Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tory badger defects to UKIP

The annual Conservative Party conference has been rocked this week by the defection of the Tory’s only badger Member of Parliament to arch-rivals UKIP.

Tom Logan MP, a badger from Rochester, announced he’d had enough of the Conservatives’ “wishy-washy” policies on immigration and Europe, adding “I wish they’d stop shooting badgers too, come to think of it”.

The resumption of a badger cull in an attempt to stem the spread of bovine tuberculosis has been strangely low on the Conservatives’ political agenda during the current party conference, with MPs preferring to discuss more pressing issues such as the country’s deficit, the future management of the NHS, and lifting the former Labour government’s hunting ban to allow the hunting with hounds of illegal immigrants, benefit cheats, and “anyone with a funny-sounding, foreign Johnny name”.

Basil Brush, the leader of UKIP, grinned toothsomely and said “We’re delighted to welcome this arguably bigoted and none-too-bright badger into our midst. I look forward sharing some xenophobic and economically unsound views with him over a pint of warm bitter in my local. We’ve got plenty in common, and he may be able to assist me in choosing a venue for our next party rally.

“Sadly it can’t be in mainland Europe, so that’s Nuremberg out”.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Royal family in alien shape shifter shocker

While David Cameron apologises today to the Queen for inadvertently revealing that she ‘purred’ when he told her the outcome of the recent referendum for Scottish independence, the rest of Britain this morning is coming to terms with the likelihood that the Royal family may be alien shape shifters that wear human forms like the rest of us wear clothes.

The ‘purring’ Queen indicates she may be a large, contented cat. A source within Buckingham Palace suggested that when out of her human form she most closely resembles a British Shorthair, adding “the only surprise really is that she looks nothing like a German Rex”. The Palace insider would not confirm rumours that Her Majesty enjoys a morning House Sparrow for her breakfast, nor that she has a scratching post, a jingly ball, and a litter tray in her bedroom.

Nicholas Twitchall, the BBC’s Royal Correspondent, said “For those in the know, it’s long been suspected that the royals aren’t like normal people. I once thought I saw Prince Charles pull his human form off whilst skiing in Austria. It was grim as fuck – like that bit in ‘V’ when the lizard-like alien tears its human face off. This was even scarier than that – it looked just like an inoffensive and arguably evolutionarily redundant Giant Panda.”

It appears as if all the Royal family (or the Firm, as they apparently prefer to be known) may have different alien forms. Tom Logan, a Natural England employee who once witnessed a Hen Harrier appearing to be shot near the Sandringham Estate said “Unfortunately we couldn’t provide enough clear evidence to link anyone with the harrier’s disappearance.

“The presence of a massive, ginger male chicken in the area seemed innocuous at the time...”

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

UK government begs Scotland "don't leave us alone with George Monbiot"

As Scotland stands on the brink of a referendum in which it might chose to sever the comparatively recent historic ties with the rest of the United Kingdom, the UK government has pleaded with voters "not to leave us alone with George Monbiot".

Arthur Balsam, a government spokesman, pleaded "Please, for the love of all that's holy, don't do this to us. As it stands, he turns his attention to all of the UK. But if you're gone, he'll start paying even more attention to what we're doing here in England.

"He asks awkward questions at the best of times, and it's not even as if he's restricting his opinions to trifles like civil liberties or suchlike fripperies - no, he's even interested in the environment, and we'd rather nobody looks too closely at our record in that department.

"Though, of course, we are officially The Greenest Government. Ever!"

Tom McLogan, an undecided Scottish voter living in Edinburgh, voiced the sentiments of either 49% or 51% of the population north of the border when he said, "The more the English plead, threaten and cajole us to stay, the more it makes us want to tell you to go boil your heid. We're planning on cloning George and replacing Trident in Faslane with our own Monbiot deterrent.

"He's at least as terrifying as your nuclear weapons, and he's far more discriminating. He's got your number, David Cameron...

"Now your pals cannae hunt foxes, you're making it legal to kill badgers instead. I can see how you might be worried about an independent Scotland. We might do something mad like reform the outdated system of land ownership, clamp down on wildlife crime on shooting estates, negotiate a Scottish-focused deal in agri-environment payments from Europe, maybe indulge in a bit of re-wilding of the Highlands... Who knows what we might get up to?

"Alternatively, we could just tell you to go fuck yourself, posh boy".   

Monday, 15 September 2014

Fair Isle cat says "bring it"

With autumn gearing up and the weather charts auguring well for an epic fall this week, Fair Isle’s premier bird finder is looking forward to a bumper season.

Thomas 'Lower' Logan, a cat from the south end of the island who’s seen more Sibes than you have remarked, “I can’t fucking wait. There’s nothing I enjoy more than stepping outside in the morning with a belly full of cat chow for a spot of pointless rarity hunting. At this time of year, you never know what you might find.

“Maybe it’ll be something dull and unlovable that nobody will miss, a Common Rosefinch say. Or perhaps it’ll be some pleasingly exhausted North American passerine from the boreal forest that’s no idea what a cat is, and can barely fly anyway.”

Thomas has been accused of targeting colourful and ultra rare passerines in the past, with the short stay of certain birds on the island being seen as particularly suspicious. Arthur Balsam, a frustrated twitcher from Stockport said, “Yeah, it’s funny how the Magnolia Warbler in 2012 vanished overnight. Or that Roller the other year. Though one of the former observatory staff members who really should have known better did unkindly suggest the latter bird might have been something else entirely, like a windblown salt and vinegar crisp packet, or plain fantasy...”

