Saturday, 6 November 2010

Blast From The Past

I've absolutely no idea why, but I've just been seized with a sudden urge to post this completely random page from the original Leicester Llamas site (this was written in 2001):

The Stringers Page

Like most counties, Leicestershire and Rutland has a few well-known stringers. However, ours do seem to be rather prolific. The Leicester Llamas have gone undercover into the dim world of stringing to find out what is going on.

[And for some equally inexplicable reason I've decided that I'll leave out 'Case 1' and just post the second part of the original page. I don't know why I've done this, as this bit was probably even more libellous than the first. But fuck it, we got away with it in 2001, so I'll probably get away with it now. I think Richard wrote this anyway, so that's OK.]

Case 2 - the 'Wildlife Writer'

A very sad tale. This individual used to be the county ecologist, but was sacked after a rather dubious incident involving late night nudity in the office. He writes a regular weekly wildlife column in the local paper (which covers the whole county and has a large readership). He sees a wide variety of birds and insects in his normally bird-free, bland, intensively farmed section of the county, and only tells us about them a few weeks later in the paper. This, at least, saves us from having to look for these fantasy birds.

By far the best of his recent claims was only last September, when a few skuas turned up inland. The 'Wildlife Writer' saw a skua at Swithland Res, which is not impossible to believe. Anyone else would have been happy enough with finding a Bonxie, but our man has to find a South Polar Skua! Something in the name of this species suggests, to me at least, that it would be unlikely to be found, for the first time in Europe, at a Leicestershire reservoir.

Almost as good, in early November, was a Lesser Short-toed Lark in a field near his home!

Some of his other 'finds' have included: Rough-legged Buzzard (to which he devoted an entire column in the paper, but didn't see the tail colour!), Honey Buzzards, Ring-billed (which he described as 'the same size and shape as Common Gull') and Bonaparte's Gull together amongst a small group of Black-headed and Common Gulls that one of the Llamas had already looked through, breeding Red-backed Shrikes, Wrynecks and Golden Orioles, a summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver on a farm pond, a Sociable Plover, etc etc. He has also added a couple of species of dragonfly to the county list (on local streams), and found some 'unusual' butterflies. Diagnosis: a disturbing combination of madness and incompetence.

14 comments:

Skev said...

The (in)famous ecologist. Why not post case 1 - I guess it must be someone still on the scene?

The Leicester Llama said...

Too long and not relevant to the reason for putting this on.

The Leicester Llama said...

Oh no, hang on, there wasn't a reason was there? And if there was, it definitely wasn't connected in any way to anything on BirdForum recently, because I don't look at BirdForum. Except when people tell me I ought to.

Word verification for this comment was 'listimp' - a mischievous sprite responsible for certain species on twitchers' lists that shouldn't really be there.

Richard Fray said...

I'm sure this had nothing to do with me at all.

Erm...

Earl Gray or Dave for short! said...

Let know to some of the local birders up in Cumbria and D&G that a known stringer was around! His claims over the weekend included Harlequin Duck and Gull-billed Tern!!!

The Leicester Llama said...

Get your facts right Dave - that was a Steve Groover. Totally different person.

Liam Curson said...

Just found this blog and it seems pretty darned good! And also, we have a stringer in Sussex who managed to claim a Tengalm's Owl in June a few years ago!

Earl Gray or Dave for short! said...

must have changed his name from George Michael to Groover! ;-)

The Leicester Llama said...

Earth calling Planet Dave - I think you've got 'cross- threaded' there...

thedrunkbirder said...

AP was telling me about the woman writing for the Groby village newsletter who has had at least 3 Masked Shrike in her garden. It would seem all were separate birds and not a breeding pair with juvenile!

Jeff Higgott said...

Ten comments on your posts, Andy, and not a murmur from Beast. Is he ill??

Word verification was "eckagon" - presumably a northern shape with too many sides to count.

thedrunkbirder said...

Eh up Jeff, steady on. Plenty of t' Northern lads read this t' blog tha knows!

The Leicester Llama said...

I think he prefers to make his bestial pronouncements on his own blog these days.

beast said...

Dear Jeff....the beast still lives and will always post on Llama's but i will only raise me fuckin ugly head when i feel the need to.
Just a matter of pressing the right buttons i guess...!

Re seriously screw loose-wankers in the birding world...it's the same as it ever was really.

'We' know who the dodgy cunts are in Leicestershire and i have them listed in a personal file headed 'shit for brains'...

ps...i don't really have them listed....who the hell would do something like that...? [chuckle]..!

"As long as they're happy"...the yip yappy twats...[and as long as they keep outta my fuckin way.. otherwise i'll take their heads off with a verbal barrage of undiluted venomous shit]...but in a 'nice' way of course...