Thursday, 2 December 2010

Reservoir Cats - the book

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.
What was Reservoir Cats? A satiricial, sometimes acerbic but always light-hearted take on the environment, the birds in it, and the people who watch them. Like any hobby, we sometimes take ourselves too seriously, and it does us all good to puncture the pomposity and insincerity from time to time.

It's good to laugh, especially at ourselves - and now you can read the whole thing, amusing warts and all, in a paperback - over 220 pages of wanton bird-related frolics and high jinks, including some scandalous, never-published-before bonus material...

There are a few sample posts left below, but for the whole uncut thing... ah, you'll just have to buy the book, a snip at just £7.95.

However, as a final gesture of general goodwill and repentance for all of the Blue Tits and serious birders we mauled over the 13 months that Reservoir Cats was being published online, we've decided to do a Good Thing.

It's Reservoir Cats' Good Thing, no less. Every copy of
'Reservoir Cats' we sell will mean a £1 donation to the RSPB. We checked with them, and they're happy about this. Really, they are.

Go on, share the love. Reservoir Cats - funnier than an egg collector fatally falling out of a tree, and even more generous than a drake Ruddy Duck infecting the White-headed Duck gene pool.

How to buy the book? It's easy - just click on the blue "Buy this book" button below:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

And we'll send a nice shiny pound to the RSPB. Bless.

Here's what people have said:

"scurrilous and childishly amusing" - Mark Avery, RSPB Conservation Director

"the Private Eye of birding"
- Andy Gibb,

"very amusing and beautifully written"
- John Cantelo,

"a great birder's toilet read" - David Callahan, Birdwatch magazine

"demented genius" - Darren Oakley-Martin, RSPB

"a cross between Jack the Ripper and Banksy"
- Alan Tilmouth,

"actually funny" - Rageh Omaar, Al Jazeera (yes, we were surprised to hear from him too. Assuming it was the *real* Rageh and not an imposter...)

"libellous and offensive" - El Presidente himself

"the funniest birding blog on the planet" - Gunnar Engblom,

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Pope says twitching 'will make you go blind'

On the eve of the Papal visit to the United Kingdom, the Vatican has issued a new catechism that sets out the moral and religious argument against twitching.

The catechism claims that while birding is permissible on every day of the week except Sundays and during Lent, twitching is an abhorence against God's almighty will and 'will be punished by an eternity in the fiery pit'.

Tom Loggiano, a Vatican spokesman added "And in this life, it'll make you go blind. So don't do it, you secular British bastards."

Pope Benedict XVI is due to arrive in London tomorrow morning, where he expects to be greeted as a head of state and with all the pomp and ceremony that position affords him. Instead, he is likely to be met by a baying mob of twitchers and the NSPCC.

Arthur Balsam, a twitcher from Uxbridge said "Anyone would think there was something shameful and sordid about twitching. The reality is that it's a perfectly natural thing for a man to do. It's a harmless outlet for our natural urges, and is just our way of passing the time.

"In the same way that laundering Nazi gold, protecting paedophile priests, and denying the existence of evolution has made the past few decades simply race by for the Catholic church."

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Birders praise wheelie bin cat woman

As the police mounted a round-the-clock guard tonight on the home of a woman in Coventry caught on CCTV dumping a young cat in a wheelie bin, birders around the UK were lining up to praise the bird-loving heroine.

Mary Bale was unwittingly filmed as she at first stroked the friendly tabby before seizing it firmly by the scruff of the neck and smoothly dropping it into a nearby dustbin. Since footage of her selfless act of bird-friendly heroism was made public, she has been on the receiving end of death threats from all around the world, and the police have been obliged to provide her with protection.

Tom Logan, a birder from Birmingham said "These people need to get some bloody perspective. Cats kill millions of wild birds every year in the UK. She was just doing the local House Sparrows a big favour. And it's not like it was going to be a lingering death - everyone knows a cat won't last more than an hour or two in a plastic wheelie bin left in direct sunlight. It's not as if she was slow-marinading it like they do in America..."

Gary Korkuc, a bird-lover from Buffalo, New York is currently facing charges of animal cruelty after traffic police discovered a live cat in the boot of his car marinading in a piquant mixture of oil, red peppers, chilli and seasoning. Mr Korkuc claimed he was planning on cooking the cat as it was 'death on legs' for dendroica warbler fledglings, adding that it was also 'bad-tempered, possessive, greedy and wasteful'.

His cat, Navarro, was described by police as having black and white markings, a good disposition, weighing 12 pounds, and needing an hour and a half in a hot oven.

