18 April 2009

The weird have turned dude

Oh, how I'd forgotten the joy of the 'second weekend' twitch. The bird has been there for ages, anyone who is anyone has long since come and gone, and now the lazy, the useless and the afflicted appear at the gaping-arsed, entrail strewn, fly-blown carcass of the twitch.

As I was almost passing the site today, I thought it rude not to drop in and, boy, am I glad I did. Picture the scene: a small area of Hawthorn and Blackthorn scrub, nestled amongst calcareous grassland, perched atop a ridge (a chalky fold if you will), amidst the b-e-a-utiful landscape of the South Downs. And there, bathed in the spring sunshine; ears caressed by the lilting song of Willow Warbler and the fruity utterances of Blackcap stand a motley group who, to all intents and purposes, appear to be involved in either:
  1. a public information film warning against the outcome of intra-familial marriage; or
  2. a very low budget advert for euthanasia.
The sheer abject freakery of it was delicious. Seemingly undisturbed by this Diane Arbus inspired street theatre troupe, the White-throated Sparrow showed more-or-less hourly, even singing at one point (a performance which went pretty much unnoticed). And then, just as I thought it couldn't get any better, a member of the assembled choir of the ornithologically challenged, whilst attempting to better his view of the bird, caught a Millet-booted, sock-outside-trouser bedecked foot in a bramble and proceeded to perform a face-plant of such virtuosity and artistic merit that I had to phone a friend in Australia to share the moment. It was at this point I had to leave, I was fast approaching the point where, had they asked me to join their circus, I'd have been drawn in and spent the rest of my days plaiting the bearded lady's chin, becoming proficient in conflict resolution between argumentative Siamese twins and feeding the dwarves to the tigers.

This is a terrible image of the sparrow but it does illustrate the expression on it's face at the exact moment the chap emitted a barely audible involuntary moan as he succumbed to gravity. Look closely, you can see the bird has actually stopped 'chewing' and has a wonderful combination of mild surprise infused with contempt playing across it's features (notice the slight raise of the eyebrow).


Anonymous said...

I thought it was White Throated !!!

Darryl said...


Darryl said...

Edited,... once again,... DOH!