The Wackerdoodles clan started the festivities by juggling their young, resulting in tiny Nobbits stuck upside-down in the soft mud. The Kooks, most witless of all the clans, legendary for having never answered a question correctly, spent the evening performing shadow hand puppets to the blind. The chubbiest of the clans, the Hornycacklers, admired for an uncanny ability to apply kitchen utensils and fishing equipment in foreplay, sung out of tune all night and danced like spastic orangutans. Oh for the endless merriment. And Bilballs, milking his birthday for all its worth, spent the evening delivering pleasure seducing giggling Nobbit bachelorettes, a sheep, and a holed barrel of Chianti, leaving him with a red willy and a crooked smile.
For this wondrous occasion, I brought along with me a cartload of fireworks to glitter the night canvas with colors. But two of the most mischievous of Nobbits, Marryaduck Brownymuck and Perrier Pipedude Kook, removed the largest one from my wagon and set it off. The huge dragon skyrocket went awry and destroyed a row of outhouses; then proceeded directly up toward the moon, only to plunge straight down into the exposed pits.
The enormous splash rained Nobbit nasties and unfortunately woke a vile pit demon.
Alas, before I could send it back to the pit from which it came, the beast devoured a few of the little Nobbit boozers. But the riotous Nobbits were not to be discouraged. The merriment continued; even those drenched from the outhouses, stripped, and joined in a communal dance.
Nothing is quite so amusing as a pack of dirty naked Nobbits cavorting in circles, laughing. While giving a birthday speech, he fell off the table, landed on his head with legs split to the heavens, and disappeared! The Nobbits were silent, with their little feeding-holes mouth in the depraved tongue of yore left hanging open.
They flipped Bilballs the bird and went back to their excessive gluttony. I however knew there was something sinister at work. Shortly after, I found Bilballs at his Wag-end home and told him to relinquish the evil Dong I knew he possessed. The foolish Nobbit did not know of what I spoke. He was ignorant of SourDong lore, but I pressed him nonetheless.
Dorked by the Rings by Stephen Frank Vitale
True to his nature, the cornered Nobbit attacked. He left half a dozen teeth marks on my ankles before I could bonk him with my Gizzard pole. He yelped and rolled on his back with arms and legs in the air, like a Frenchmen. I then had greasy gunk on my pole, from the top of his head.
In Earl’s Colne, Essex
He is a toe-gel freak and always keeps some there, not caring if it mixes with the anchovy paste. Nobbits have about as much culture as a warthog in Armani. His eyes spun in opposite directions trying to comprehend the dangerous reality, but he could not. His face had the smear of a glazed donut, clearly possessed by the Dong, so I bonked him again with my Gizzard pole until he dropped it and ran out the door screaming like a wounded weasel. When I touched the Bling Dong, I hallucinated a flashing plaid rhinoceros chasing a three headed cantaloupe with a mustache! How traumatic indeed.
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I collapsed into the fetal position and sucked my big toe. Frydough arrived later and did not seem a slave to the Bling though I feared he would become one. For safekeeping, I made him put it in a jar of mayonnaise. I told him I would return with more information and instructed him not to slip it on any fingers. I did not want him to end up like Bilballs Waggin, wandering the realm, a slave to his Dong.
My bbbirthday party was the merriest of times, especially to see all the puzzled Nobbit faces when I stole away invisible. Then he forced me to give up my precious, magic Ring. It was like tearing out my teeth one-by-one with rusty pliers. I shall never forgive him, that lunatic Gizzard I call my friend. Everyone stuffed themselves to the back of their throats, was drunk to all fours, and danced till their knees were raw.
I laughed till I puked. Everyone was in the 10th realm of pleasure. He dorked us with one of his famous puzzling measures. Everyone jeered and burped unnaturally, not letting Bilballs continue. He was peeved and stumbled from the tabletop, landed on his head and disappeared. This annoyed everyone, but I found it a hoot-tittie-toot. I learned later from GoneGolfin, that Bilballs disappeared by using a very mysterious and dangerous BlingaDingDong from ages past. This action might not be possible to undo. Customer reviews. Dorked by the Rings a diary of Middle-dirt. Format: Paperback Change.
That turned out to be a really good decision. As we arrived, we found that the birds were concentrated on the central part of the island; an area that only gets covered in the worst storms. As usual the Caspian Terns and Grey-headed Gulls were there in excellent numbers.
Slender-billed Gulls, looking resplendent in the early morning sunlight, were dotted in amongst them and numerous Sanderlings, Ringed Plovers and Turnstones dashed around in front of us. Several Ospreys were scattered around the island, sitting happily in amongst all the terns and gulls. We checked each one for colour rings and soon located 3PV, a German male who we had seen on the island with the first group.
Numerous Ospreys were coming and going, some fishing just off the island and others resting on the sand. I sent a text to Roy and within minutes he had replied saying that it was a bird that had been ringed as a chick at a nest on the Black Isle in Great stuff!
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After a couple of hours on the island, we headed back to the mainland and reflected on a great morning. In the evening we walked up to Tanji Marsh from Paradise Inn where we saw the usual selection of birds, including at least half a dozen Ospreys. Thursday 26 th January.
