Friday, August 30

The Inbetweeners

As it is not so safe to go out a'birdering with so many Watchmen afield, I have been taking the time to make good some matters within the church here.

It seems the choir have re-invented themselves of late. They have, rather endearingly, formed their own little creche and packaged themselves as 'Next Generation Choir-boy Birderers'. Oh the rebelliousness of youth, eh?

I admit I am at a loss with some of their hip new sayings. I have heard them use 'brief case mong', which relates to someone making a short argument for an inconclusive sightings claim.

'Clunge' is apparently a new hip scientific term among bird clamperers, being code for plunging into the cloaca for the purposes of identifying the sex of a bird.

I am assured that 'pussay patrol' is most harmless, being slang for a 'crew' 'burning up' 'habbo' for Nearctic migrants such as Grey Catbird.

'Vadge' left me cold, being some sort of virtual badge of honour handed out for finding a good bird. I was quite taken by their interest in weather conditions, and that a dank, moving haar is now a 'minge mobile'.

However, I cannot begin to fathom 'buswanker'. In fact I spent more than an hour contemplating the term yesterday as I waited for a public cart to travel to market, but no clue could I find.

Still, it may serve them well, and I am not worried that their 'independence' will affect the church. If I look back to the choir of a decade past, they too had their rebellious moments, forming as they did a Young A'Birdering Association. And in previous decades choirboys such as Plucker Jenkins and Gripper Stebson led the way astray.

I also hear some within the group have already given their group a pet name- 'The Inbetweeners'. I understand this relates to their powers of identification- something being identified as in-between a Chiff and a Willow, or in-between a Greenish and an Arctic, and so on. Oh what japes these children have(!) I shall just try to ignore them as I will 'suffer not the little children', especially when a'birdering.

Thursday, August 29

The complete works of Dezzie Erasmus

Thank you for your note, young Master Fry. You enquire ask after my favourite author? A quite interesting question.

Without a doubt, it has to be Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam-next-to-Flushing.

He first (collaborative) work, Adagia, is well worth pursuing. Erasmus brought so many 'adages' to our day to day language;- for those of us of a naturalistic bent we should always recall that Desiderius himself first put to paper those phrases
'a rare bird
'one swallow does not make a summer'.

Forgive me for now mentioning, as I know you are a humanist, his more writings more religious. His masterpiece "The Handbook of the Christian Soldier" is perfect prose, but his ability to preach what he practiced is laid out for all to see (and to strive for) in the magnificient "The Praise of Folly". His relevance for me is because in this day and age all can now offer opinion on matters on which they know a little, and from where some will then revel in the cult of celebrity and pronounce on that which they know nothing.

So, the adage to which I adhere most closely in my life at present, and one that helps make sense of the day-to-day befuddlements in the world (and which could otherwise lead right-thinking men downwards toward depression) is this;-

"In the Kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is King".

If you remember that Master Fry, then when such people 'twitter on', upon matters of which they know very little, all becomes a little clearer. You may even find it possible to forgive them for surely they know not what they do.

I hope this answer finds leaves in good spirit sir.

Monday, August 26

New public Holy Day for a'birdering announced

As the common man of the Parish enjoys his lay in on today's Auguste holiday, news has been received of a further Holy Day being added to the calendar as from next year- to be on the third Friday of this very month each year, in celebration of the new Saint's Day named for St. Timothea of Drinkstinkwater. And Communion and chief festivities will, naturally, be held at the Birdwatchering Fayre.

So many who went this year have expressed being overcome by feelings of awe that it is already agreed something deeply religious must have been moving them.

"It was awesome and completely overwhelming!"
"It was overwhelming and completely awesome!"
"Awesome awesomeness!"
"Awesome ospreys!"
(*though this last comment is thought by some to be lost in translation and was just 'saw some ospreys')

Some could only write upon the Fayre with the addition of an exclamation mark at the end of each sentence(!) Others had to add up to three to register their levels of awe(!!!) And even one wrote of the miracle of the single-handed tent pole erection, complete with exclamation.

There was also an element of Lourdes, with some there already professing to be on a pilgrimage of sorts, as they carry out their 'bucket list'- to tick their off their 50 greatest ornithological superstars as a penance so they can rest more easily when the day arrives to meet their nestbox-maker.

Some take the opportunity to speak on matters ornithological with the Pharisees from the Temples of MiniCon and its affiliated corporations, and find religious fervour that way. The Spirit was among the crowds as talk was of 'movers and shakers', clearly referring to happy clappy evangelical ornithology, as well as listening to those speaking in tongues (the language of 'salespitch').

