There’ll be bluebirds over, er, Carlisle!
I’ve always been amazed just how far bird wallopers will travel within the UK to see a rare bird, even if it’s nothing more than a ‘little brown job’.
Don’t get me wrong, I like birds (except those that steal your chips or cr@p on you) and I’ve seen a few that twitchers would love to tick off their lists, including the Guácharo (oil bird) nesting in caves in Trinidad, the rare Jacquot (St Lucia parrot), and a pair of Waved Albatross on Isla de la Plata (the poor man’s Galapagos) off the Ecuadorian Coast. Nevertheless, the Bill Oddies of this world would describe me, pejoratively, as a Dude: “a bird-watcher who doesn’t really know all that much about birds”.
Actually, I’m not even a Dude as I’m not a bird-watcher and all my sightings have been incidental rather than targeted, which, I imagine, may upset those in the birding community that have spent a small fortune in their endeavours to see them – and failed. (‘Management’ and I saw the Jacquot on a forest walk whilst holidaying in St Lucia; it astonished our guide who had ‘regulars’ from North America that had tried and failed on several occasions to see a single one – we saw three!)
Anyway, no-one had previously seen the blue and black tropical migrant that was found in Carlisle last week … except it wasn’t. Somehow a gull had been ‘painted blue, although whether it was an intentional act is unknown. I think that merits a limerick, don’t you?
So here’s to Cumbria’s astonishing birdlife:
There once was a pitiful zoo
Whose birds were a monochrome hue
In an aviary so sparse
‘Twas a bird-watching farce
So they painted a herring gull blue.
Postscript: And that makes four years of A limerick a week without any being missed! One or two came out a day or two late, some were crap, some were ordinary and some turned out well. The ‘context’ and occasional rants were too often too long (JCK pers comm) or, as Firstborn would have it, TL;DR. ‘A prophet is without honour’ as they say, but there’ll be another year of them before I ‘downsize’ to occasional limericks only!