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Wed 6th October 2010

Posted on October 6, 2010 at 3:30 PM

birds : A spot of weirdness today - but excellent weirdness. In the Spring I was a little bit moany about the grapevine breaking down which meant I didn't see a one -day Short-toed Lark at Fort Hommet (see here). Then this morning, I did one of my regular pre-work quicky circuits of Fort Hommet, and as I climbed the hill up to the "Hommet Plateau", I saw a pale-breasted bird up there which I presumed was a Wheatear. Upon lifting my bins, I saw however that it was a corking Short-toed Lark - a matter of yards from where the other bird had spent that Spring evening.

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I'd like to think that the birding gods were rewarding me with giving it some pretty good welly during this year, and decided that it wasn't actually fair that I missed the Spring bird, especially now as Fort Hommet is effectively my 'local patch'. Or perhaps I had wandered into some magical wormhole and due to the alignment of the stars and planets, I was actually looking back in time to April. As soon as I fetched my camera it flew and I had to get to work, but I did return at lunchtime and managed some snaps (although the sun and movement of the bird made it hard).

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self-found Short-toed Lark, Fort Hommet - 7th for Guernsey!

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Luckily the species is easy to identify once you realise it is a lark with the plain underparts. It was quite flighty and when disturbed flew off strongly towards the grassy areas by the lower car park or below the Fort itself. But it kept coming back tothe same spot.

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I also saw a good bird yesterday when I popped off after school to twitch a Grey Phalarope on the Old Aerodrome. Didn't have long and it was rather distant but you get the idea. 160 for the year!

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nonsense : Well you cannot get much bigger nonsense than this - Supposedly, the new manager of my hometown football club, the mighty Garforth Town, is going to be Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne!

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Gazza meeting Garforth Town chairman Simon Clifford

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But actually, this might not be as odd as first appears, as any Man of Elmete will tell you, the Gascoigne family were historically the main family in that part of the world and owned much of the local area. So Gazza would really be going home to his roots (evidence below).

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The Gascoigne Pub in Garforth, the top night-spot in the town and one which I frequented regularly when I was a teenager. I met Rosie in the pub next door, The Miners Arms, where a Sunday-league team started up in the 60's which, as they got better, changed their name to Garforth Miners, and then to Garforth Town. And so completes the circle which means me and Gazza are practically brothers!

Categories: Self-found Rarities, 2010 Autumn