Like many others I have always had an unhealthy interest in the hoaxers of our birding game. My dad had a copy of Thorburn's birds, a print from the seventies which also had in it details of all records to that point. Within the book were many illustrations of birds which were not on the British List such as Masked Shrike which had notes in the text saying number of records rejected - now thought to be part of the Hastings Rarities. Once id done some vague research on the subject and found out what it was about. I thought the finders quite amusing and moved on.
I re-entered the birding world 5 years ago after along hiatus through my teens and early twenties only to realise what tension these type of exploit cause and the reality of the funny thrush on a stick and plastic night heron on a tree. I again became drawn in but failed to get many answers through the medium of birdforum but people didnt ant to be openly libelous and thus the only full stories i got were on twitches and the like.
Fast forward to this winter and there has been some of the laziest half arsed stringing attempts from the Yellow-throated Vireo in Cornwall to a number of megas in Wales (sib thrush, LB Heron) and now the pathetic straw that broke the camels back - a female Stellers Eider. Now known to be a shot from Finland in 2006, reversed and relabelled. Some rumbunctious little shit of a man with a grudge feels the need to not string for glory (i can almost understand that having read tales of a tribe) but to settle a score. Whoever you are, you are a wanker. You bled money and time from many an innocent mans pocket and thankfully the Glaucous-winged Gull was about to distract attention otherwise i may have been one of the unlucky ones. I hope the scrote gets uncovered and duly gets his come-uppance. If you dont know about the hastings rarities, ahve a look. Its quite impressive their species choice.