Sceptical birders were today spitting out the Tunnock’s Teacakes with news that a Slender-billed Curlew was photographed by a muddy pool on the island of Stronsay in Orkney. With only one documented record since 1996, the controversial Druridge Bay bird today’s news came as complete shock.
The bird was discovered by top local birder Tom Wormwood-Scrubs while he was doing his net rounds. Tom said, ‘I’d had a lovely breakfast of wild Psilocybin mushrooms sautéed in butter on toast and had just emptied the nets. I was just removing a large migrant Ivory-billed Woodpecker from America when I heard a familiar curloo-oo sound. I knew instantly it was Slender-billed Curlew as we’d had one a few years ago.’
‘Knowing that I would need a photograph of the bird to submit to the British Birdspotters Club rarities committee I stuffed the Woodpecker into my pocket and rushed home for my old pin-hole camera and proceeded to over-expose the plate.’
Looking at the photographs, the bill doesn’t look very slim but this is actually a trick of the light. Any tell-tale plumage details have been deliberately over-exposed and burned-out so that proving that it was just a Curlew is impossible.
Twitchers were expected to flock to Stronsay overnight and many more will be anxiously waiting at home for someone else to be arsed to go and have a look and then tweet the news out. Barry Gagwell was reported to have run out of the house leaving a new stair carpet half-fitted on hearing the news.