Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Doctor is SICK

with what Diane and Lizzie are unsympathetically calling man-flu. Spent the morning in bed and catching up with the recent flurry of Ivory-billed Woodpecker opinions, viz.

David Luneau

David Sibley

Geoffrey Hill


Remote cameras

Some very interesting stuff in there. Especially the things in the 'Gambling on a Ghost Bird' that, according to David Luneau, must have been true!

See the quote in the last one from Laurie Fenwood

"We don't have the 8x10 glossy photo that everyone wants, but we've accumulated enough evidence that we cannot ignore," Fenwood says.'

Bearing in mind the USFWS IBWO recovery plan ignored my paper, apparently they can only not ignore the evidence they agree with. grrrrr.... Good job I'm not bitter.

I did drag myself out for an hour's birding after my meagre lunch of cold gruel, but only got a single Goldcrest as a reward for attempted luring of Pallas's Warbler.

Lots of Common Blackbirds. Has anyone else fallen for/know of this habit, which I have followed for many years, of calling 1st winter male Blackbirds with dark brown bills 'Arnheim Jobs'? I'm not sure when it started or why, but I can't stop, and I want to know how it happened...

7 comments:

Boulmer Birder said...

In my ringing days and old ringer I once knew called them 'stockhamsels' . Why, I have no idea...any Blackie fw male was a Stockhamsel!

Martin said...

Curiouser and curiouser...

Mark Brown said...

Rudolph Stockhamsel Arnheim (1904-2007) German-born but U.S. resident, author, art and film theorist, perceptual psychologist and birder.
William Faulkner was discussing Arnheim’s theories when he said:
“It was as you say, thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird. But the truth, I would like to think, comes out, that when the reader has read all these thirteen different ways of looking at the blackbird, the reader has his own fourteenth image of the blackbird which I would like to think is the truth.” So true, so true. To the post-war birders of that generation weaned on existential thought, young blackbirds became Arnhem jobs. The jobs part comes from the American folk name for young sparrows and finches, little brown jobs.
Nearctic Fanboy

Boulmer Birder said...

Is this 'Call my Bluff'? cos I'm not falling for it!

Martin said...

It's good enough to be true. I for one am choosing to believe it.

Mark Brown said...

Since we are almost at Samhuinn/All Souls day and I will be going to the cemetery and leaving out a plate of food on my table at home for my ancestors, and some of those ancestors still scare the bejeebus out of me. I feel I must figuratively run between the bonfires and purify. Rudolph Arnheim’s middle name is not Stockhamsel; he was not a birder; Faulkner was speaking about a Wallace Steven’s poem, not Arnheim. There is no connection between Rudolph Arnheim and young Blackbirds. Definition of job: Slang, an example of a specific or distinctive type: That little six-cylinder job was the best car I ever owned. Funny thing people have said I do look like Sandi Toksvig! Ralph Hoffman, Director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History in July 1932 while birding and collecting plants on a cliff on San Miguel Island, California, he fell to his death. A martyr of the revolution surely. He was also author of one of my favorite books Birds of the Pacific Coast. In an article in the Auk from the July 1894 edition he talked about a trip from Arnheim to Rotterdam and hearing Blackbirds. He described the young Blackbirds as reminding him of Turdus migratorius. That is about the only help google was to a true answer. Like micturate and mickey maybe Arnheim is a rhyming slang?

Martin said...

Rudolph Arnheim’s middle name is not Stockhamsel; he was not a birder; Faulkner was speaking about a Wallace Steven’s poem, not Arnheim. There is no connection between Rudolph Arnheim and young Blackbirds.

Aha. It's too late to backtrack now. Your version has become the truth.