And what a sight- some who could not walk were cured, those keyboarderers of the Almighty Forum of Birds, who were seen to somehow stagger out of the cart-park. The most miraculous event though was several of the fps staff publicly turning into a'birderers (though some claim a p.r. smoke and mirrors trick).

It is hoped that by making the Friday a public Holy Day it will allow the much-clamoured for A'birderer's barn-dance, as the locals who have been a'feared of the spectacle of 2,441 men and 109 women dancing together around the portaloos will now have a much greater chance to flee the county in advance.

Obviously there was some also concern over so many money-takers being on hallowed grounds, but the miracle of the everlasting recession and the plague of droughts of cash continue to help soften their effect. Perhaps by this time next year they will be driven out altogether, and the common man will not be weighed down by costly ornithological Relics (just how many feathers were collected for DNA from the Swindell's Petrel is something I would like to know- at least 3,000 were said to have been sold).

Some were also concerned that camera obscura types were suffering the effect of several deadly sins at once, praying as they were for sums upwards of 15,000 groats for a new shiny trinket. Especially with those very same groats being so coveted by the hordes of a'travelling salesmen trying to pitch their pilgrimages to foreign lands.

It must be said that not all in the Church are happy with the outcome- organisers of the GreeneBelte Festival have been heard to comment they wish they'd thought of selling more relics, robes and good bookes first. But, if the Fayre acts as assisted needs help for so many rarity needs a'birderers in the community for one weekend a year, then it gives the joggerers, dog-walkerers, bikeists and cottagerers a weekend to enjoy our green and pleasant land without this strange minority spoiling their use of the countryside.

So, arise, and enjoy sharing your patch with the common man today, and start saving now to book your pilgrimage for the very first St. Timothea's Day.

The Hon. Benjamin Yon, MiniCon,
introduces special guest Professor Brian May-Day-O'Fring
at the Watchmen barbeque at this year's Birdwatchering Fayre

Friday, August 23

Capital issues

Audrey, I think you almost understand the whole of the Vlissingen incident now, but you have confused yourself within the atlasse by looking at the wrong mappe. Please consider the use of capital letters in the entry you found;-

"Queens, Flushing."

This refers to a district of a Dutch settlement on Long Island, New Amsterdam, founded in 1645. It was to have been a second Vlissingen, a "New Vlissingen", but then we took charge of the settlement in 1664 and Anglicanised the name. We then decided we would be much better off concentrating on ecumenical matters at home and so gave it away on November 25th 1783;- which has become known there as Vacation Day, and is why our chums over the pond say 'vacations' instead of 'holidays' to this very day, as a mark of respect to us for being so very generous towards them.

But you seem to be interpreting this book listing as "Queens, flushing"

Now the mistake on your part is in your befuddled attempt at joined-up thinking. You somehow make this out to mean a gathering of overexcited CocKs who, believing themselves a'birdering Royalty, took great pains to stay ten paces ahead of the unwashed masses and so made too close an approach to a fowle under observation, whereupon their chattering noise set said target to flight. Really Audrey? Do you honestly think this sort of behaviour likely? That they think they have Divine rights? No(!) Of course not. 

I would advise you do not use this phrase again, not in public and especially not in touching distance of any CocK member. Or I fear you will feel their sting.

Thursday, August 22

Well, Hussah Bandy(!) CocK captures Vlissingen in Dutch Raid

Audrey, when reading this reply, sit down and calm down sir, and thereafter show some decorum.

I thank you for the very short note you left on my bureau this very morning, but I can assure you we are NOT, I repeat NOT, at war once more with our friends in the Low Countries. And we must not tell falsehoods about the Camera obscura Club of Kent.

You sir, you have suffered from Chinese grosse beakerings. Never be taken in by second-hand stories obtained via Konan.

First, I want you to go check the Nearctic on the globe I have left out on the table in front of you. There you will see the place this fowle of which they have been capturing pictoral images of comes from is actually New Amsterdam, not Amsterdam. The origin of the story had nothing to do with the Dutch or their past claims.

Second, you will see I have also left my Atlasse of the Empire out and open at Vlissingen. You will plainly see we Brits have a different name for it, which may now perhaps shed light on the true meaning behind this rumour? Someone, along the chain, out of a correctness political, changed it. Nobody said Vlissingen at the start.

Does this now make sense? If not, do you recall me explaining "Viz mig good, vliss mig far, far-rrrrrr away"? Do I have to get the porcelain sandpipers out again to demonstrate?

