Thursday, April 05, 2007

Gimme gimme gimme Pied Chicken

One man one goal one mission,
One heart one soul just one solution,
One flash of light yeah one god One Vision.

Well, I'm back in the bar at the Four Seasons Hotel and that blinking flip one-man swing band is on. And for no adequately explored reason, he's just started singing 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'. Argh! Another dirty secret of mine is that without ever buying an album, I'm covertly a huge Queen fan(!). There', I said it. Actually, growing up in North Wales in the 80s, as I did, it was more or less de rigeur. Lots of things were de rigeur in my social circle in North Wales - tinkering with
motorbikes, supporting an English 'fans' club like Everton or Man City, smoking pot, drinking Wrexham lager, and liking Queen. I guess not saying de rigeur was another one. I didn't do all those things, but I did like Queen. Sometimes when Diane isn't in the car I put on a 30th generation copy cassette of their greatest hits and rock along at volume 11. Funny coincidence, but i was actually thinking of that and my title for today's post at 3.30 am today, before this entertainer started singing. And what brought on this early morning reverie? I was getting up at 5 to go Capercaillie-watching at RSPB Loch Garton, and had used the old American Indian trick (learnt it from The Simpsons) of drinking pints of water before going to bed so you wake nice n early with a bursting bladder. Only it worked too well.

Funny, about 25 people there, including a family with 2 very young kids. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favour of taking kids along to these things, but there was a comic moment cos one of them was wearing trainers that light up as you walk along, which you hardly notice during the day, but in the pre-dawn gloom... the warden was telling us they were keeping the lights off in the hid cos the female Osprey had arrived back yesterday so they were being a bit discrete until she settled. As he was saying this, th
e hide was lighting up like a disco every time the kiddie moved. I'm sure the birds didn't give a toss, and the kids were by far NOT the noisiest thing in the hide, too. That's what really annoys me - is it really that hard for adults to shut up for a bit. I couldn't hear myself think. Actually, for the first hour and a bit, the capers were a no-show, and just before 7 I couldn't stand the bustle any longer (my problem, not other poeple's) , thought maybe a bit of solitude was in order, even if it meant dipping caper, and headed off into the forest to do a bit of birding before going back to the family hols. So I'll have to post archive footage of what I saw here in 2005. Sorry, it was done holding the Coolpix up to the scope by hand in the half light, so not too good, but all the same... phwoargh!

There's also a video that I fully intend to post

and here.

Yesterday we were at the delightfully overcrowded Landmark Centre, home of big water slides, and also a treetop nature trail. As we got to the place where they feed the Red Squirrels there's a sign telling you to be quiet. Seeing this, our Peter (age 2) starts shouting 'Quiet!' at the top of his voice, and the squirrels didn't give a damn either. So you see what I have to put up with. Has anyone else noticed how our Peter looks and walks like our postman?

Back to Loch Garton - the female Osprey flew in and perched on the nest for a while. Wander round was more impressive - Common Goldeneyes and Eurasian Wigeons on the loch. 4 species of titmouse, errr... some Fieldfares flying over. Common Treecreeper, Goldcrests... etc. Not bad for half an hour.

Too...tired... to...go.... on... will finish off this post when we get home. It'll be worth it - contains perhaps the World's most inept attempt ever to nail Scottish Crossbill with a sonagram.


Harry said...

Hi MC,
Could be worse, man...I used to like Queen also, BUT had all the albums (including solo ones). The shame!

Martin said...

Your secret's safe. I won't tell anyone