Reports have been coming out of Surrey that North Downs and beyond proprietor, Steve Gale, was seen this morning at Coldharbour trying to twitch the Two-barred Crossbill.
Stunned birders were either not sure who he was, or had a vague recollection of a younger version "being around a few years ago". Paul Sell, who was present for some of Gale's visit, said "he had binoculars AND a telescope. He looked like a birder, but I could see that he was a little confused and wasn't sure what to do". The Professor from Beddington added "I always thought that he was a shifty individual whenever I saw him at the sewage farm, but this morning took the biscuit - he was looking double shifty"
NT warden for Leith Hill, Sam Bayley, confirmed, "Yes, it was definitely him. I met him at Dungeness last summer and couldn't forget someone who looked so uncannily like George Clooney. However, this morning was sad as it was obvious that he has let himself go. It is no coincidence that after three consecutive days of plenty of crossbills being seen, including the Two-barred, this morning was one big no show. The guy clearly has no field skills".
Apparently Gale left after three and a half hours of searching, having seen up to 600 Redwings, a Brambling and 2 Crossbills. He was, apparently, fairly sociable, which has led some experts into questioning whether it was really him at all.
STOP PRESS: Twitter reports an exchange of tweets between Northumberland moth-fondler Stewart Sexton and Gale. In them, Sexton accused Gale of twitching, to which the latter replied that, as Two-barred Crossbill wouldn't have been a lifer, it wasn't strictly a twitch. Lee Evan's has been called in to adjudicate.