I trust I will hear no more on the matter. CocK are upright members of our a'birdering community. Do not play with them like this. Their blood will go their heads.


Wednesday, August 21


A notice to all citizen scientists from MiniCon The Ministry of Conservation
concerning the State of Empire Watchlist:


Are you able to answer 'yes' to all of the following?

1) Do you always enter all your a'birdering lists upon Cart-Track? In complete format?

2) Do you also always supply highlighted accounts to your local has-to-be-paid-for information gathering business or to an affiliated body of the Central Intelligence on Avieformes?

3) Do you always record all sighting codes for use in any future national TUKOGBANI Atlas and future county avifaunas???

4) Do you always enter all sightings for your dwelling via Homes, Gardens + Outside Privvies Bird Survey Scheme?

5) Do you always contact the Nest Recordering Survey every time you kick a bush?

6) And, if you are lucky with a rarer species, always provide similar details to the Scantily Breedering Birds Panel via your county Nestfinder General?

7) Do you always provide details of all new hats you purchase to the Heronies Surveys?

8) Do you always fondle avian corpses in support of the Metalled Ring Ringing Scheme?

9) If you are a CocK (or similar), do you always provide glossies of colour-ringed fowle?

10) Do you always cease all your a'birdering between the dates of July 1st and August 11th to go a'creepie-crawlering (because "there are never goodley fowle at this time")?

11) Do you always participate in High slack water WEBB (WEtland Beating the Boundaries counts)?

12) Do you always particpate in Low slack water WEBB co-ordinated counts?

13) do you always collate your esturine counts on ebb tides and flow tides (and mark flows accordingly to the nearest quarter-inch) so that others understand why you have managed higher counts when compared to (11) and (12)?

14) Are you involved in the on-going 'Where's Whitey?' wintry thrush survey?

15) Do you give up every other spare moment to volunteer for clearing all scrubby growth within one hundred furlongs of any wetland fps reserve?

16) Do you tithe monies through scribery to all societies affiliated to MiniCon?

17) Are all your monies, property and first-born signed over to a MiniCon affiliated charity by notarised Last Will & Testament when you meet your maker? (We can assist you in both elements).

18) Do you religiously participate in regular self-flagellation, through attendance of monthly meetings of your county Society (and making a further tithe if attending a 'Untamed Frontiers of Empire Borders birderers' talks because they are so very, very, very good)?

19) Do you willingly sit through each 'Christmas Social' of your local fps group and somehow withhold from correcting the mis-identifications in their garden fowle images?

20) Do you write up a species by simply but diligently changing just the totals from the year previous for your own County Birdspotted Reporte?**
**note the Northern Marshes were excepted from changing some year to year figures for several wildfowle species during the early part of this millenium

21) Do you always call out loudly any sighting of a Tropicalfowle of the Red-billed variety when on a pelagination?

22) Does your family accept and understand their place in life, and that they will always come second to your service and dedication to all matters a'birdering?

23) Can you recount aloud the British List in correct order, without dropping a rosary bead?

24) Can you list dates and sites for all your county's accepted rare fowle- plus, as an addendum, all records you know to be good that their records committee got wrong?

If you answered 'no' to any of the above, 
then you will have to answer to your local Watchmen
 when they call.

MiniCon only allows citizen scientists into the field

 for the purpose of totalitarian birdering

It is the law.

"A'birdering for the fun of it" 

 is now deemed a

You must make your a'birdering count. Always.

How to identify an official Watchman when he calls:
They will be in the standard uniform of tall top hat and short-legged pantaloons, with draw telescope under said hat and a printed letter of introduction in said pantaloons (note this arrangement may may be reversed in periods of cold weather)

A gathering of some of your local Watchmen

Back row;- 
Dr. Nate Turesholme-Manhatten (fps)Dr. Muteshutter Manhatten (of  Gibraltarian Spanish Fishermen's Pelagination Society), Dr. Hanibal Manhatten (of Listershire), Dr. Archibold Manhatten (of the mid-land counties of Asbovia), Dr. Johnson de Pfeffel-Manhatten M.P. (representing MiniCon),  Dr. Murdoch Gauntlett-Manhatten (media mogul, representing 'The Twitch' penny dreadful) and Dr. Bert Hold-Manhatten (representing British Forces German Bight)

