Laughing Gull at Bribie Island

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Laughing Gull at Bribie Island
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2002 12:12:31 +1000
Let me share the story of my emotions over the last 18 hours, concerning the
Laughing Gull at Bribie (April 1st and 2nd).

Anyone who knows Trevor Ford, including me, will always accept his genuinely
given id on anything with feathers and legs.

However, anyone who knows Trevor well will be very careful about anything he
says or does on 1st April!

When he phoned me yesterday to tell me about the Laughing Gull, we agreed
that I'd get into the car first thing this-morning and join him at Bribie -
and that he would phone me this-morning before I left, to give an update on
the state of play.

Then, when I got another email from Trevor this-morning on another topic, I
suddenly spotted the 2nd April date and an unworthy thought crept into my
mind about yesterday's phone calls and email. If this was an April Fool's
hoax, it was remarkably well executed. But that wouldn't point the finger
away from Trevor - on the contrary it would point it right at him!

Here is what I then wrote back to Trevor:

"Oh my God! Your Laughing Gull was reported on 1st April - is there a clue
in its name? I'm going to re-read your email! But, you're English, you know
that you can't do this sort of thing after mid-day don't you? The Queen
mother really is dead isn't she??"

Talking to Trevor this-morning, I realise that the date was just an
unfortunate co-incidence. But I refuse to feel any sense of shame for my
doubts - not about his ID, but about whether the bird existed. You might ask
'would anyone go to those lengths to play an April Fool's joke on a mate?'
Yes, Trevor Ford would!!

With trepidation for what next April 1st might bring....

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

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