Sunday, March 15, 2009

Delicious and dangerous animals

I dragged my sore inflamed foot, in an enterprising palette of colours from black thru blue to vermillion, round the patch. I was making noises like 'ooh' and 'eek' and 'oocha!' all the way round. Strangely this only seemed to make my foot worse. Why did no one warn me???

I'm not kidding, there was a Yellowhammer singing La Cucaracca in the gorse by the railway viaduct. Thanks to Remembird, I got a recording, but Putfile is apparently down (or at least not uploading my stuff) and I dunno where else to host it. But if putfile comes back, i'll put it up (matron). Here's a sonogram though - you can get the jist

and as a matter of public record, THIS was the Yellowhammer in question.

There was a Common Buzzard over Cran Hill, and 2 Eurasian Sparrowhawks in a wide circling display flight, the female following 400 m behind the male, with some slow flapping. It's that time of year. A Rock Pipit was singing at the Beach, and Eurasian Skylarks were in the swing of things too. Went round Cran Hill hoping to bump into Northern Wheatears, but nothing doing there yet. IN fact, although the weather's quirte nice and the Dunnocks are chuntering away nicely, it's still a bit dull, frankly. Even offshore - a few Razorbills and Guillemots, a single Black-legged Kittiwake and a Common Scoter.

But joy! I got my first kill of the year. Thanks to my trusty high performance rifle, I took down this Common Shrew. I had no choice, it was coming straight for me.

This (below) appeared on BirdChat or similar during the week. I'm anticipating that all right-minded people would find it mildly amusing. Strangely, there appears to be some sort of moral minority out there who found it tasteless and inappropriate. Frankly, if you were offended by this, you need to be offended.

NTSB report on Flight 1549

By Alex Hardway, Butterfield Post, 12 Febuary 2009 at 2:30

US Airways violated Federal migratory bird regulations by hunting geese with an A320 Airbus jetliner, claim anonymous government sources. The pilot of flight 1549, Air Force veteran and avid hunter Chesley B. Sullenberger, tried combining both of his interests by bagging a brace of geese over the wetlands near New York's LaGuardia airport after takeoff, on his way to Charlotte, North Carolina.

The imported European $77 million A320 airliner is not certified for either waterfowl or upland bird hunting, so it was not surprising that the aircraft malfunctioned. When he realized that both New York and New Jersey State Game and Fish enforcement officers would soon be approaching, Captain Sullenberger unsuccessfully attempted to hide the plane in the Hudson River. The crew and 150 passengers were chilled and shaken but unhurt. Most were simply grateful to avoid spending the weekend in Charlotte, NC.

National Transportation Safety Board inspectors rushed to the scene, and reportedly found no Duck Stamps on the downed aircraft's fuselage. Captain Sullenberger has not been charged but is being held incommunicado at an undisclosed location. PETA is urging the government to prosecute the pilot for double honkercide and poaching, and the animal rights group is expected to file a civil suit on behalf of the flock. The two victims were undocumented aliens, according to sources close to the investigation, Canada Geese who had over-stayed their visas. Their goose gang scandalized their quiet Queens community by squatting in local cemeteries and golf courses, parking on the grass, cooking strange-smelling food and throwing wild parties late into the night. Neighbors say police dogs were called out on several occasions. Such incidents have triggered a wave of anti-Canada Goose sentiment, but at his time revenge or hate crime motives are not suspected in the US Airways bird bashings.

Forensic examination of the avian corpses continues, and technicians are analyzing the two cadavers under heat with chestnuts, prunes, and Armagnac. NTSB inspectors have contributed a supply of testing fluid, a 2005 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling from Alsace. We will update this story as entrees details become available.


JH said...

An equally tasteless fact about (Greater) Canada Geese is that when you step on a dead one, it still honks. We thought this might be worth a note to BB...

Martin said...

You could line up the different races of small and large Canadas in a row, and play a tune like a xylophone

JH said...

Still honking this weekend having been deceased for at least 17 days... alas no small races available (but there's an interesting hybrid about).