|The Common (or Northern) Pike Esox lucius lucius|
|Hume's Pike Esox lucius humeii|
You are correct, this stuff and nonsense on the splitting of Pike into Common Pike and the vagrant Hume's Pike does seem most overblown. I think you are right not to concern yourself with the trumpeting of others. I have had a look now through their evidence, and I am with your attitude, one hundred percentage points sirrah.
I have to say I am not as attuned to piscean science and politic, so I might have to reason my support by way of exampling dear Allan Octavian Hume's findings in the fowle department.
Forgive me if already know much of the distinguished gentleman already. If you do, you might have seen in popular press that 'AO' was so opinionated as to be accused of being dogmatic, leading to a nickname of 'The Pope of Indian Ornithology'. Yet it was only through sticking to his collecting gun he came to have authorities agree to see differences between 'Mr Hume's Leafy Warbler' and the 'Yellow-of-brow Leafy Warbler'.
But he noted so much more than that;- he theorised, quantum-like, that there must be at the same time be more than one Mr Hume. 'Mr Hume's Easterly Leafy Warbler' and 'Mr Hume's Westerly Leafy Warbler' have also now since entered the record books. They have such considerable differences in the science of their 'mtDNA' and importantly for us in the sweet sounds of their calls by which they can be told apart. True, 'tis unfortunate that though now separate in their routes their song remains the same. For many of those with an opinion that actually matters they close enough to be deemed 'allopatric', and as such are not treated as separate species (which is why the vast majority of this country's a'birderers will not have bothered with them).
If I understand allopatry correctly, a good example for any non-a'birderer would be the great heffelump of the African Plains, which on morphology and DNA is listed as three sub-species. Now of late the researcher Snr San Diego Uni-Cali-Fornia has found evidence that the geographical isolation has caused necessary divergence to make claim, not yet agreed, to separate as species.
And yet, when we think about it, in our own Fowle world, a sniff of such divergence is usually just about all that is need to persuade splitting for the purposes of listing (dare I mention the Polls?). The final deciding straw is, of course, whether any type specimen has occurred on our fair shores. If it is has, then by jingo(!) we elevate to species status, if it has not, we care not. Because an heffelump has yet to stroll the promenade at Thannit, we care not. Because a few Leafy Warblers have appeared, it becomes as if life and death to the a'listerers.
Now, my question to any such fellow who ejaculated loudly over an episode of Mr Hume's Leafy Warbler identification claimage would be this;-
~ If your list (most pure) already contains two ticks for both Lesser Poll and Mealy Poll, then how can you put one tick against an unconsidered general Mr Hume's Leafy Warbler?
~ For the tick should surely either be made against Mr Hume's Easterly Leaf Warbler, or be made against Mr Hume's Westerly Leaf Warbler.
~ It cannot be both, and I wager sirrah you cannot at this moment describe to me with certainty which you heard.
~ And I also suspect that you will not tell me without first running back to your cantographs whilst praying the calls are not that similar to an untuned forgetful ear(!).
Now, such naughty teasing at their expense may very well send them a'scuttling to their Almighty Forums to try and seek an expert to salve their tick plight. Or to allow triumphalism if they are but just followers of the growing sport of a'listering. For sure, some will come back to lecture you on the finer points. They all miss the bigger picture;- that, at the end of the day, there is no value of any real worth to this rare migrant being correctly identified here.
The true value of a species or of a sub-species lays back in it's home range, where bringing such information to prominence may well just persuade local village elders to pass tribal laws to protect it, so it thrives. But should the elders in the lands of the Leafy be told the bird has great value simply because it has flown to the green and pleasant epicentre of the Empire 121 times in 62 years, they will, quite rightly, not give one brass-MonkeyGod.
The only value back here in Blighty is simply on a list, and we know such sporting lists lead us into the sin of covetousness.
No, if any would-be lecturer of ornithological tickage were to come to you to lecture on whether or not a bird you had seen was a Mr Humes', then reply as Sir Montgomery Python did once most famously, not with his 'African or European(?)', but with 'Western or Eastern(?)'.
I hope this ornithological reference makes sense. Back to your fishy problem, whether you should continue to leave Hume's Pike out of your mighty reference;- I know you have continued to add new information to your volume for more than two decades now, but you are most right to ignore this. That some 'authorities' have now decreed there are interesting differences in bubblegraphs of certain Pike will matter not to your readership. Leave those list-makers to wallow in bubblegraphs of their own making from all the hot waste air they exude upon such arguments.
How to ensure the Common Pike remain numerous in our polluted rivers is of more import to the most coarse a'fisherman than any discovery of a Hume's Pike which has somehow stupidly swum against the tide.
Izzy, I know you are a proud man, and do not need or seek my support. I will still happily voice it if chance happens my way. If any upstart approaches me whilst I fish at the duckpond and asks which Esox I have just netted, I will look deep and hard into those fish eyes and say 'don't tell them your name Pike(!)'.