Friday, 27 June 2008
Friday, 20 June 2008
Saturday, 14 June 2008
(Photo nicked from the Guardian in flagrant breach of copyright laws)
I've peered very closely at the photo, but I don't think either of the two people inside the gull is Klaus Malling Olsen, because he (rather worryingly) looks like this.
After the Folkestone event is over, the unit will undertake a tour of well-known gull roosts around Britain in an attempt to get more birders to take an interest in pointless crap like how to separate 1st-winter barabensis from eastern cacchinans.
Actually I made that last bit up - Tracey Emin's going to live in it for a year, fill it with hairbrushes and used condoms and then exhibit it at Tate Modern. OK, I made that up too - it will probably just end up as a novelty ice cream kiosk in Folkestone.
Thursday, 12 June 2008
Rob Fray has written an excellent piece on this important subject - read it here, and also please sign his petition if you agree with the sentiments expressed!
I was going to write something very similar here, but he's beaten me to it, so I'll have to think of something else. Arse.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Monday, 9 June 2008
There have been a few Thrush Nightingales about this spring, which has led to an unfortunate outbreak of Sprosseritis on certain blogs and websites. Now, I'm probably as guilty as anyone of using 'esoteric' nicknames for birds which are (according to leading psychologist Professor P. Witt) "designed to exclude the newcomer or casual birdwatcher, and signal membership of a self-proclaimed elite", but calling a Thrush Nightingale a 'Sprosser' is one that I just don't get.
Everyone knows that it's simply the German name for the species, but when and more importantly why did it enter some British birders' vocabularies? We don't go around saying we've had good views of a Nachtigall, or twitched an Erddrossel or a Gartenbaumläufer for fuck's sake, so why pick on this one? Yes, it's a bit quicker than saying 'Thrush Nightingale', but then 'Streifenschwirl' is shorter than 'Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler' and we don't use that, do we? Although perhaps that's because it looks a bit difficult to pronounce, whereas even the dullest, most linguistically challenged twitcher can cope with Sprosser.
And why use the German name? Why not the Dutch, or Swedish or Serbo-Croat? It's complete bollocks.
I think Rob Fray summed it up perfectly on his website when he said "If I ever call this species ‘Sprosser’ then somebody please shoot me". The message is clear: if you call it a Sprosser, it means you're a tosser.
Thursday, 5 June 2008
The RSPB has announced a new competition to find 'Britain's favourite farmer'. Whilst this is a laudable and positive idea to encourage and reward environmental awareness amongst farmers, a small minority at the other end of the agricultural spectrum may feel they have no chance of winning this prestigious award. The Leicester Llama is therefore pleased to announce a realistic alternative they can aim for: The 'Get orf moy laaand' award for Britain's worst farmer.
Categories will include:
- Largest acreage of land given over to stinking oilseed rape for 'biofuels' rather than growing food
- Greatest length of hedgerows removed
- Highest volume of toxic chemicals used per acre
- Most badgers and other 'vermin' unnecessarily exterminated
- Most SSSIs destroyed
The winner will be ceremonially sprayed with a muck spreader loaded with his own shite.