Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm not quite as lazy as my absence from this site would imply. Or infer? imply I think. I imply. You infer. Honest truth, I was in hospital with a septic toe. A bad Common Shrew. Came right for me. Latched onto my boot. I tried to shoot it, but just clipped my toe. The shrew scampered off. Next morning my big toes was the size of a tennis ball, without a word of a lie. The doctors thought they would have to amputate, but after an implausible series of comedy japes and witty one-liners, here I am.

If I'd been out birding last weekend, I would have seen bugger all, but photographed some bags of dogcrap hanging decoratively from the bushes along the Muchalls track. I would have intended to upload them but decided against it at the last minute on account of having impeccable taste and high principles.

If I'd been out this morning instead of chasing under-dressed nurses in a benny hill-style conga, complete with music, round the infirmary, I would have noted that it was still pretty chilly (snow flurries - come on!) and there were no migrant about, even though I spent an hour on Cran Hill looking for Northern Wheatears and fly-by Sand Martins.

I would have seen a Peregrine Falcon making several hunting flights over the village, after the pigeons, and noted that the La Cucaracca Yellowhammer was still singing by the viaduct. I would have observed the White-throated Dippers hanging around the old nest site at the Mill, and a sick-looking Eurasian Greenfinch in the willows at the cliff sides. There was a dodgy looking House Sparrow in the garden during the week, and I wonder if there's a wee touch of bird plague on the loose.

Offshore, a Northern Gannet, a few Black-legged Kittiwakes and some Northern Fulmars, would have all been warming up for the off. And these two Eurasian Teals on the water.

The Guillemots and Razorbills would have been hanging around off the breeding cliffs.

And, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I would have turned this magnificent European Shag into a very disappointing shag.
Anyway, my septic toe is better, the Common Shrew in question has died of food poisoning (my foot), and I have an amusing story about a bicycle pump that will have to wait until the censorship laws are changed in Oregon.

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