Friday, November 27, 2009

It was about time. Hoisted with their own petard

The wall eyed Ferrug on 6th.
"hoisted with their own petard"
Should have been the cover phrase of the latest US Birds, not Invasion of Crossbills !
How many people think that petard means something like " Run up the flag pole with their foolishness waving in the breeze like a flag?". ie "Gull elite prove they have no idea, etc"
Well wrong. Petard is a shaped explosive box, for blowing down walls, referenced by Shakespeare and amusingly is based on the Med French word "Peto" as in to fart. Which is most appropriate
I will leave the etymology their. Work your way through the magazine Starting with the "Changing seasons " If you read the "Gull sections" Boy oh Boy are we back peddling on IDing of Gulls now, as in "When I said it was a Kumleins Gull I actually meant "Probable " or "Possible"
Why jam the text with this speculation.
"Gulls of indeterminate types where found by most active birders, those felt to be possibly of the following might be" works for me. The Kline of Gull idiocy works its way from West to East.It was invented on the West Coast. The East Coast warned against this half assed trend a long time ago.R T Peterson in his 1st edition of the Field Guide to W Usa 1941, warns of problems, read the Glaucous Gull section.For a more disparaging east Coast view, of West Coast Gull maker uppers. Go to page 97 of the 1961 edition."Caution, Many a young Glaucous-wing has been turned into a Glaucous by list hungry neophytes"
I blame the whole thing on those very neophytes who have now grown up, and have seen every expected bird, and need at least one this year.No worse is this than in Europe, and especially my birth country England. How embarrassing to say that. With current technology etc every one has seen everything,, more or less, all the obvious ones. Now we need the obscure. Brant, Canadas, Phylloscs. Things in the press "It did not dissapoint a crowd of 250 who showed up to see it, putting in the bank in case they split it in the future". I am getting to the point were the European sector is becoming " No band. No record" Photographs can be useful, but I have $200 worth of books right next to me. Full of lavish pics and "Possible" Indeterminate" "Based on distribution" How can you base anything on distribution when they are all "possibles " Now we have the next step in this foolishness. "I can id hybrids". NO you can't. If you can't ID pure juv gulls. How the hell do you ID hybrids ? Quite foolish. Fox sparrows I can see, Western Flyc I cant. Logerhead shrikes I can see possibilities with. Winter wrens definitely. But then when all is aid and done, different views for different people. And as my day was made by a flock of 35 Ring Billeds, circling with 2 Ross Geese. My gull whining is pointless !
Gorgeous day. Photoing raptors. Going to try and put together a pic slide show of Red tails in the valley. Now there is a disaster. I am sure I have had Eastern. But then you get
"May have more or less barring on the breast and some have dark throats ec etc etc."
You can decide.
Ducks arrived after yesterdays horrid winds . The drop had a nice smattering of the expected birds. Just a dead calm day with the same number of birds. Here comes the wind again.

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