Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Shock Shetland string scandal!

It is now my solemn duty to act as judge, jury and executioner in the matter of Shetland birders (both resident and visiting) v an unknown stringer.

It has come to our attention that, over the last week or so, one person has been responsible for all of the following single observer records: Lanceolated Warbler, Pechora Pipit, Black-throated Thrush, Arctic Warbler, Black-bellied Dipper, Red-throated Pipit and Firecrest (which is considerably rarer than Lancy, Pechora, Arctic Warbler or Red-throated Pipit in Shetland).

Other people have looked for most of these birds, but not one has been confirmed by anyone else. Now, it's been a pretty good October in Shetland, with around 50 BB rarities so far (compared with one [Long-billed Dowitcher] in Scilly – just thought I'd throw that in), but for one person to have found all that lot would be amazing. To have claimed all that lot with a single observer rate of 100% is nothing less than utter bollocks.

Apparently when someone met this bloke and showed him an Arctic Warbler at Wester Quarff the other day he said “Oh, that's an Arctic Warbler is it? It doesn't look like the one I saw at Kergord yesterday.” No, because that was a Chiffchaff.

Verdict: guilty as charged. You are hereby sentenced to spend all of next October on Muckle Flugga with no bins or mobile phone.

13 comments:

beast said...

I think with folk like 'that'...it really is a 'care in the community' job. I reckon...you need to sit em down...with a nice cup o tea...and utter some comforting words like..'there there..of course we all believe you'....[then gently whack em round the back of the skull with a frying pan...or a similar blunt instrument]...

ps...failing that...you cud just ignore them....

The Leicester Llama said...

The trouble is that it's difficult to know it's 'him' - if something comes up on Mark's RBA text alerts no-one knows whether it's gen or not.

Having said that, I think the news services have now got wise to him, as his thrush and dipper didn't appear on RBA today...

beast said...

It's always been a problem since twitching became mainstream...too many daft cunts thinking that it's really great fun. When really...they shud do us all a fuckin favour n stick there stupid insane heads in an oven...[gas mark 200 shud do the trick]...

ps...or 'they' should go back to they're original hobby of knitting...or building model aircraft out of matchsticks...

pps...'bit' extreme perhaps...?

Ipin said...

I think I may of met your stringer today, did he look like a rotund version Emelyn Hughes?

col said...

hey, don't diss the hughes! A "radde's in flight" kind of guy, if ever there was one!

Phil Woollen. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Hey, his Black-throated Thrush sighting yesterday was made all the more amazing as he id'd without the aid of binoculars. The kind of quality that belongs on Stronsay me thinks.

beast said...

'These' sort o folks shud really be given they're own little island to play on. 'There' they cud roam free...stringing to their hearts content...and nobody would give a fuck...

ps...perhaps they can organize and operate they're own private birdline equivalent...i dunno..'loopyline' for birding demented-heads...or summat...

The Leicester Llama said...

As far as I know we didn't see him, so no idea what he looked like. There was a guy on his own at Hoswick who (twice) thought a brownish Chiffchaff was the Blyth's Reed Warbler, but I don't think it can have been 'the stringer', as he was claiming a Red-throated Pipit on Yell at the time...

Anonymous Stringer said...

It definitely wasn't that guy cos that sounds like it was probably me and I don't remember making any claims of anything, dodgy or not. Not sure why that bird threw me, at least for a bit. I saw loads of other Chiffs in Shetland and never for a second thought they were anything else. Maybe just a case of seeing a bird that didn't immediately 'fit' anything and trying to fit it to what I was hoping to see. It was quite a strange looking one, I thought.

I'm normally not that bad a birder and have even claimed a few tricky rarities that other people (and rarities committees) have seen and agreed with. I must admit that I felt like a bit of a novice on Shetland though. It's a lot like birding in another country where sometimes even familiar birds can seem unfamiliar at times.

Anyway, take care guys. And remember to put your handbrake on properly!

The Leicester Llama said...

I'm now waiting for an outraged comment from the person responsible for all those claims. For some reason this post was linked to on Birdforum (apparently - I never look at it), so no doubt he'll find it in the end.

So if he does happen to read this, I'll get my reply in now to save time:

I don't suppose you'll submit any of the claims I mentioned to either the local or national records committees, but if you do I'll have as big a bet with you as you like that not one of them gets accepted. It's a bit like a batsman arguing with the umpire - you can protest as much as you like, but read the papers the next day and you'll see that you were out!

FRANK BULLITT said...

Hold on now folks; are we sure it's a guy whose spreading this misinformation eg Chris or might it not be a female in drag eg Jane?
Some folk are easily fooled but I bet there's a lot of questions being asked about their birding on their home patch(es). Problem is that some of their records will have been accepted already and they could ultimately end up being documented in county records eg Merseyside and that's fairly serious.

I say the sooner the truth emerges about this character the better.

The Leicester Llama said...

I'm sorry Lee but I've had to delete your comment - naming someone like that is potentially libellous. Do it on your own blog if you want, but not on mine.