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The Great Bustard name chase

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The Mole | 18:07 UK time, Wednesday, 3 June 2009

First you were asked to tell us about cuckoos and you replied in your thousands (more than twelve thousand to be a little more precise).

Then you were asked to come up with a name for Britain's latest great bustard chick, just born on Salisbury Plain. And yet again you have replied in force. Such force, in fact, that I have only had the time to look at the first 500!

So here it is, my completely unscientific analysis of your suggestions and how they can be organised:

First there were the sensible majority of you who came up with perfectly excellent names like Dave, Jessica, and Leslie. Then there was the less sensible group who opted for stranger names like Chris, Kate, Simon and Bill...

Others suggestions were more contextual:
Rohanf, for example, thought that the bustard chic should be named Lucky as it is lucky to be alive, and MexicanIan liked the name Clint since the great bustard is a "Great (Salisbury) Plain Drifter" (although the Clint I was thinking about was a High Plains Drifter).

One suggestion was contextual but didn't refer so much to the context that the chick might find itself in as the context that the viewer found himself in: "I think Micro is a good name because when I first heard about the chick I was eating micro chips!"

Genius! But others were even more highbrow:
Snowiewhite suggested it should be called Sarum, the old name for Salisbury. Another recommended Otis because the bird's scientific name is Otis Tarda; and mgketteridge suggested calling it Charles as it is "Darwin's 200th year." (Happy Birthday, Charles!)

Others of you focused on the word 'bustard' to come up with names such as Alan (after Alan B'Stard in The New Stateman); James, Charlie or Matt (in honour of the original members of the pop group Busted); Mustard (because it rhymes with bustard); and Bud Star or Rat Burds (because they are anagrams of the word 'bustard'...)

The vast majority of you, however, concentrated on the fact that the chick's mother is called Fanny. By suggesting names such as Dango, Dabydozee, and Pack you came up with whole new names like Fandango, Fandabydozee, and Fanny Pack (what we might call a 'bum bag').

Now some party-poopers have pointed out that this makes no sense whatsoever as a child's name is not usually preceded by the mother's name. But I beg to differ. My given name is Mole and my mother's name is The...

And my favourite suggestion? Well, as you ask, my favourite is the name suggested by janicexxxxx who says:

"It could also be Sammy..."

And why?

"..cos it rhymes with Fanny a bit."



  • 1. At 6:45pm on 03 Jun 2009, EnglishFolkfan wrote:

    Following on from the BBC News story on Monday

    'A virtual book of all life on Earth is being created by UK and US scientists.'

    Which contains the following statements:
    "The database, dubbed a "macroscopic observatory", will be populated with data about local species gathered by members of the public."
    "It could give early warnings about invasive species or, for example, give insights into the timing, altitude and route of bird migrations in ways that could reduce bird strike numbers on aircraft."

    Surely one of the first offerings to this Encyclopedia of Life could be a copy of the the 12,000+ sightings and hearings reported by the Springwatch followers commenting on the 'Have you heard a cuckoo?' Blog. As a record of the Cuckoo in the UK during May-June 2009 it would be a first in what could be an annual SW listing for the E of L records.

    All you need to decide now is who is to be the returning to Britain migrant species of choice for us all to record on Autumn Watch!

    How about it SW Team is this a do-able submission?

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  • 2. At 8:00pm on 03 Jun 2009, katebracknell wrote:

    How about delia? Nigella could be a bit pretentious....and for a boy, Hugh or Gordon,depending on attitude

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  • 3. At 8:12pm on 03 Jun 2009, nathlowden wrote:

    I think the bustard should be called KRIMSAN after Kate,Chris & Simon.

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  • 4. At 8:54pm on 03 Jun 2009, waskelywabbit wrote:

    I think the bustard chick should be called golightly

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  • 5. At 8:58pm on 03 Jun 2009, EnglishFolkfan wrote:

    Say thanks to Chris for wearing the 1977 T shirt (memorable to me as the year Apple ships its first Apple II ;o)

    So, now we have the Autumn challenge of looking for the Painted Lady Buterflies, and thank you for the life cycle info.

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  • 6. At 9:01pm on 03 Jun 2009, bar-ellin wrote:

    Sarum is not a great name for the chick and S & K are pronouncing it incorrectly - it's Sar (to rhyme with scare) not Sar (to rhyme with bar). I think S & K are hamming it up too much and I am a little disappointed in Springwatch today.

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  • 7. At 10:02pm on 03 Jun 2009, noramiao11 wrote:

    Am hoping that "The Mole" will reveal his/her identity at the end of the series please. It would be nice to put a face and name to your blogs. Or, is there more than one person who is "The Mole" ?......

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  • 8. At 10:21pm on 03 Jun 2009, mouse-watcher wrote:

    Hi noramiao11,
    We already know the mole's 'real' identity, Kate let it slip on unsprung last week (unless of course she was bluffing!). It would be nice to see our moley in person though - perhaps a guest appearance on unsprung next week???!!!!

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  • 9. At 08:55am on 04 Jun 2009, godisaboy wrote:

    we are ready to accept this.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    you know, this is really the big time to show yourself.
    Why could be Sammy?

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  • 10. At 09:15am on 04 Jun 2009, rrallotment wrote:

    I name this bird 'silly great bustard'. God bless her and all who fly with her

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  • 11. At 11:51am on 04 Jun 2009, trisha50 wrote:

    My 'bubble' for the polecats is:- Once on a lone and windy hill,the polecats won again,and the fox stood still. This is a fabulous show,so endearing,well done to everyone involved.

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  • 12. At 2:27pm on 04 Jun 2009, noramiao11 wrote:

    Thanks Mouse-Watcher. Have now seen the relevant episode of Unsprung.
    A guest appearance on Unsprung is a great idea !

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  • 13. At 4:22pm on 04 Jun 2009, otterman wrote:

    I reckon you should call the bustard "LUCKY"

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  • 14. At 5:03pm on 04 Jun 2009, steelpurplelavender wrote:

    why are people still suggesting names when one has been chosen??
    if mr mole you had read more than the first five hundred you have come across my suggested name for the chick, which i thought most suitable lol

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  • 15. At 09:28am on 06 Jun 2009, crispash wrote:

    Have been away in France.
    Immediately I saw the item my thought was to change the mother's name by deed-poll to Gaslight. She would then have a new Fanny (by Gaslight).

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  • 16. At 8:00pm on 08 Jun 2009, sallybuzz wrote:

    Fanny and Adam ??

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