stink on stink on stink

Do you remember those cans of ‘fart gas’ that you could buy when you were a kid?

a can doing pthfhwahyeurrknoaaaargh!

It would generally waste a large chunk of the pocket money that you had saved up for the annual summer holiday, having purchased it after falling for the illusion of actually having a real can of real flatus.  The reality was that the smell was rank, but not really that similar to proper anal gaseous discharge.  When I say rank, I mean rank.  Proper rank.  Not enough to produce instant projectile vomiting (that would be amaaaaazing), but enough to clear a ridge tent in quick time, even in the rain.  Chemically mixed rankness in spray form.  The smell contained in these containers was definitely not pleasant.  I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it was some concoction from the depths of hell, but certainly a little lister demon that may have passed this region had given a little whisper in the ear of the creator of fart gas.  You don’t remember fart gas?  Oh.

Compared to what I had whaft under my nostrils on Friday, cans of fart gas are about as unpleasant as fresh honeysuckle.  Here is a picture of something that really does smell.  Technically, this thing here “really really fucking stinks”.

a horn doing stink

 

As I approached it, the smell situation wasn’t in my mind but once I got close and the hoard of flies vacated the whaft whafted.  Rankness of another level.  Needless to say, this is a pan species patch tick and evidently it has a rude sounding scientific name – Phallus impudicus.  Gurgle.

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rainy double patch tick whammy

So I went out into the patch and it looked like this.

sky doing just you wait sonny

Understandably, I started getting rained on.  So I retreated to the shelter of a nearby motorised vehicle and by the magic of the internal combustion engine I found myself by an area of scrubland.  Actually it is desolate industrial wasteground, but scrub makes it sound all wild and authentic and everything.  Bored out of my patch mind by the lack of birds to watch I even ended up taking pictures of a bird I don’t like.

a wood pigeon doing rubbish

I muttered, and took the Lords name in vain with reference to the rubbishness of local birds etc.  I mean Wrynecks are stalking local dunes, but not mine.  Greenish Warblers are being found in bushes a mere few miles away, but not here.  All I have is a Wood Pigeon.  And those Sparrows.  And that Blue Tit.  FFS.  Blue Tit?  But that would be a member of an entire family of birds that do not present themselves around here at all.  Have I fallen into the complacency of the common place again?  Yes!  Patch tick! Niiiiice!  Better get the bins out then and look at it properly.  It’s a respect thing.  But hang on, what is that flicky thing that is with the Tit and Sparrows in that rubbish bit of scrub/wasteland.  Oh it seems to look like a warbler.  At 8x magnification it revealed itself to be no less than a Chiffchaff.  Another bleeding patch tick!  Shmokin!

One rain shower for me, two photos for you dear reader, and a rambling post about two patch ticks.  Splendid.

conehead!

Although you might think that an insult, just imagine that it was your actual name!

Behold the Long-winged Conehead Conocephalus discolor.

 

a conehead doing not a cricket

 

 

That’ll be a patch tick and everything like that.  And I identified it all by myself for a change.  My bug book is not completely useless after all…

That patch pan listing thing hasn’t gone away by the way.  There’s no rush…

twa bugs

Bug one.  Any ideas?

a bug doing mystery

 

Bug two. Just because.

ladybird doing close-up

more sky

Cromer wasn’t too shabby on Sunday either…

sky doing some wisecrack about kansas

cley sky

The best bit of Cley, or any part of the coast yesterday afternoon was the sky…

boats and sky doing cliche

sunset

Unadulterated and as seen from chez Thing last night.

sky doing colours

 

Well it wouldn’t have been in the morning would it?