Front row;- 
Dr. Katz Manhatten (representing TUKOGBANI Reservoir birderers)Dr. Herp Grabbah- Manhatten (TUKOGBANIOU), Dr. Crakes Manhatten (Blighty sur la Manche), Dr. Cocksure Manhatten (ARSOLS), Dr. Manny Pulatedfiggs-Manhatten (TUKOGBANITO), Dr. Paidfore News-Manhatten (Central Intelligence Aveformes), Dr. Waterston Hoose-Manhatten (Lands north of the Wall), Dr. Long Bowdodge- Manhatten (Lands west of the Dyke), Dr. Ballymacash Manhatten (The land of Ni), Dr. Chid-Chiddington-Chid-Chiddington-Chid-Chid-Chidee-Manhatten (representing CocK, and similar appendages) and Dr. MacKay Manhatten (of Llamashire)

Seated;- Dr. Oster Man-Manhatten (team physio)

Friday, August 16

British Birdwatchering "Fun Land", The Field, Rutty Island

It is that time of year again, and right now I am regretting not attending the British Birdwatchering event.

My assistant, the Reverend Audacious Prattlechat, had been on about it following tales from his friends Ted, Dougal and Jack of their attending "Fun Land" in the past. I had said 'no' to Audrey, for we had my sermons to work on, and besides which it was his turn to take Konan the Baptist for his walk at the Wardened Cliffs. But Audrey came up with some story of the cliffs being 'closed', which I very much doubted. He then came up with the equally ludicrous excuse of 'erosion' and instead took off for the Field whilst I enjoyed a cup of tea.

Through the marvels of the interred-webbe I have received a running commentary of his escapades today. So far I have seen images of him enjoying the following attractions:

"Freak Pointing" this is not so much an attraction as just standing at the entrance and gesturing towards anyone in camouflage or carrying a lens longer than their forearm. To me this looks like the old game of 'pot, kettle, black'.

"Spider-Baby" which is not so much an attraction as a pricey telescope/camera back-pack, or a way of strapping six extra legs to your back and not looking stupid. (Only looking stupid to those of normal disposition in fact.) And the baby part of the name? From the noises made when you can't get a scopecampac off your back in time for a paralysed cow idly floating by upon a becalmed sea.

"Tarot Reading" this is not so much an attraction as a sales pitch as a smarmy carnie tells you "you will be going on a journey this year" and "a fool and his money will be easily parted" in the very same breath.

"The Ladder" and this is not so much an attraction as a ladder. A plain simple ladder. Putting a cardboard sign at the bottom reading "Premiership" does not mean you have to climb the ladder like a latter-day Jacob, but Audrey has now tried several times to climb a rung or two, having been told his inability to co-ordinate like any normal human will actually serve him well on it.

"Whirly go round" this is no way an attraction, just having to spend all day walking through the same four tents. Round and round. And round. And round again. Until the contents of your purse or wallet have all been spilt and lost.

"The Pond of Terror" this is no attraction but simply an inconveniently positioned reservoir next to the event, which the opportunist carnie organisers try to promote to punters as being a good place to go a'birdering, thanks to their 'Ospreys-on-a-stick' trick.

"Goad the Fierce Man";- never in a lifetime can this be labelled an attraction, though a crowd of 'rubber-neckers' will usually be close by to see if high-ranking conservators can avoid the man in the white suit who is wont to argue with anyone who makes the unfortunate mistake of holding an opinion differing slightly from his own. I understand the only way to stop the ride is to cry "Middle Spotted Woodpecker".

"Cart Rides";- not an attraction, but a sad comment of the state of humanity. You have to try to persuade others to fill your cart for exorbitant fees to travel north of the Wall with you to hire a Balloon to fly to see a Swindle's-Stormy-Petrel pulled from a top hat at a night-time cabaret, along with a Swindle's Rabbit and a bunch of Swindle's chrysanthemums. One cart-load has indeed set off. I fear we may never hear from them again.

"Spinning Cat";- and this is not so much an attraction as a cat, spinning, on the turning table of a phonographic machine.
But, once an hour, for no more than fifteen seconds, it is replaced with a minor celebrity who mimes along to part of a recordering of his latest promotional release, for which in return they are then allowed to sell for the next fifty-nine minutes and forty-five seconds alongside said revolving feline, before another purveyor of fine tat steps up for their revolutionary sales pitch. Audrey is now the owner of a porcelain 'Johnny Cameraman' action figurine.

"Duck Startling";- this is not so much an attraction as a mass release of captive-bred North American Ruddy-colored Ducks, being allowed a ten second head start over members of the Harrier Chump Gents, a local shootering fraternity. (Note that in an emergency this event can also be used to divert the Fierce Man).

