Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cassette tapes, Persimmon woods, ink jet printers, telephone booths, Sony Walkmans, Kodak 110s, analog TVs, Betamaxes, and 120 SbCs

Weekend... I was down at the British Birdwatching Fair, where no birdwatching was done, but an awful lot of gabbing. So much to report... first thanks to all you blogees who were concerned about my Diamond White intake. You'll be pleased to know that tonight I am drinking nothing but the purest detoxifying JD.

First, a big welcome to the new Editor of
British Birds*.

*disclaimer. Person shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not a new editor of British Birds

The very exciting news that a new and improved Remembird upgrade is but weeks away, that promises to sort out some of the glitches with memory, battery life, and usability that some readers will remember have occasionally caused me to comment.

Look at my new t-shirt. The Ivory-billed Woodpecker reigns supreme as the flagship species for conservation of extinct birds. I wonder if some committee meeting at Birdlife International had an agenda item about '?' vs '!'

btw, it cost me £15... so for that they'd better bloody conserve some IBWOs grrrr......

'I've seen 120 Slender-billed Curlews' :-O

For some reason, Anthony McGeehan turned up naked. See here. Fortunately Mark Constantine (who owns 'Lush', for those of you who doubted my A-list credentials) was there to cover up his privates with some filthy rag. I think the moral of the story is... 'Don't bail on the Sound Approach team.'

I took my old Zeiss 7x42s (remember the scratched ones?) to the Zeiss stand to see if anything could be done to recondition them. They said not to bother. Cleaned 'em up, said the scratch was cosmetic. Could anything be done for the coating on the objectives, asked I, pointing out that it was heavily abraded. They said not to bother, it was just cosmetic, made no difference to the optical performance of the binocular. So next time some binocular salesman is trying to wax lyrical about the coating of some binoculars he's trying to sell you, tell him about this.

The BB team of bird-crazy Hazel (would NOT stop talking about subspecific identification of Locustellas), Roger and I were staying at a B&B with one other Birdfair couple. On Sunday morning she says to me that I was looking the worse for wear and had I drank too much last night? As you know, I drink in great moderation and has genuinely had 2 lager shandies the previous evening. 'Worse for wear' is how I normally look, thank you very much. She is from Glasgow, though hasn't lived there for many many years. When she met another couple from Glasgow at her stall in the Art tent, the first thing they asked her was 'what school did you go to?' Some things never change*.

*For people who aren't familiar with the Weejie scum mindset... the question is a way of asking whether you are Protestant or Catholic.

In Kazakhstan, we shoot all the bears.

The t-shirt wasn't my major extravagance of the weekend. For nearly 20 years now I have owned and used a Slik D2. About 5 years ago, it was kinda funny that I was still keeping it going, but the joke has started to wear thin. So I bought myself a new tripod.

Yes, you poor old SlikD2. You were my first love, but time has not been kind to you and you have been replaced by a younger sexier Italian model with fantastic legs, better lubrication and a smoother head action.

There's a lesson for us all there, though I can't quite put my finger on it. Unlike my new Italian model.

Wednesday 26th August 09.
I took my new tripod for a 05:45-06:45 spin, worried that Xenospiza was sat at home worrying about how many Northern Gannets were passing Newtonhill. The answer... 109 north. Happy now? Actually it was still pretty dark when I started, only brightening up and a few Gannets starting to go through as I had to go. Tssk. Other things around... 2 Arctic Skuas N together, a few Common Scoters scooting back and forth (36N 12S). 6 Common Teals S, 5 Red-throated Divers south, 119 Sandwich Terns north, 16 Common Terns, and 6 Common Redshanks.

A big hi to all the people I met for the first time and all those I only see once a year.


Katie said...

Hmmm. Darren managed to remove a lot of coating from his Leica scope while seawatching. He finally got it fixed today - gratis - and "it's like having a new scope." about time too.

JH said...

Did you ask how much the bear skin was? I was *almost* tempted.

(thanks for the gannet count btw)