonhill Rare Birds Committee*.
'Dear Martin, the NRBC has examined your record of a Long-tailed Skua offshore on 17th September 2006. Although we sympathise with the difficult circumstances surrounding the observation, the digitally recorded description you submitted did not rule out the possibility of 'f***'! As such we cannot, on this occasion, accept your record. Please be assured that rejection does not imply that a mistake has been made, merely that insufficient details were submitted to confirm the identification. Yours sincerely, NRBC.'

Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

*Actually, I suspect the NRBC is in fact my evil twin brother, Marvin, who only comes out at night.


Harry said...

What's up, Doc?
This twin bro Marvin...when you say he comes out at night, does that mean that he's an oddly disfigured excuse for a man that you lot kept locked in the attic for years, or is he the 'bad Martin' that comes out to play when your own persona is asleep? We need to know, think of the children!

Martin said...

He's the one that stays in the pub drinking when I've gone home, insulting my pals, spending my money, and rubbing bark chippings round my mouth for the morning. He does very naughty things and then reminds me about them at intervals, bit by bit, the day after. And he brags loudly about my stringy identifications.