This is more rather than less than I posted on BirdForum earlier. The snowy scribbler raised the flag for another stupid o’clock BF meet at Bolton Abbey. Since I joined BF this has been a much anticipated annual event.

The trip is a rare opportunity to enjoy this avian extravaganza that is rightly called a dawn chorus. Not to say that it is better to the usual urban fare (but it is). No two visits are the same. One year it was a couple of Woodcock disputing territory. Another, I found a patch of Toothwort (more would follow). And this is probably a good time to gloss over Mandarin Duck.

Going back to the non-avian highlight – I wasn’t convinced about the naming of a female Otter so did a bit of rummaging. Queen and sow were touted on less reputable websites. The fact is she’s a bitch.

What I wasn’t expecting to find is that it was used as a verb for a form of poaching; to otter. My favourite (obsolete) definition is “An American breed of sheep having short crooked legs and long bodies”. I can’t see that doing well in the Strid.

And further, the word derives from the same Indo-European base as water, variously; otr, otor et. seq. It may also be one of those Middle English words that have lost the ‘n’, as in nadder; notyre.

That’s quite enough rummaging in the OED online (free access with a UK library card btw).

Well, maybe not quite finished. Five consecutive nights of cricket from NZ… bloody brilliant finale. Gripping.