The trip for the second group of volunteers is following the same itinerary as the first and so today we headed to Kartong and then the River Allahein. The marsh at Kartong provided the group with the usual good views of a range of wetland species, most notably Little Crake and Painted Snipe. It was also nice to see several Ospreys; last week we had failed to see any, but this morning we enjoyed close views of at least four different individuals. One of them, an adult female, had a German colour ring, but it was just too distant to read. The marsh is less than a kilometre inland and, in addition to the Ospreys we had overhead, we could see at least six fishing off the coast at one point.
We checked all of them for satellite transmitters — bird number 12 from the Lake District has spent the last fifteen months on the coast here, and we hoped we might see it. After a few hours at Kartong we returned the local secondary school and the group of teenagers we had first spoken to two weeks ago. During that visit we had asked the group to write letters about their life in Kartong for us to take back to the UK, and the visit gave us an opportunity to collect them.
We also talked about the migration of 09 and AW from Rutland Water. I was really pleased when a girl came up to me after the talk to say she had seen an Osprey fishing off the beach shortly after our first visit — it was nice to know that she had obviously taken an interest in what we had been talking about. We were joined at the school by Geri, owner of Sandele Eco-Lodge which is situated just up the coast from Kartong. Geri already does a great deal of very valuable work with the local community and she talked to the group about the importance of conserving this beautiful section of coastline for future generations.
We were on the road just after 8am for the drive inland to Tendaba. Like two weeks ago, we stopped for lunch beside a tributary of the River Gambia. After settling in at Tendaba we had an evening walk at Tendaba airfield, adding Brubru — a small shrike — to the trip list. We also had great views of a pair of Mosque Swallow — a big rusty-orange hirundine. After dinner, we were visited by eleven pupils from Tendaba Primary School. They are the third school to be involved in our education project and have particular significance because Tendaba is where JJ grew up.
Saturday 28 th January. All was calm as we headed across the Gambia River just after first light. The pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins performed well and at least one Osprey was already out fishing. As we headed into the mangroves on the north shore of the river, we enjoyed great views of a displaying Blue-breasted Kingfisher. Despite the fact we are 50 miles inland, the creek is tidal and as we wound our way through the mangroves, the water got shallower and shallower.
Eventually, just as we were admiring a Martial Eagle, the boat ground to a halt. We were beached! One of the boat crew had to risk the crocodile-infested waters to pull us along. Before long we were back in the main channel and all seemed OK. Fortunately the tide was now in our favour and, once we had managed to manoeuvre the boat round, we slowly began drifting in the right direction. By the time another boat arrived to give us a tow we had had brilliant views of a White-throated Bee-eater; and with no whirling engine noise to disturb the silence.
In the evening a Western banded Snake Eagle, perched near Tendaba airfield and a Greater Honeyguide, which the whole group could admire through the scopes, was just the prelude to a brilliant hour or so. At around 6pm we drove to the Nightjar spot and went for a walk through the scrub.
Suddenly one appeared out of the trees and flew a few hundred metres across the scrub. It perched in almost full view, allowing us all to admire its fantastic ear tufts, pink eyelids and huge bill. Then John turned round and found another one, perched just above our heads! Some local children were just as excited as us at the brilliant views we had through the scopes. As dusk arrived we walked back to the road, hoping a Standard-winged Nightjar would appear. Sure enough at about a male flew low over the road, showing off its incredible wing streamers in the failing light.
It was a great way to end the day. Sunday 29 th January. An early start saw us arrived at Kiang West National Park at first light. The park is one of the few areas in West Africa where Leopards and other large mammals remain. Leopard was never going to be a possibility but a huge male Warthog made for an impressive sight as it strode across the Savannah. Soon afterwards a loud bark signalled that the local troop of Baboons had woken. One of them came and checked us out before returning to the main group, who slowly made their way across an area of open grasslands.
There must have been as many as thirty individuals, including several large males and mothers with babies on their backs. A group of Colobus monkeys meant it had been a good morning for primates. As we drove out of Kiang, we checked out the area where we had seen Ground Hornbills last week. A pair of displaying Rufous-crowned Rollers made for a great sight and a few Wheatears flitted around in front of us. Later on in the afternoon we headed back across the River Gambia for another boat trip.
Bird-wise, things were fairly quiet, but despite this the trip turned out to be one of the highlights of our time in West Africa. At high tide many of the crocodiles which inhabit the mangroves lie beside the creek, and like our trip with the first group, we enjoyed some really good viewsof several before they slipped off into the water. One individual, in particular, was very confiding and allowed us to get almost a little too close for comfort! If that was good, then what came next was almost unbelievable.
As we rounded a corner, John shouted Otter. It appeared again a few seconds later from between some mangrove roots and JJ started squeaking, like you would to try and temp a Stoat or Weasel out in to the open.
The Otter was clearly very interested in what it was hearing and came out into full view on the bank. Clawless Otters are much bigger and heavier than their European counterparts and the sheer bulk of this animal, particularly its very broad tail, was apparent as soon as it was out of the water. Amazingly, for the next ten minutes, with JJ continuing to squeak, the Otter followed the boat, running along the bank beside us, and even rearing up on to its hind legs to try and work out what was making the noise.
It was truly incredible. It had been an unforgettable evening.
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Monday 30 th January. It is great to know where satellite-tagged Ospreys are spending the winter, but even better to actually have the chance of seeing them on their wintering grounds. In Roy Dennis fitted a satellite transmitter to a young male Osprey at a nest on the Rothiemurchus Estate in northern Scotland.