On the "One Show" BBC1 tonight Tuesday 2nd December there was a short piece on.....wait for it......Britain's only endemic the Scottish Crossbill or, as it is known in some parts, Loxia doiexistorno. Reporter Mike Dilger was with Ron Summers in Abernethy hot on the trails of the Scottish Crossbill. Dilger stated that as a result of the 2008 RSPB Survey "10,000 Scottish Crossbills were discovered, 10 times more than were previously thought to have exist". Well FMSWABP (it's a McKinney-ism so go work it out -RIP Tommo btw), but this is a family blog ! 10, 000 Scottish Crossbills ! I'll say it again...10,000 Scottish Crossbills ! Whoah..what methodolgy produced a figure like that and what is the bias or error involved ?
I missed the actual show due to work committments but my missus told me about it. She even made notes ( I can now call her my secretary). I saw the 10,000 bit she wrote down and peed myself. Luckily I was wearing my incontinence pants at the time. I managed to watch the show on the BBC site on her computer (mine doesn't like the BBC) and it is on at about 20 odd minutes. Strangely, it now appears to have disappeared or been removed from the BBC "One Show" site. RSPB PR department intervention conspiracy theory anyone ? Surely Not.
Highlights for me were that after twenty minutes of lure playing none of these 10,000 Scottish Crossbills were apparently tempted in. It's true what they say in film making.....never work with small children or animals. Now add to that men holding Telingas. A pair finally were spotted ( after stopping the lure). These looked like common types to me on bill morphology - they didn't call ! Also, I have never thought of Scottish excitement calls as sounding 'flutey', but maybe that is just me. Reeks of typical BBC journo agenda editing to me. Never trust journalists as they can never be relied on to get the facts right. Oh, well I'm off to count the Scotties in Deeside. By my reckoning there should be at least 1/5 to 1/3 of the Scottish population present. If I count 300 I reckon I'll be doing very well............
A Scottish Crossbill. There are 9,999 others.....apparently.