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Thread: Britain's best birds.

  1. #1

    Default Britain's best birds.

    This is a hardcore, minority thread I realise.

    Luka, Jim! Join me!

    I hate lists. So I made one. To start a debate, somewhat poetic after this prosaic list, I hope.

    I reckon they are, from best down:

    1. Osprey
    2. Arctic Tern
    3. Blackbird
    4. Peregrine Falcon
    5. Oystercatcher
    6. Barn Owl
    7. Lapwing
    8. Swift
    9. Magpie
    10. Pheasant

    Add your own! Challenge the list! Or agree! Or whatever!

    I know this is the worst way to introduce the topic, but I've waited long enough.

    By the way Jim, when are we coming around for dinner?

  2. #2
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    there's the best ones i've seen, then there's the ones that look the most glamourous in the books.

    i like herons and great crested grebe for grace
    i love crows and rooks and ravens
    particularly in the mist or fog, for gothic atmospherics

    i love teeming hordes of starlings, they remind me of fagin's boys, a crafty mob
    jays
    robins, for being heartening, they're friendly
    blackbirds for their song and always being in sweet, fatihful couples, for the males glossy black feathers and bright yellow beak
    kestrels for being a suprise anytime you see them hovering over city streets
    magpies, for their pomp and finery, a theif in kings clothing
    kingfishers-=the most magical bird i've ever seen, that flash of irridescence
    pied and grey wagtails for their constant twitchy movements, like athletes, too fit to stay still
    swallows, housemartins for the skill, beauty and joy of their flight
    you have to have swans, eh?
    greenfinches and goldfinches

    then there's all the birds i haven't seen
    owls, eagles, skuas, buzzards, ruffs, lapwings, bitterns, woodpeckers, golden orioles, hoopoes and bee eaters that look pretty ficking amazing in the illustrations
    Last edited by luka; 14-12-2004 at 01:52 PM. Reason: i wrote magpies when i meant starlings

  3. #3
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    Jays!

    I see one about every 6 months in the garden and they always look brilliant with that blue flash on their wings. Makes an exotic change from all the blackbirds and magpies and blue tits.

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    jays are pretty fantastic, as are green woodpeckers.

    round our way the best birds, by far are curlews-in the summer they are all over the valley, nesting in fields etc and have a swooping/ haunting/ beautiful call. lapwings are good too-they harrass sparrowhawks if they come near their nest- like a dogfight. (oyster catchers are 10 a penny)

    i quite like partridges, esp when they fly up in your face when you're running through the heather.

    i saw a bearded tit down by the river. long tail. unless it was a long tailed tit. then the tail while still long, was less impressive.

    i cannot recommend enough a journey to the farne islands (off newcastle) in the breeding season: you'll see people running around waving their hands over their heads and getting dive bombed by terns (expect a bloody head), nearly step on eider ducks who simply sit by the side of the path and see 1000s of guilimots, cormorants, shags, razor bills, puffins etc. it fcuking stinks

    i like gannets personally. stunning and they dive bomb the water/ fish rather than you/me
    Last edited by matt b; 14-12-2004 at 04:12 PM.

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    The kestrel. For she is the wind-fucker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambler
    Jays!
    Jays rule. The sight of one is a wondrously strange thing.

    jay.jpg

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    They look like evolution got bored and just started to cut-and-paste a colour scheme. Mad.

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    Last edited by Rambler; 15-12-2004 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Found a better link

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    twitchers will be going mental over that. wierd buggers, they are (twitchers). they once turned up in their 100s on our (suburban) street to see some african bird that had been blown off course.
    it was like a bill oddie cloning experiment.

  10. #10
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    I'm right into winter migrants... fieldfares, redwings, y'know perching birds --- none of that wader arkana...

    its like- in comes Winter, S.A.D starts kicking in and then BOSCH -- nice to see ya guys, at last something thinks that wet cold miserable days are worth flying across the North sea for.

    Saw some Waxwings t'other day... like overfed starlings with serious psychobilly quiffs. Salute.

    Aviphillia

    1) Red kite - a flying door with third reich wings.
    2) Blue tit.... aaaah blessum... feathered woodland elves
    3) Fieldfare - a roxy music mistle thrush
    4) Chough - flies like a jackdaw - talks like a gull. nice red bill
    5) Lapwings - nice paintjob, always seem to be about to fall out the air, WTF is that call all about? like a semantic swanee whistle.
    6) Jays - of course.. top plumage.. going against the corvid grain --- yet compensating for polychrome dandyism by sounding like a serial killer pig.
    7) Ravens - Iron age Europe can't be wrong.

    I could do with seeing some hornbills or vultures but they're quite rare in the peak district.
    Last edited by shaun L; 15-12-2004 at 09:19 PM. Reason: list mania

  11. #11
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    Yesterday middle aged men with binoculars kept appearing by where I work. Eventually one of them came over and asked me to write a poem about a garden warbler, the rare(ish) bird they had all mad a special trip to see. It was making a stop over on its flight south to Africa.

    https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wi...arden-warbler/

  12. #12

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    I started this thread at 2.25 am on a Tuesday morning in 2004. I can only imagine how much I'd have drunk by that point.

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  14. #13
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    It's a good thread. I like it.

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    I thought it was going to be about women.

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    All the same ones... I love seeing kingfishers on the rare occasions I do. I think my best sighting was swimming in Hampstead Heath and there was one sitting on a branch above the pond that allowed almost right underneath it just a few feet away. Jays also very colourful, saw a green woodpecker on my parents' lawn last time I went back. Love the excitement caused by the release of all those huge red kites and of course hovering kestrels. In holidays to Orkney, Shetlands and Hebrides I've seen a golden eagle, an osprey and a gyrfalcon which were all impressive but I don't really think of those as birds you can see in the Britain that I lived in. I've always had a soft spot for waders - I think when I first watched birds a curlew or something was maybe the first I identified with binoculars and a bird book - and avocets are very graceful but maybe my favourite of all, to see standing or flying, is a heron, there is something so evocative about them (although I don't know of quite what).

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