Friday, 28 August 2009

Board silly

Hands up how many Leicestershire birders noticed the new interpretation board at Burrough Hill Country Park whilst twitching the Montagu’s Harrier this week? Just in case you missed it in your haste for a county tick, I took this photo of the ‘points of interest’ section:


This is how I imagine the meeting of the County Council Parks Department went when they discussed this:

“Right, none of us knows anything about birds, so we have two options for this new board. Either we could contact a local bird club, or perhaps the RSPB and see what they suggest we put on it – I’m sure they’d be happy to help out, and they’d probably have some relevant photos we could use, OR we could use this random photo of a bird which I think might be a falcon (or possibly a hawk), crop out the falconer’s gauntlet it’s perching on, and bung that on. No, you’re right, the second option would be much quicker. I’m sure no-one will ever notice.”

And then there are the classic ‘information’ boards at Watermead Country Park South, which look like someone’s traced some of Thomas Bewick’s engravings and coloured them in. They include helpful species such as Eider and Bean Goose (actually there was an Eider there once), but very few of the species people are actually likely to see around the park. And even if the bird you’re looking at is shown on the boards you wouldn’t be able to identify it from the grotesque parodies of living birds they’ve used for illustrations.

I’ve lost the photo I had, but the best example of this sort of thing I ever saw was in Ireland a few years ago. It was advertising boat trips off County Galway, and had photos of Galapagos Cormorant and Sea Otter on it (or it might have been a sea lion, I can’t remember). Impressed, we went on the boat trip, but sadly didn’t manage to add either species to the Western Palearctic list...

16 comments:

Skev said...

I'll look out for the sign in the morning. I'm particularly interested in the narrow valley - is it just below the gorse thicket ......

beast said...

Tho the 'narrow valley' is quite fascinating...i think they missed out the most interesting features of 'the hill'...

1. a steep slope
2. a not so steep slope
3. a level 'bit'
4. a not so level 'bit'
5. sheep shit
6. more sheep shit
7. sheep
8. grass [with sheep on it]
9. grass [with sheep shit on it]


ps...can't think of anymore 'interesting points'...did i mention all the fuckin sheep shit?

Alan Tilmouth said...

Obviously what they need is a reknowned local bird artist to offer to redo them after they get fed up with complaints letters from a carefully co-ordinated smear campaign, if you know anyone you could give them a heads up.

beast said...

I can organize the 'smear' campaign...no problem! [Don't know if it will be 'carefully co-ordinated' tho...i just chuck the 'stuff'...and hopefully i hit the target]...!
Actually..Burrough Hill has got a lot to offer...[apart from sheep shit and the odd barking birder who see's monties and dead people everywhere]. Will make a point this autumn to check it out a bit...must be loads..[alright..some]..stuff that goes overlooked each year..

ps...Mr.Tilmouth...can i post, sometimes rather crude, absurdities on your blog...or wud that be frowned upon? I know there's 'limits'....but i don't have any...it seems...

The Leicester Llama said...

They wouldn't be interested as that would cost them money...

The Drunkbirder said...

I'm intrigued by the birder who sees Monties AND dead people... who is this birder? If so can he tick Common Nighthawk on the Scillies in 1998, you know the one that died while people were watching it. Or was that cow shit. Hmmm, not sure now.
Anyway what are the ethics surrounding paranormal or psychic birding only I'm getting something through from the other side. I'm getting the words Blackburn and someone called Ian. Do we know any Ian's from Blackburn? Says he was blown halfway around the world. It's not clear but I'm sensing a great storm and I'm seeing sun-kissed islands.
Wait now he's saying something about a wobbler or throwing a wobbler... sprite is coming to me but it's just not clear...

beast said...

Actually...i'm getting a message thru now...my spirit guide is telling me to get my fuckin arse into gear...something about i'll see 'far more'?...and something about a strange 'turn' of events at a reservoir on Oxfordshire? Itz unclear...and the images are all in black n white.....[wot cud this all mean i wonder]?

Judge Dread said...

It meant exactly what it said on the tin “Get your fucking arse in gear” not sit about on the pc at 10 post on “dudeforum” at 11.44 but “GET YOUR FUCKING ARSE IN GEAR” I guess the clouds finally lifted and you got the message, great bird too ;-)

beast said...

'Judge'....it was a great bird...glad you saw it. By me fuckin about on 'dudeforum' i knew i was invoking the 'birding gods' wrath...['the gods' do not take kindly to those who don't get their arses in gear when a rare turns up]. In my defense [tho you may still find me guilty]..i wuz waiting for crew member to go for the tern! Excuses...excuses..i know...pathetic...[time to put yer black hat on]...!

ps...i only post on 'dudeforum' because at times i get 'bored silly'...[and some o 'those' folk need shaking up a bit]...i like to be constantly entertained...

Judge Dread said...

Ok Beast will let you off with a pardon. Always like your posts on "dudeforum" most take it far too seriously, keep up the good work ;-)

thedrunkbirder said...

Is dudeforum the new name for turdforum?

Judge Dread said...

Yes the same one also known as "bitchforum" and "handbagsforum" when the topic gets really heated...

beast said...

John...i think the 'forum' names are interchangeable...i reckon 'both' are acceptable terms...[makes no odds to me...call it fuckforum for all i care]! Of course..one may offend a few over-sensitive folk who don't take too kindly to 'wayward' forms of expression.
There are actually some, wot i wud call, 'okay folks' who post on forum...[they ain't all bad]!..and they can be very informative and seem like nice folk. Then again..there's some right fuckin 'instant expert' knobholes....[so itz a bit of a balance really]...i just try and 'even things up' in me own crappy little way. Wotever anyone thinks of 'the forum' it is an amazing..and often very amusing..insight into 'todays' birders. Loads of 'material' to play with...i'm sure you know wot i mean...!

ps...'Judge'...cheers m'lud...[i was expecting the gallows for sure]......!

pps...i have the recipe for 'instant expert knobholes' if you want it...the main ingredient..is of course...a large amount of verbal 'shit'...

Jeff Higgott said...

Getting back to topic - there is this classic board from Loch Katrine up north.

Very educational, I think you'll find

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sequella/432748315/in/set-72157594584977107/

JH said...

And then there's White Tern in Ireland: http://www.freewebs.com/punkbirder/news.htm
Three cheers (or possibly even more) for his beastly presence on Birdforum.

Mr. X

beast said...

Amazing the things you can observe thru an irish glass-bottomed boat ain't it?
I guess 'they' thought that pix of turds, condoms n rusting shopping trollies wouldn't be very appealing....don't know why.
'The' white tern on punkbirder news looks very familiar to me. I'm sure they got em hanging up at Egleton center at rutty water...and if you tread on them really hard they make a pathetic little squeaky noise that annoys the crap out o folk....