|"Mr Gatting, I must insist that you remove the Olive-backed Pipit from your list. You were clearly still eating a cheese and pickle sandwich in the dressing room at the time."|
In a move that has sent shockwaves through the birding community, the BOU has revealed that it intends to implement new technology to address the perennial problem of stringing in birding. After studying the 'third' umpire arrangement adopted by some cricketing authorities, a spokesman from Britain's premier birding gestapo said "It is time we smoked the charlatans out of birding. They are cheating scum and they need to be exposed as such."
Although they will not be drawn on specifics, we at North Downs and beyond believe that the following plans are being considered:
*All birders to wear specially adapted spectacles that are fitted with 'actual vision' camcorders. Any birder claiming a lifer will have to submit the footage of the event for a panel of experts to assess whether or not they have truly seen enough of the bird.
*Ankle-tags to be mandatory so that the exact GPS reading of the whereabouts of a birder can be cross-checked against a claimed rarity sighting. This will stop birders claiming a Pacific Swift over Cley when they are, in fact, at a Little Chef in Stevenage.
*All birders to undertake a lie detector test to re-evaluate all past sightings. This has prompted a response from the UK400 Club, claiming that such an act will necessitate them rebranding as the UK325 Club
*Two appeals (in a calendar year), will be allowed by any birder who believes that the BOU have unfairly docked them of a bird. A special panel of 'crusty experts' will be wheeled out to view line-ups of birders who are contesting such old time rarities as Houbara Bustard, Brown Thrasher and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. A police artist will be on hand to illustrate the claimants 'as they might have looked' at the time of the rarities appearance.
A spokesman from Littlestone has commented: "It is about time that these birding parasites, liars and cheats were run out of birding. Just don't question me about my Bimaculated Lark on Scilly, or the Rufous-sided Towhee at Spurn. I was there... or at least in a pub nearby. Close enough to claim the little buggers."