Thomas remains unrepentant and unperturbed. “That’s bollocks,” he said. “I’m completely indiscriminate. I don’t have colour vision - I'm a cat, for fuck’s sake. I had nothing to do with the Magnolia Warbler’s disappearance. Mind you, I’ve seen considerably more Siberian Blue and Rufous-tailed Robins than you have, that’s all I’m saying.”

As the observatory staff on census came into view on the horizon, Thomas set off to work the yard at Burkle.

“Bring it,” he said.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Scilly islanders relish chance to give birders a good kicking

With Rare Bird Alert issuing a rallying call yesterday for birders to participate in the once annual Islanders vs. Birders football match, locals on the Isles of Scilly were today relishing the chance to administer an overdue kicking to a birder or two.

Organisers of the football match are clearly worried that there won’t be enough able-bodied birders on the island at any given moment to muster an 11 man side, and have offered an initial wide window of 22 days in October during which the match may be held. Aware of the demographic of the average October visiting birder, incontinence pads will be offered alongside the traditional halftime oranges.

Arthur Balsam, a birder from Reading, said “I’m jolly excited about this! I’ve been a regular on the Scillies since 2011, and can’t wait to have a kick-around with the local chaps! I shall make sure my binos are nearby though in case one of the young Turks on the islands chances upon something mega. I’ll be wearing my pager on my shorts.

“I wouldn’t want to miss a chance to add a lifer to my tick list!”

Locals are more sanguine about the mooted football match. Tom Trelogan, creel fisherman and midfield general, said “I can’t wait to kick the shit out of an emmet birdspotter.

“That’ll teach the moaning twats to wander down the middle of the road in Hugh Town oblivious to anyone in a car needing to get to work. Or to trample through a bulb field they’re definitely not welcome in. Or to whinge about the price of the inter-island boats or accommodation.

“It’s all a bit rich when they’re all retired on a juicy pension and carrying Swarovski scopes over their shoulders.

“Still, at least the tea-rooms do a good trade when they’re here on holiday.”

Monday, 8 September 2014

Eastern Phoebe in Cornwall stuns Norfolk birders

Norfolk’s birders were today picking themselves up off the floor in shock at how far from grace the Cornish have fallen.

With news breaking shortly after midday of an Eastern Phoebe reported in Cornwall, Norfolk’s notoriously tight-lipped birdwatching fraternity howled with laughter at the low standards of news suppression on display.

“Once upon a time Cornwall’s birders were a by-word for not telling a soul about tanagers in the valleys,” said Arthur Balsam, a birder who moved to the North Norfolk coast in the 1980s and now considers himself a local. “Nowadays they’re just a joke. No sooner has someone found something good in West Penwith than they’re putting the news out for any old ticker to come and see it. They should have a long hard think about the message they’re sending to young birders.

“It shouldn’t be ‘MEGA Cornwall EASTERN PHOEBE reported 1.5mls south of St.Just’ – no, what they should be saying is it’s far more fun to keep news of a rare bird entirely to a small group of close friends, and only release the news once the bird’s long gone.

“Like we did with the Short-toed Eagle recently, to pick an example entirely and smugly at random.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the country’s birders flooded to Birdforum to ask themselves “are there any photos yet” and, in the absence of any immediately forthcoming, “are you sure it’s not a Spotted Flycatcher?”

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Great Maltese Bake Off contestant Diana quits

Popular, sparkly-eyed and genial Great Maltese Bake Off contestant Diana broke her silence this morning to speak openly about the furore surrounding her sudden departure from the show last night.

In the previous week’s episode it appeared as if Diana had sabotaged fellow contestant Iain’s exotic Hoopoe and Bee-eater infused Baked Alaska pudding by removing it from the freezer to make room for her own more conventional puréed Turtle Dove dessert filling.

Inevitably, the Maltese public were quick to take to Twitter to condemn Mary out of hand; but in the ensuing days speculation began that bearded Valetta hipster Iain may actually just have had a bit of a hissy fit when his pudding began to melt and reveal carelessly overlooked lead shot; and that the Maltese Broadcasting Corporation had edited the show in such a way as to incriminate Diana.

Last night’s show did nothing to allay the rumours, as viewers were told Diana had left the show ‘due to illness’. Speaking today from her husband’s hunting cabin in the Zejtun hills, Diana said “I certainly didn’t sabotage Iain’s dessert. There was no need to – the judges simply wouldn’t have approved of the strange marriage of species he was trying to make.

“My Turtle Dove filled Baked Alaska was a triumph – all of them blithely slaughtered by my brave husband, and picked from his bulging game bag by my own fair hands. It took a while to find enough amongst the innumerable Hen Harriers, Little Bitterns and Swifts he’d also shot that morning, but we got there in the end.

“I have no regrets whatsoever about my participation in the Great Maltese Bake Off. I left due to a sudden illness, and not because of any scandal involving Iain. I just wish I could have stayed in the competition - it was ever so much fun from start to finish. What larks!

“Mainly Skylark and Short-toed Lark – we baked dozens of them in earlier episodes. It made a pleasant change from just shooting them for shit and giggles.