Saturday, November 6, 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.

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