This afternoon, Blogger announced that it was suspending the site North Downs and beyond until further notice. This has come about after several complaints were received by the company as to the content of the blog and the attitude of its 'owner'.
A spokesperson for Blogger said: "We have been monitoring this site for some time now. We felt compelled to step in as there has been a sudden rise in the number of complaints regarding the tone and direction that the blog is taking."
Blogger has released some of these complaints and they make uncomfortable reading:
"North Downs has become home to a radical ornithological hate preacher who should be deported at once"
"Who on earth does he think he is? Well I'll tell you who he is, a old bitter fool who is out of step with the modern birding world. He can bugger off back to draw brass telescopes and low lists if he wants, but he can leave the rest of us alone!"
"He can stick his Wallcreepers up his *rse, he hasn't seen anything in the field for over twenty years - no, make that thirty years!!"
"This buffoon hides behind pan-listing to make ammends for his poor birding performance. He could wander around Shetland for a year and still not find anything of note. A rank amateur"
"I used to like Steve, but then he went all Victor Meldrew on me."
A petition signed by such bodies as the Surrey Wildlife Trust, the UK400 Club and even some of his closest friends has been handed into Google in an attempt to get the site permanently closed down.
This afternoon Steve Gale released this statement:
"I think it's for the best if I don't post for a while. Modern birders are largely vapid, self-serving and shallow beings, who have invented a world for themselves in which heroism is easily gained by doing very little indeed. The migrations of their cars back and forth across the country is as tiresome as it is predictable. The world does not revolve around the number 400, the call of a Parrot Crossbill or on how many 'rares' you have self-found. This is a world that I breifly inhabited and now turn my back upon."
Blogger canvassed for reaction to his statement at several east coast hot spots, but nobody that was asked had ever heard of him.