Thursday 18 September 2014

Alex Salmond rules on my list

Today is a really important day. Today the people of Scotland vote, and the responsibility must be unbearable. This is a decision that could have huge repercussions, and none is more important than my list. The vote is essentially on whether my list stays at 419, or drops to 402, for I've seen 17 species in Scotland and nowhere else. That's what Alex Salmond has basically been banging on about for the last few weeks. I mean yes, he talks about national identity, about a proud nation etc, but when he says "Let's do it!" what he really means is "Let's wipe the smile off those smarmy UK listers, coming over here and taking our birds."

This is outrageous. I've paid good money to see those 17 birds. Seven of those have been on Shetland, involving five highly expensive trips. I suppose I did manage to subsequently see Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll in Suffolk and Buff-bellied Pipit in London, but Syke's Warbler, Lancie and Pechora could be more difficult. Last year I even bloody twitched Shetland for that Pine Grosbeak. Had I known.....And then a month after that I was on the Hebrides for the Harlequin Duck. I demand a refund! And as for my exciting Yank trio of Coot, Duck and Herring Gull, well they cost me a weekend and about £30 each, and were dull as ditch-water to boot. You think I went to see them for their aesthetic value? For what they could teach me about plumage? Pah! It was for my UK list, a UK that includes Scotland. And what about the Black Scoter? That sodding thing took me seven hours to find off Blackdog. Seven hours, some of them whilst being chased by a naked man wearing a sailor's cap. Is the Yes Campaign really saying that that was all in vain? How can that be fair, it's just so short-sighted. I guess I should count my lucky stars that the Sandhill Crane relocated to Suffolk where I saw it again, even though at the time it was one of the worst things that had happened in my entire life as it meant all my mates then saw it. 

Then there's all the endemics. Where am I going to see a Ptarmigan in England, Wales or Northern Ireland? Or a Crested Tit? And what about Scottish Crossbill? Presumably all those will have to now pass a DNA test or they'll be shipped back across the border? The whole situation is nuts, and clearly hasn't been thought through properly. For starters what about all the economic benefits that birders bring to Scotland? On some trips I've forgotten the Double Deckers and had to purchase them up there, and on Shetland I reckon I've spent at least £20 on pies over the years. And this is just me! There are literally tens of other people like me who could also withdraw their custom, the damage to the people of Scotland could be immense. Westminster would have to increase their already massive subsidies to make up the shortfall. Oh, wait.....

Gone but not forgotten....
Thank God

1 comment:

  1. Such is my lack of twitching further north than Spurn I have not one single Scottish bird on my list! Which, if they do go completely barking mad and cut loose, will mean I will close up on everyone's list by some margin. Ha, hah!