The story below has over 50 hidden bird names.
Find them all and you could win a Manx Birdlife prize.
The first three correct answers, clearly showing the names you have found, and arriving by email or post can choose between a Manx Bird Atlas (worth £30) and the documentary Isle of Man - A Natural World (worth £12.99).
I went to the DIY shop – DIY is a hobby of mine.
I needed a hammer to put up some decorations and also some sandpiper to smooth out some plaster work. On the way I stopped to buy some petrel and later had to brake violently to avoid a mallard in the road.
The woman behind me ran into my bumper and, oh boy! was she raven mad!
She let out a very loud ‘shrike’. She was all dolled up like a peacock and said I had made her late for an interview all because of a ruddy duck!
Said I was a bald old coot who shouldn’t be driving! I felt a proper tit but no damage done so nothing really to grouse about.
I got in a bit of a knot because the shop had no yellowhammers but they had some with a redshank or a greenshank which were ok instead. I must say the bunting looked quite good when I’d finished, I was quite choughed with it - but nothing to crow about.
Mind you, that won’t stop someone having a snipe at me about it!
By now I was starving so I popped into The Falcon, where they did a good partridge, roasted on a skua.
A fair price too, because they don’t rook you there.
I didn’t stint. I ate like a gannet and had a good ‘swallow’ or two, couple of pints of Woodpecker cider and some of that Heron and Brierley bitter… maybe too much because when I came out I took a funny tern and felt a bit ruff.
Well, it was eider the drink or delayed shock from the accident. So …to get some fresh air I walked down the cliff to the shore and saw some lads skylarking with a lovely red kite – well, at that age you wood lark about, wouldn’t you? Better than going out robin places.
The kite was very swift in the fresh breeze.
I met my old school friend the scuba diver and as we walked back to the cliff, across the sand, Martin asked me if I was enjoying my peregrineation or if I was just going to swan about all day. I leaned on a rail, lit a pipe of my trusty old tobacco, rum shag, and puffin gently I said: ‘Come back to my house, Martin, and we can chat about old times. Maybe Bill could join us too, and we can have a few drinks and some crake.’
‘Well, I wood, cock’. he said But I’m not that gull-ible.
‘You’ll be feeding me strong drink until I’m totally cuckoo. No thank you!.’
Then he went off to do some brambling and make some jam. So I went home to find Bill already there, sporting a HUGE beard.
‘Have you lost your razor, Bill?’ I joked. At that point my wife appeared and gazing at me with those lovely goldeneyes of hers said ‘You’re drunk!’.
‘Well, I might be a little bit happy, my turtle dove, but I’m not drunk,’ I said as I lovingly slipped my arm round her waist and gave her an affectionate goos, and …er! …a sloppy kiss.
‘Gerroff, you old buzzard!’ she said. ‘Oops,’ I said. ‘I think she’s a bit cross, Bill! Owl go and lie down, I think…!’ And that is all I remember until morning.
Manx Birdlife is a Manx charity that works to conserve the Isle of Man’s wild birds and their habitats.
It collates bird sightings from the public and runs a garden birdwatch scheme that anyone with a garden can join for free. The Manx Bird Atlas was the first project the charity took on in 1998 and it is still the most comprehensive book about birds in the Isle of Man.
The answers should be sent to email@example.com or 35 New Road, Laxey, IM4 7BG.