See here for the official, firsthand account of this mega find, read on if you want the poorly written irreverent bollocks,...
Saturday evening may have been the most exciting episode of vicarious birding I have ever had the pleasure to experience. There I was, sat at the Apple spending money on chooons, as per ever, when the phone rings. On the opposite end of the line was a rather manic sounding Jaffa, although perhaps we'd better start referring to him as Sir Jaffa if he keeps up the sort of exploits I am just about to recount. Now Jaff is generally a pretty relaxed, head-screwed-on sort of chap but, at that precise moment, was coming across a little like someone on the verge of a full, DSM-IV approved, panic attack. From what I could tell he'd been ornithologically marooned on a well known island helping his better half seek out pioneering Stormies for a few days. An idyllic situation I think you'll agree, that is,... unless you find a probable Barolo's Shearwater,... and Orange, in all their mobile-communicatory wisdom, appear to have forgotten to provide coverage for North Devon. Now, in car, whizzing homeward, Jaff was going through the classic mega-finder's malaise of a. doubting one's sanity, b. trying to get a second opinions, and c. juggling the conflicting pulls of 'news management'. It turns out Jaff is sane (probably). It also turns out that the dynamic petrel-pondering duo had recorded the 'song' and, with some jiggery-pokery, managed to shoe-horn it down the mobile to myself and that well known partaker of mid-Atlantic pelagic preposterousness Peter Alfrey (amongst others). Well, after the initial shock and reference to all manner of Barolo's, Boyd's and Manx material (I totally forgot lherminieri [bad boy, naughty boy, to your room!]) there was no other reasonable conclusion. But this was still potentially a monstrous mega and it is at times like these when the counsel of gods, Jedi masters and the like should be sought so an email was sent to those-whose-names-should-only-be-whispered (Killian 'Blessed be his name' Mullarney and Arnoud Obi Wan den Berg [and, via them, to the maestro of biomusicology Magnus Robb]). Once dispatched that, at about midnight, was that,... to bed, perchance to dream.
Rudely woken by the doris Sunday morning, I descended the wooden hill and blearily tinkered with that switch on the kettle that seems oh so evasive first thing in the morning. Whilst fumbling to master the digital wireless portion of what used to be called a telly, the phone rang,... Jaffa. Killian [NB. Will I be struck down by a bolt from the ornithological blue for first-namery? We shall see] had replied and was pretty darn confident that it was Barolo's, just need a reply from Magnus [NB. No lightening as yet,...] another long wait,...
Turned out Magnus was on holiday but the magic of email eventually meant positive news seeped through the ether, arriving from Orkney this morning, the rest, as they say (whoever 'they' are), is history.
Stay tuned for more,... hopefully.
PS. Apologies but don't even think about moaning about the slightly inch-high-secret-private-eye nature of the 'news management'. There was all manner of egg-on-facery/warden liaison/sheer disbelief/guru communication going on.
PPS. Sainsbury's spicy lentil cuppa soups are lovely.