Friday, September 16, 2011

A sab and a rope

Quiz time, folks! What is the connection between a rare gull and a roped plum tree? I don't know why I bother. You already know, don't you? And wondering whether to read on....
[SIGH].I'll give you the answer anyway as I have nothing better to do.
Every time there's a tornado along the east coast of the United States, Britain gets really strong winds a week or so later. And these strong winds can blow interesting birds off-course. Typical is the Sabine's Gull currently causing some serious twitching around Grafham Water. I haven't been to see it, partly out of laziness, and partly because I can't take seriously any bird that doesn't come into my garden and feed on my peanuts. The really strong winds also caused a threat to my old plum tree, so I had to rope it for fear of losing a limb or two. That would be a real shame, because then I would have nowhere to hang my nuts and therefore no chance of getting a Sabine's Gull in the garden.
So there.

Why is it called Sabine's Gull, grandpa? And what does that funny scientific name Xema sabini mean?
Nobody knows where the word Xema comes from, though some say it might be from the Greek word xena (as in xenophobia) because of the rare occurrence of the bird in our climes. The sabini is from the surname, Sabine.
Who was Sabine, grandpa?
[grumpy voice] Uno stronzo qualsiasi! Sorry, darling, it's just that my brain is beginning to hurt.

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