Who am I?

My photo
An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

One thing leads to another

I finally got around to looking at the photos that Simon had taken on our recent Scotland trip (he'd burned them onto a disc - proper high tech stuff!) and straight away my mind was back up in the Scottish highlands; wandering the banks of Loch Awe. Such is the power of a photo; in similar fashion to a piece of music, that it has the ability to transport you back in time to a period of significance (good or bad, happy or sad) - luckily on this occasion all my emotions are those associated with enjoyment.

This, in turn, has coincided with Benno giving me a reminder of his progress as an angler, and the importance that he places upon the quality of the technique involved rather than the basic statistic of how heavy the fish. He has been using a fly rod at Long Shaw Farm and has taken three double-figure carp in two outings - I've managed just the one! In 1993 (June 12th edition) I wrote a piece for the Angler's Mail about my approach to Tench fishing at Wilstone Reservoir, Tring. It was part of a series of articles, by various individuals, under the dubious heading of "The Specialists". The format was fairly basic - What species, where do you catch them, how do you catch them? - followed by a quick portfolio of your PB fish, a short quote about your ambitions and a photo. I think I got paid  £25 for the effort. I had a quick look at it this morning and am amazed to recall what I'd written way back then - my dislike for competition, as a measure of ability within a hobby, being as obvious then as it remains to this day. My desire to be as good an angler as Simon still remains, although I think Benno has surpassed my wildest expectations - the red-tape associated with angling (enjoyment of our natural history) will never go away.

Angler's Mail - June 12th 1993

A very nice Common Carp of 16lbs 12oz - Benno ensuring that the fly rod is part of the image.
Good to know that some of the lessons have paid off? Not too sure about the shades!
A quick tap into Birdguides reveals that the Burnham Overy Spectacled Warbler is still present; so a look at the Iris photo link was undertaken. Several contributors have posted images of the bird which is sign of the times, I suppose. This species is bound to be a magnet for those "rabid" souls who consider the list to be of more importance than the content. I've looked at several images and have come to the conclusion that it is not the finest example of the species. They are called Spectacled Warblers because they, in prime breeding condition, are in possession of stunning white orbital eye-rings. This individual is sadly lacking in this department and, therefore, looks very similar to a Common Whitethroat! Once again the power of the photo is able to take me back to another time and another place. Bev and I spent our honeymoon on Gran Canaria where I was able to spend a while in the company of Spectacled Warbler. Always elusive, I did manage to grab a few, digi-scoped, images of the species. Using a 2 mega-pixel Nikon CP 775 means that the images are very basic, by modern standard, but they can still take me back to those happy times.

Even when the bird was partially hidden, the eye ring was still obvious!

My usual attempts at digi-scoping were as the bird retreated into the thorny depths

I did manage to nail one image - happy days, great memories of a superb place.

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