Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Unfair accusations levelled against new Golden Mallard participant.

Last Saturday promised to be a great day. I enjoyed a 90 minute effort watch from a local seawatching point (not on my patch) with a focus on spotting cetaceans. Although there were no big blows or signs of large whales I did manage to spot decent numbers of Harbour Porpoise and Common Dolphins. On the way home I passed through my very ribbon shaped patch ( which will probably be frowned upon by most other patchwork challenge participants..but I don’t really care.)

My Clonakilty/Inchydoney patch includes an under-watched seawatching vantage point near Dunmore Hotel which I have always suspected would be good for divers and grebes. Low and behold on this most faithful of day I managed to spot a stunning adult winter Black-throated diver. Needless to say it was a very exciting moment for me personally. While it wasn’t a finds tick it was certainly a patch tick.

I proceeded to text the news to the "Management" of the (not very reliable) local Bird news Twitter account who also happens to be a Golden Mallard participant. His response was...and I quote directly......"#unverified!!!". This inexcusable questioning of my birding knowledge was completely uncalled for. Its widely accepted (in all 72 countries where FRIENDS was shown) that my birding knowledge is just as acute and sharp as my knowledge of palaeontology.I was devastated. What promised to be a great day enjoying the local wildlife turned out to be a harrowing experience. Being a new participant I was very excited at the prospects of covering my local patch for the next 12 months. Needless to say I have cried into my pillow every night since these accusations were levelled at me..The Horror!!. (The record was later tweeted out by the same Birdnews service proving  its unreliability.)

What made matters worse is that the same participant,who will remain nameless (Sep Blatter), reported a Green-winged teal from my patch a few days previous. No doubt he was trying to root out any potential new ticks for my patch and flush them towards his own Galley head Patch. Surely this type of behaviour can not be condoned??!!

I will endeavour to pick myself up from this experience and bird on like the real soldier that I am, but the scars may never fully heal. I look forward to your sympathetic comments below.

Ross Geller


  1. Hey hang on a minute - "a local seawatching point, not on my patch..." - you poaching feck! Stick to your own patch in future Geller, or it'll be the worse for you!

  2. In fairness, #unverified is the default state of most birds seen by most participants in this august competition. Or my preferred variant #selfverified

  3. #selfunverified you mean shurely