Friday, 27 June 2008

Autumn

I always get told off by my girlfriend for saying things like 'the nights are drawing in now' at the end of June, but the fact is that if you're a birder, 'summer' doesn't really exist. The first returning passage waders are already starting to appear, which means that from now until the beginning of November it's officially autumn. My favourite season. Hurrah. And it's only 14 weeks until I go to Shetland. I've just booked my flights - Friday 3rd October till Wednesday 15th October in case you're interested. Trust me - this is the year of the Siberian Accentor at Grutness. This is what it will look like... I've already written my description and pencilled it in on my found list:


19 comments:

Mark said...

Very optomistic Andy. But with two previous cracking autumns I am fully expecting a duff one this year. I hope I'm wrong.

rockfowl said...

Hope you're right Andy, great birds! Not that you'll see it though, they're bastards, very skulky but fortunately very vocal!
Good Luck!
Nice Pic

beast said...

I like you're optimism Andy, we all suffer from it and there's no cure, hope Shetlands good for you this autumn.
Even if you're not a birder summer don't exist...[fuckin wind n rain..flamin June..my arse]!

Andy Mackay said...

OK, the Siberian Accentor might be a bit over-optimistic. But, unlike Scilly, Shetland doesn't seem to have many completely duff autumns. Check out the archives on the Shetland Bird Club site - there's always plenty of 'rares' in October, and finding them is of course "as easy as putting on a hat". So it logically follows that if you put on two hats you'll find two rares. However this must break down at some point, as you wouldn't be able to see anything if you had too many hats on...

beast said...

You raise a very serious point about the hats Andy. I do think, however, that it wouldn't matter how many hats you had on as long as you didn't pull them down over you're eyes..that would just be silly. The logical outcome of having too many hats on would be that you'd turn into a 'hot-head' surely? That and you'd look a daft cunt..! Tell you what..if you find a sib accentor this autumn..[or should I say 'pull one out of the hat]?..you ought to grab all the hats
from nearby birders [who will be delirious anyway..so they won't notice or care]..stick em all on yer head, then ave yer photo taken to put on this website with a fucking great grin on you're face! It could happen...stay optimistic!

Andy Mackay said...

It should also be mentioned that for many years Rob Fray always wore two woolly hats in the winter, and was consequently known as 'Two-hat Twat'. Since he generally finds fuck-all, I suspect my theory is bollocks anyway.

John Hague said...

Cheers for the great find in advance Andy. Wow Siberian Accentor on my yet to see list... fucking brilliant. I never thought I'd get to see that especially not at Grutness. What a future find. Are you going to tape-lure it using that CD of mine? If so please add me to the list of observers when you submit the record. Seems like we'll have to stick to you like shit to a blanket this autumn.

Mark said...

We've really got to stop promoting Shetland Andy otherwise we'll be knee deep in wankers this autumn. It's time we came clean and admitted that the Llamas and the Punks have been in league with the Shetland Tourist Board. All the previous 2 autumns 'rares' have been purchased from Mr Changs Asian cage bird emporium. Shetland is shit for birding, stay at home and watch Autumn Watch or Antiques Roadshow.

beast said...

Has Mr.Chang got any Citril Finches left? I need to replace the one I lost recently...

Andy Mackay said...

Shit - you're right Mark; what was I thinking? Everyone please ignore everything you've ever heard about Shetland - it's all made up. The name Shetland actually derives from the Old Norse 'Shitland', after the Viking twitchers found how crap it was for birds, especially in the autumn. Just keep going to Scilly - it's much better, honest.

beast said...

Don't think you Llama's should worry too much about a mass influx of birders on Shetland this autumn. Petrol will be £50 per teaspoon by September...
[Begs the question...just how much would you spend to see a 'biggy']?

Andy Mackay said...

Not a lot. Since 2001 the furthest I've willingly travelled to see a bird was from South Mainland where we were staying to Whalsay for the Brown Shrike in 2004 (about 40 miles?). I probably went further than that to see a Red-flanked Bluetail on Unst in 2006, but I didn't have much choice - it was either that or walk back to Virkie from Kergord! I never was much of a twitcher, but it really doesn't do anything for me these days.

beast said...

Can't really beat just being out birding and finding you're own stuff can you? [having said that...there are certain species which I find it impossible not to go for..ie. Pallas's Sandgrouse...hhmmm...now where was that}?

Richard Fray said...

Finding "rares" on Shetland is easier than putting on a hat. I've found rare birds on Shetland, but I sometimes struggle with hats.

beast said...

Thats the problem with having a very large head Rich...!

Steve said...

Does it follow that the bigger the hat the bigger the rare? Or is there a correlation between the size of hat and the prick wearing it to size of rare? I've worn some bloody big hats in my time and the best I've ever managed to date is Radde's Warbler, so by my own reckoning that makes me a medium level prick (which I'm happy with), but I would of course be a total prick had I needed help to identify the Radde's. The trick is to find a CMF (remember them?) when wearing only a very small hat (do Jewish skull-caps count as a hat - could be worth taking up Judaism to move up the hat/prick to rare stakes) - that would bugger up the hat finding system.

beast said...

Best headgear for a prick to wear is obviously a purple helmet...

Andy Mackay said...

Ah yes, I remember it well, Steve - it was at the pumping station at Higher Moors in 1994, and it was a (tart's) tick for me. Cheers!

I've been trying to remember whether I've ever been wearing a hat when I've found anything rare, and I think probably not (possibly the Yellow-breasted Bunting at Toab in 2004 as it was a shitty day), which discredits the theory even further.

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, by the way. Can't think of anything worthwhile at the moment. I make have to recycle some old Llamas favourites unless inspiration strikes soon...

beast said...

Recycling ideas is one idea...or..
How about a monthly[or bi-monthly] photo competition for best picture of a birding twat? [or twats..with or without hats].
Observed three 'birders' other day at eye brook, who were at waters edge, with long lenses, photographing Swans...cunts![I should have taken a pic of them].
How about a 'dumbest comment of the month' award?
Dumb comments usually occur in the form of 'drive-by verbal shootings'.
If one more lazy arsed cretin pulls up whilst I'm birding and asks if theres 'owt about' or 'have you seen osprey'? I swear I'll piss through they're open fuckin window!