panpatchtickon

There has been talk, or perhaps type, on various internet fora lately regarding the phenomenon known as pan-listing.  For those of you are unfamiliar with this term it is not a listing of pans (whether this is for cooking or otherwise) but another use of the word – pan-listing is the listing of every living thing that you have seen.  Absolutely everything.  Without exception.  What an idiotic admirable task you might think.  Listing everything that you have ever seen (within a Natural History framework of course) in a little book or on some check-sheets or whatever.  Simple eh?  Well the chap that has the most pan-ticks in the UK is at a little over 10,000.  Does that sound a lot to you?  It does to me, especially after I thought I’d put some stuff together to see where I was up to, and once I totted up my list I realised that I have seen bugger all.  Honestly, absolutely bugger all.  I thought that I’d seen a few things –  I like to try and identify the odd insect, or an interesting plant, the odd sea gooseberry here and there so my thinking was that there would be a fair few ticks on my list, but how wrong I was.  Even less than bugger all.

However, not being unfazed so easily I gave the matter some thought and wondered if it would be a practical thing to do.  The theory sounded easy at first; just go around identifying everything and then writing it down in a book.   Easy.  With a little bit of thought it occurred to me exactly what everything actually meant and with a little bit of investigation the numbers started to come in and the size of the task began to dawn on me.  Everything.  Flowers, reptiles, plants, molluscs, trees, birds, mammals, moths, butterflies, flies, beetles, arachnids, crustaceans, fungi, lichen, moss,  etc etc.  Want some numbers?  14,000 + fungi in the UK.  600 + birds, hundreds of spiders, thousands of insects, 2500 moths, and the list goes on.  There are literally tens of thousands of ‘stuff’ to identify, all of which I haven’t got a clue where to start (other than flicking through a book of bugs – got, got, need, got, swap etc).  And to put a specific name to some of them you need to get them under a microscope and piss about with their genitals before you can be sure.  No, really.  The question then raises its head – can I really be bothered with all that?  Joan Collins reportedly said that life is too short to stuff mushrooms.  Well I have come to the conclusion that my life is too short to be dissecting the genitalia of Lepidoptera.  And that is the end of it.  No pan-listing for me. No way.

 But hang on a one Gossypium-picking minute.  Without doubt the journey would be interesting, but the road is like too long and wide, yah?  So what if the pan-listing thing was downsized a bit?  Would it be more sensible then?  Limit it to just Norfolk perhaps?  Still daft, Norfolk is bloody big and there is loads and loads of stuff in it, still a stupidly stupid endeavour.  No Norfolk pan-listing for me.  No way.

But.  Isn’t there always a but?  But, perhaps downsize it a bit more??  What if I put two and two together.  Go for a spot of pan-listing, but limit it to the patch!?!?!  Ooooh – identify and list every single species that can be found in the patch!  Even then it really is a stupid thing to do.  Have you any idea how many different types of grass there are?  Nah, not doing it.  I’ll stick to the birds.  That is plenty.  Small, insignificant, but plenty for me.

Not that easy now though is it?  It’s out of the bag now.  The creation of a bird list brings out the Lister Demon and his evil temptations, but pan-listing brings out the demon, all his little helpers, the demon’s boss and most of the rest of the hordes from listing-demon-central.  The temptation is difficult to resist.  The whole idea has the potential to be a stupid tempt filled crusade.  In fact I would go as far as to say that it is verging on lunacy.  Stupidity.  Folly.  Trying to identify everything in a patch when you don’t know the first thing about botany or zoology, and not much about birds.  Truly, truly stupid.

Bollocks.  I’m in.  Lets get listing!

In the spirit of the insane new quest, here is a picture of a grasshopper (which I have yet to identify).

a grasshopper doing knee high to what?

Not just a picture of a grasshopper anymore is it?  No, it is sitting on some lichen! AAAaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

conrcrake and the croft

Twas flicking through the iplayer last night and came across a programme called The Corncrake And The Croft which had originally been shown on BBC Alba.  Excellent I thought, I’ll watch that – and now.  Although the beginning of the programme was in Gaelic with English subtitles, the majority of the programme was in English.  It was a revisit to an episode of The World About Us from 1977 (!) which, you’ve guessed it, was about crofting and occasionally Corncrakes in Uist.  There is plenty of photography of other birds and it is well worth a look.  It is from a time when a Corn Bunting singing on fence isn’t worth mentioning, when nobody spoke about conservation and when tractors didn’t have a cab.  The story line is a little unreal though.  This being the west of Scotland, it didn’t seem to rain in the summer which I found strange, only when the foaming seas of Autumn arrived did the weather change.   Anyway, if you have an  hour to kill while the rain stops birding this weekend, I recommend it.

