Even the experts are baffled by the claim of an appearance in the UK’s gardens, parks and other open spaces of what appears to be a new species of bird, never before seen in the British Isles.
As everyone without a special interest in birds knows, in Britain there are two species of garden birds: urban pigeons and the other small brown ones. For decades now, ornithologists have been desperate to keep alive the illusion that there is more than one type of small brown bird by giving them interesting names like warbler, great tit, wagtail and other such names which hint at a rather interesting sex life for those birds, thus creating the whole bird watching industry. Then - kitted out with all the necessary expensive gear – thousands upon thousands of bird watchers try in vain to discover which of these small brown birds isn’t a small brown bird after all, and could be the one rumoured to engage in some weird bird on bird hot sex action that the names given to these various species imply. Usually, though, all the small brown bird ever does is sit on a branch with a twig in its mouth.
Some naturalists insist there are some colourful birds out in the British countryside and that they do – indeed - live up to their names by getting down and dirty with each other in many inventive and feather-curling ways – but not while anyone is watching. These naturalists maintain that as soon as a human with a pair of binoculars comes within range these birds hide their colourful plumage under the plain brown overcoat of feathers and settle down for a bit of stick-holding until the bird watcher gets bored and goes home.
However, other bird-watchers point to the complete lack of any verifiable evidence whatsoever that there are any British birds that are not either pigeons or small, brown and boring, unless you are the sort of person intrigued by an ornithological twig-fetishist.