Meanwhile, the police in Coventry were unable to provide cooking instructions for the wheelie bin tabby, confining themselves only to a statement confirming that the cat was 'recovering well'.

Tom Logan made the following plea to the nation's bird-lovers: "Dispose of a neighbour's cat - they're easily lured to you with kind words and a gentle hand, and while you could eat them, dumping them in a bin or a canal achieves much the same outcome - one less slit-eyed bastard killing your Blue Tits."

Enid Felcher, an elderly Cat's Protection League supporter from Harrow said "You're all fucking sick. Everyone knows you don't use chilli with cat - they're far nicer roasted with a sprig of rosemary and an onion stuffed up their arse."

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Wheatears better than sex, say birders

Horny birdspotters this weekend have unanimously decided that seeing the first Wheatear of the year is better than sex with themselves, and almost as good as a begrudging drunken fumble with their unwilling wives on their birthdays.

As southerly winds have wafted in the first Wheatears of the year, local patch-watchers have been out all weekend straining to find themselves the only passage migrant they're likely to see all spring on their dismal inland beats.

Tom Logan, a patch-watcher from Croydon said "I found a male Wheatear yesterday morning on the area of miserable industrial wasteland I like to think of as semi-arid upland habitat. It was foraging amongst the broken lumps of concrete and twisted reinforcement rods, and my heart lifted the moment I saw it.

"Later that evening, when I was trying to have a quiet wank in the bathroom after Match of the Day without waking up my wife or daughter, I suddenly realised that I was getting more joy out of that solitary Wheatear than I do out of my regular Saturday night spasm into a bit of bog roll. Shame I'm going to have to wait a whole year before I get that moment of sheer elation all over again... but on the other hand, that's kind of like my marriage anyway."

Debbie Logan, an embittered and unhappy housewife from Croydon said, "My husband's a sad wanker who likes spotting birds and writing them down in a little notebook. Is that grounds enough for a divorce, or should I tell you about the hours he spends writing up his tragic little blog all about the birdies he's spotted on 'his patch'? Who reads that shit? I mean really, who does? Other wankers like him, I bet. There's a whole army of unhappy women like me out there. There'll be blood spilt one day, I'm telling you. Blood."

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Sparrowhawks to blame for absolutely everything

With the sensational and unexpected news today that Sparrowhawks and other raptors do not in the main lead to long-term declines in passerine populations, the supporters of anti-Sparrowhawk charity Songbird Survival are left scratching their heads and wondering what else they can blame Sparrowhawks for instead.

"Personally, I think they're to blame for absolutely everything what's wrong in the world," said Enid Felcher, a Songbird Survival sympathiser and passionate feeder of the little Bobby Robin who's been coming to her garden for the past 25 years. "When I were a girl, you never saw a Sparrowhawk apart from nailed to a fence. And there were lots of beautiful little birds everywhere, singing their dear little hearts out. You couldn't get bananas, and that Mr Hitler's bombers kept us on our toes for a while, but at least there were plenty of plucky feathered friends to keep our spirits up.

"Nowadays it's all funny weather, them Muslin fanatics blowing things up, strawberries at the wrong time of year, and they've even put a black man in the White House I hear. Goodness knows what the world's coming to. My poor Harold would turn in his grave. And you know what? It was those Sparrowhawks what done it. Everywhere now, like a bleeding plague!"

Professor Tom Logan, an ecologist from the Institute for Studies said, "It's fucking hilarious. Songbird Survival must have genuinely believed that by co-funding this study they would finally have a piece of serious research they could use to lobby for the right to control Sparrowhawks, and perhaps the odd grouse-chick munching Hen Harrier too. And fuck me if the study hasn't said almost the very opposite, and found that there were "a large number of positive associations between predators and prey, which largely exonerates these predators as driving declines in passerine numbers." I laughed so much I did a little wee in my pants.

"Still, the study does hint that there may be a causal link between Sparrhawks and the decline in Tree Sparrows, so they've still got that to go for. Mind you, it'll be a right bugger to shift several thousand redundant Songbird Survival-branded pieces of merchandise when they rename themselves Tree Sparrow Survival. There'll be some bargains to be had at their stand at the Royal Norfolk Show this year. I can't wait to buy some cheap pens."

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Angler catches Cormorant the weight of Kylie Minogue

As news broke today of an alleged assault on a coarse fisherman in the north of England by a paramilitary twitcher, happier news came from the south where a fisherman landed a Cormorant that tipped the scales at 94lb, the same weight as Australian pop sensation Kylie Minogue.

