This blog is about my birding exploits, which mainly take place in the Weymouth/Portland area, in Dorset. Will also include stuff from elsewhere, plus some other critters too. Hope you enjoy. All photographs are © Brett Spencer, unless indicated otherwise. The above image is of a Siberian Rubythroat, taken in Holland in 2016.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Seriously! Well, Not Exactly

Yesterday, I took my girls to Thorpe Park as a birthday gift.  I'm pretty tired today and still feel crap. So, I've decided to sit at the computer and write a post for you all to enjoy, or not, as the case may be.

Don't know whether you've taken a look at Joe's Birding Blog, have ya?  I'll tell you something, it's great, but possibly bad for your health.  Now Joe, I'm talking to you personally here.  That header photo on your blog is X rated man.  It's total bird porn is that.  Cripes!!!  The first time I saw that photo, I almost cracked one off, for crying out loud. And for those people regularly looking at your blog, they run the risk of getting calluses on their hands, not to mention blindness.  Ok, the latter is an old wives tale, but I just thought I'd throw that in for dramatics.  Keep up the good work Joe, love yer blog.

Now, a blog you won't see mentioned on mine is, ah, now how are we going to go about this?  I know, let's play charades.

Ok, it's a blog.

The first word.  T?  Yes, you've got it, The. Well done.

Ok, third word. It's a? Yes, well done, Blog

Right, second word. Two syllables. 
First syllable. It's supermarket carriers?
Second syllable. Sounds like the way yanks say the letter Z?

You got it yet?  If you have, don't go there, because it can cause obesity, 'cause it's full of waffle.  Very fattening them yer waffles.  Digressing slightly here, really fancied waffles for breakfast, with Maple Syrup, mmmm.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, not only that, it can cause Serious Birder Ineptitude.  SBI for short.  This is a very bad condition, which left untreated, can cause you to not identify waders correctly that look like Robins, even at close range.

No, I've not forgotten. The pain, the pain, the pain, the pain, the pain!!!

Changing subject now. Bird names. I don't know about you, but with all these splits of late, you'd thought they would come up with better English names, or at least standardize them. I'll give you a few examples.

Black Vulture at Monfrague, Spain in May 2006. Black Vulture, Eurasian Black Vulture, Cinereous Vulture or Monk Vulture? What would you call it?  I prefer Vision Of Death Vulture. God, I love these beasts, just awesome.

Now, what's with this Eastern this, and Western that?  It's boring!
Let's take Bonelli's Warbler. It gets split and the powers that be call it Western, or Eastern. Let's do what the Israeli's do and retain Western as Bonelli's Warbler and call Eastern, a much more evocative Balkan Warbler. Don't you agree?

It's like in the Collin's Bird Guide, they have Isabelline Warbler and Olivaceous Warbler. None of the Eastern/Western crap there.

And what's with Yelkouan ShearwaterYelkouan? Sounds like something you'd say whilst stuck on the bog trying to curl one out. I much prefer Levantine Shearwater. Can't you just feel that name caressing your tongue?

What about the old Rock Nuthatches?  Now, I've heard an alternative name for the Eastern one. Persian Nuthatch. Isn't that just great?  Far more inventive, me thinks. Maybe if we elongate it a bit, so it become Persian Rock Nuthatch. What could we call the Western one?  Comments welcome on that one, but maybe Turkish Rock Nuthatch?

I just think we need to be a bit more inventive and then stick to those names.

Steppe Grey Shrike - should be Saxual Grey Shrike. We don't call Saxaul Sparrow, Steppe Sparrow, do we.

If it's split, can we call White Wagtail something else, like Black-capped Wagtail. Yeah, I know it's got a black throat, but so has Black-capped Chickadee.

Spanish Imperial Eagle?  Iberian Eagle pleeease. It's not just in Spain.  So, that's Turkish Rock Nuthatch out then.

Now, I no it's nobody's fault, but can anyone tell me how to say Maghreb, without sounding like I'm coughing up a hair ball.

One last thing.

In some books, Yellowhammer allegedly sounds like, "little bit of bread and no cheese". Do you think we could put in for Rock Bunting that it sounds like, "sex and drugs and rock & roll".  That would be cool. Not correct, but cool.


James said...

Eastern Bonelli's is 'Balkan Bergfluiter' in Dutch, translates as Balkan Mountain/Hill whistler! But one of my favourites is still Peregrine - Slechtvalk, means Bad Falcon, which i guess if you're a pigeon is exactly what they are!

Joe Cockram said...

Thanks Brett, i'll do my best to provide you with more, erm, 'material'.

all the best