"Crane of Death";- not even an original attraction being just a larger version of the ladder. This crane lifts you, body and soul, completely out of reality, for two and a half minutes. Be warned it is cripplingly expensive, and one too many trips of this nature can lead to the loss of marriage, family, friends and gainful employment- any sort of life at all. Protective headgear (bandana) is compulsory this year.

"The Tunnel of Goatsuckers";- this final attraction still falls short of its name, as can be told from the following interwebbed pronouncements heard this morning-

"A child-like birderer has been lodged in the tunnel of Goatsuckers. If a member of the TUKAGBANIBC4 documentary crew has lost a child-like birderer, could they come to the tunnel of Goatsuckers..."

"A goatsucker and a child-like birderer have now become lodged together, and a member of the TUKOGBANIBC4 documentary crew has also become involved in the incident..."

"Another member of the TUKOGBANIBC4 documentary crew is now required to remove the member of the TUKOGBANIBC4 documentary crew mentioned previously..."

Apart from these not very fun events, I most regret not attending as I had secretly arranged to met with that very TUKOGANIBC4 crew later and be interviewed on just how great organised birdering is. This was to get me in the 'good book' of the Inquisition amongst others. Instead, they bump into Audrey, whom they somehow confuse with me, and who then tells them he "does not really believe in organised birdwatching"(!) He confuses it with his rosy dreams of free birdering and they broadcast this live as being my quote- my name written on screen against it- Oh I will have now the Watchmen after me for sure(!)

Audrey will not be allowed supper when he gets home tonight, that is certain. And none for the rest of the week if he comes back wearing one of this year's ridiculous BBFL caps- "I get my stork on at Fun Land" indeed(!)

Saturday, August 10

The State of Empire

At the insistence of Mr Cajun-Avery and others, I have now sat at my desk and taken a journey through 'The State of Empire', a glossy report by the likes of fps, TUKOGBANITO, Butterfly Cabinet Collections ConservationWrathchild's County Wildlife Preserves, Bot Soc (Lond) PLC, Hairy Footprint Surveyers and many similar thinking organisations.

It said to be a wake-up call, a battle cry, quite unlike any since Moses forecast precipitation.

There are many bulleted pointers that will fit neatly into a sermon, which I detail, in parenthesis, below. And against which I have made notes for comment in the sermon;-

++ Within the Empire there have been quantative assessments of population/distribution of 3,148 species, 60% of which have declined over the past half-century (31 % declined rapidly)
- - One species has increased to 56,567,800 in number in this green and pleasant land in the past year. That is up 37% since the estimate of 41,334,000 some 100 years ago. And still set to grow. 813,000 new infants swaddled this last year, with the pox and scurvy no longer scything us down in needed numbers. That is a story worthy of comment somewhere?

++ Half of the assessments have shown strong changes in distribution/abundance, indicating environmental changes having dramatic impact. Those species with specific habitat requirements are faring worse.
- - And that same one species has increased distribution in a greater proportion to its increased abundance, and has adapted to all environments. More precisely, adapted all environments to it. That is a story worthy of comment?

++ More than 10% of 6,000 species judged by Red Data Lists criteria are under threat of extinction in TUKOGBANI. A further 14% are threatened.
- - One species is responsible, directly and indirectly, for all of these threats. But as dominion granted in the good book things should still come good. (Note to self;- in sermon, reference Moses again.) That is an outcome worthy of comment?

++ We have only 5% of species monitored by quantative data. Much more is needed.
- - One species has increased self-monitoring exponentially. It has an ability for survival of its fittests and know works on survival of its fattests. And it can alter data. Just as easily as it can now turn water into wine and test tube mush into meat for meals.

++ Climate change is real.
- - One species still has a significant proportion who dispute this. (And dinosaurs;- on the whole this species doesn't really believe in dinosaurs either.) Their view must be overcome.

++ The outposts of the Empire spread around the globe hold a wealth of wildlife, under similar threats.
- - One species has continues all efforts to create new Empires. New conquests. New subjugations. It is what it does best. Hence the need to fight now.

++ Much of the necessary research work is carried out by reservists.
- - They used to be called 'citizen scientists', but as this is a battle cry, a new name for them is needed.

++ We should rise up and fight.
- - Though the report actually read 'we should act', replacement with 'rise up and fight' seems more honest at this time. Our species is of course extremely good at rising up and fighting. Itself.

++ A new measurement, the Watchlist Indicator, is to monitor such matters. 
- - One species is great at monitoring, especially all communications, thoughts and ideas (and on that I shall expand in my conclusion).