Here is a link to the online version.

While I’m talking about foaming sea in Uist, here is a picture of just that, apart from the fact that it was not taken in Uist.

sea doing foam

tick and a bug

Patch tickeroo today, but hardly the most exciting.  While the twitcherati are going mad for a brown job with bits of white on it in Cleveland I am making do with a dozen Canada Geese flying over.

What I need to do is actually spend a bit of time in the patch, and see some more birds.

In the meantime, here is an incredible picture of another Damselfly from my garden.  I think it might be the female version of the one that I had before (Large Red), although I am happy to be corrected.  Either way, nothing exciting outside of the garden but massively important within it.

damselfly doing female

x, y, z

You may be wondering what has been going on in the patch and so, for that matter, have I.  
 
Not only has my activity been sparse, so has the action when there has been activity.  And then, when there has been action and activity combined, the species in question cannot be named.  Nor can some of my recent birding activities either, so although I’ve done stuff, chuffing on about it on here it is quite the wrong thing to do.  There has been a minor furore amongst the birding community (well, twitchers and photographers to be honest – everyone else is reasonably sane and can see both sides of an argument) regarding Birdguides’ excellent decision to stop uploading pictures of  Schedule 1 breeders, regardless of the context.  Good move I say.  I understand that bloggers shouldn’t be chuffing on about Schedule 1 breeders either, so being a fan of the moral high ground I shall cease to chuff.
 
So in summary, I recently went to not very secret location X to see bird Y but didn’t see it, and I’ve recently been homing in on bird Z to see if it is breeding.  I have also seen a marked increase in bird A in the patch, which is not surprising really.  I had been hoping to see bird B, but this also has been elusive.
 
See?  Interesting for me and the county recorder, but for you dear reader – dull as dishwater. 
 
To counteract this dullness – have a picture of a mammal what I took!  In my garden!  Sitting on a rock! By the pond! For no apparent reason!  At night! 
 
Huzzah!
 

a hedgehog doing nervous

a photo

the patch doing cirrus

ryan giggs

It’s amazing what people get up to on the interweb, and what they will talk about or look for isn’t it?  Indeed, recently someone landed on this blog after putting ‘hardcore dolphin porn’ into their search engine.  Not ordinary dolphin porn, no.  Hardcore dolphin porn.  I haven’t taken too much time to try and work out what it entails exactly.  Take a look around, this is a dolphin porn free site.  Dolphin friendly perhaps. 

Super.  In this juncture, I offer a  recent picture from the patch which contains no dolphins or porn at all.

patch doing clouds and stuff

number 73

Peregine has been added to the Norwich list with a visit to the Cathedral yesterday where cracking views were to be had.  I thought I might have had another tick on this list last weekend when I saw a Rook nervously hanging around Plumstead Road.  It wasn’t a tick but it was the first I’ve seen in Norwich for a while.

Have a picture from the patch.  Nelson’s Column.  Yarmouth stylee – cos he was a Norfolk boiii you see.  It is topped with Britannia, but she doesn’t  look to sea rather to the place of his birth which is miles away. 

nelson doing column

arty farty

Patch ticks all over the place to update, but due to restricted time (or perhaps effort) I will offer just this picture.  There are two things that the residents of Yarmouth like to do with their beach.  Dump rubbish on it and let their dogs shit all over it.   Here is an arty-farty picture of the former, in an abstract stylee.

It is titled, for no sensible reason – ‘like, dur‘.

like, dur!