The proud angler, who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisals from angry bird-lovers said, "I'd got my tackle out, and I was settling down in my tent with a really mint copy of Escort I'd found in the bushes behind my angling pitch. It'd hardly been used at all by the previous anglers, and the pages weren't that badly stuck together or anything. I'd just made myself comfortable with a good view out of the tent so I could see if anything was coming, and I was waiting with the Reader's Wives to see if I'd get a tug on my big rod. All of a sudden the most fucking enormous bastard Cormorant landed in a tree nearby, and all thoughts of horny Jina from Ashford went clean out of my head.

"I grabbed my weapon and took aim. It was hard, and my hands were shaking that much with excitement. I knew nobody would believe the size of it if it got away. I let rip with both barrels of my shotgun, and down it came. What a beauty! I won't be throwing this one back - I'm going to have it stuffed so I can bore my fishing mates by telling them the story of how I caught it over and over again, and wank myself senseless over it when they're not around."

Tom Logan, a birder from Uttoxeter said "I think it's fucking disgusting the way those sad tossers feel they have to kill Cormorants because they eat fish anglers would like to catch. What are they trying to prove? The Cormorants are just doing what comes naturally to them. Unlike anglers, who're clearly just sad lonely men with a really pathetic hobby. Not like birdwatching, which is clearly a perfectly normal and manly thing to do, and not at all the preserve of socially inadequate men who'd do well to get a life, or a girlfriend for starters."

While the anglers continue to bay for birdwatchers' blood over the alleged assault on one of their number in the north, the local police issued a statement saying that no birdwatchers were being sought to assist them with their enquiries, as "any bloke who spots birds is obviously going to fight like a girl, and wouldn't be capable of breaking sweat, let alone somebody's nose."

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

It's okay to eat your neighbour's pussy

Following hot on the heels of the successful Facebook campaign to install Rage Against the Machine's sweary single "Killing in the name" as the UK's Christmas #1 comes another Facebook campaign that seeks to target another venerable Christmas institution - the roast turkey dinner. Facebook devotees are instead being urged to kill and roast a neighbour's cat, on the grounds that it will be one less slit-eyed maniac killing garden birds or shitting in your flowerbeds, and will provide double the amount of drumsticks for the family to squabble over.

Tom Logan, a birder and founder of the online "A cat is for Christmas, not for life" campaign explained further, "The idea came to me over the weekend while I was watching my bird feeders swarming with birds in the snowy weather, when I spotted next-door's ginger tom sneaking in over the fence. By the time I'd run to the back door to encourage the mangy bird-killer to fuck off with a bucket of water, it'd made it to the patio and was busy pushing out a meaty cat log right in front of the French windows. The bastard was a sitting duck, and suddenly the bucket of water seemed a bit lame. So I went into the garage, grabbed a shovel, and twatted the ginger fucker while it was doing that annoying scraping thing that doesn't quite conceal the fact that a neighbour's cat has just done a big stinky shit right were your kids are going to find it."

He concluded, "I was wondering how to dispose of the body when it occurred to me that Mr Chuckles was now just a big lump of protein, and without his fur would be practically indistinguishable from a turkey. Apart from the extra two legs, obviously. Anyway, long story short, he's now hanging in the garage and we'll be eating him on Christmas Day. Job's a good 'un."

The Facebook campaign has already registered over 250,000 supporters, and is gathering momentum in the run-up to this recession-hit Christmas. Killing and eating your neighbour's cat seems to be striking a chord with the cash-strapped middle classes, conditioned as they are to seasonal produce, urban foraging, and Richard Mabey's "Food for free". Patricia Hogarth, a working mother from Harrow-on-the-hill said, "It's ever so now, don't you know? My husband Oliver is going to take the children out to hunt for our Christmas cat on Christmas Eve - they'll batter the free-range moggy to death with the traditional shovel, and I'll cook it on Christmas Day. It'll be super fun, and a great way to spend our precious quality time together!"

A desperate online counter-campaign launched by the Turkey Marketing Board ("Have a little gobble this Xmas") has failed to attract even a fraction of the pro-cat movement. A spokesman for the TMB said, "It's disgusting - who in their right minds would want to eat a domestic cat in preference to one of our delicious intensively-reared, growth-hormone saturated birds? I just can't understand it."

Meanwhile, Mrs Enid Felcher, an elderly Cats Protection League member said, "You sick fuckers, I hope you all die of food poisoning, you twats."