++ This report carries a message of hope.
- - One species has increased messaging capabilities by immeasurable levels in the era under review. So much so that important messages such as 'The State of Empire' can easily go unheard. Indeed, a large proportion of the most popular messaging now seems simple self-pleasuring, involving as it does continually publishing self-portraits from wash rooms.

The true beauty in nature needs YOU and ONLY you

This State of Empire report hints at the only way to get the message through in time. By pummelling the proletariat into receiving a message of hope. The time of the individual is past. Hence the use of the Watchlist. There are rumours that its appointed overseers, the Watchmen, will make the iron fists of the Iberian Inquisition, County Nestfinder Generals and ARSOLS committee seem like wobbly wrists of tea-fetchers in Mrs Miggins' Shoppe. Mark my words, Citizen Smithscience is coming. Compulsory completion of Cart-track and the like.

And to make this work, there needs to be a forcible amalgamation of all parties to the report. It is still only spoken of in hushed whispers, but spoken of it is, as being our pre-destined way, and possible only under the leadership of the almighty fps. Do I think it will happen? I think yes. This much feared new model army is based on our Government's highly successful department, made over these past few years by swallowing up all others, The Ministry of Conservation (or 'Minicon');- and just look at how well that works(!)

Hid in an appendix to the State of Empire, I note that following completion of the lastest* TUKOGBANI-led atlas, The Empire (aka fps and its conquests), working with Minicon, and enforced by the Watchmen, intends to start work on two major offensives, under the guise of projects.
(*Lastest is yet another newspeak Conservation term by the way, meaning "latest, and last".)
These offensive projects are to be (1) 'The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical and Ornithological Collectivism' to be edited by E.  Manuel-Goldstein and (2) 'The Handbook of the Birds of Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia' edited by Mr Eric Arthur Blair, both of which require the compulsory call-up of all reservists.

Clearly, the writing is on the wall. Our peaceful world of individual idle observation and contemplation will, I fear, never be allowed to remain in its present state of nature.


Saturday, August 3

The Bosun Higgs Pratincole

I have come upon an interesting scientific paper. It seems in the spring of this year, during my internment, there was another sighting of the infamous Bosun Higgs Pratincole.

First claimed by Bosun Higgs R.N. when on patrol at the mouth of the Swell some years back, this bird is thought to be the 'standard pratincole model', essentially a species which can be seen as all other pratincole species if observed under quantum birding principles. (In very basic layman terms, quantum birding states all particles can exist in two forms at once; they 'twitch'. Because of this, when subjected to extreme twitchiness, some objects can take on all aspects of other similar, yet different, objects. This is 'string theory', which I alluded to, but did not have time to expand upon, at the time the search was on for Schrodinger's Catbird.)

What interests me the most about this recent sighting was that it was happened, yet again, within the so-called 'Higgs Field', a once-believed hypothetical area of the Isle of Sheepey where pratincole species are known to burst briefly in and out of existence, albeit on a rare scale.

Some theorists suggest the Bosun Higgs Pratincole can only exist for that briefest of moments when Collared Pratincole, Black-winged Pratincole and Oriental Pratincole all collide at high speed. To prove their theory several wind farm turbines (formally known as 'Large Head-on Colliders', also nicknamed 'Spinning Gennies') have now been set up offshore of the Northern marshes, and even two on shore, as close as can be risked to where the Higgs Field is said to exist, so as to aid an increase in such collisions.

They are looking for evidence of the conjectured 'signature migration route' (an artist's conceptualisation of the trace they seek is attached). However briefly it can be revealed for, it will further support their 'Big Boom Theory'. This is the supposition that the total number of species recorded on TUKOGBANI* lists can continue to expand at ever an increasing rate until listering finally implodes and returns to being utterly valueless.

There are no known immediate industrial/technical benefits from sightings of the Bosun Higgs Pratincole, nor for observations in the Higgs Field. But like all advances in ornithology, practical uses can often not be seen at first. Some would argue presently what value scientific is one Tufted Puffin in TUKOGBANI records? Answer- none. But if the Large Head-on Colliders provide solid evidence of a second, a third, a fourth, then they prove their worth.

We live in such interesting times!

*Regulars in my flock know this to is the official name of our green and pleasant land;- The United Kingdom of Great Britain And Northern Ireland. No other name will do. Ever. And you certainly cannot count Oirish birds on your TUKOGBANI list. Ever. the Oirish won't thank you for it, for one.