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, 1 March 2016

The final countdown and the start.

Well here we are, the start of March and all that this entails. We've got Mother's Day, Easter and the equinox (pissing about with clocks!) during the month (Oh! there's Bev's birthday too). For me, I have but fourteen days to complete one of the most rewarding angling projects I have ever undertaken. Due to the imposition of the "traditional close season", at my chosen venues, I have until mid-night on March 14th to catch an eel, by design, and in doing so see a successful conclusion to this adventure into the unknown.  There will be a post offering my conclusions, if I succeed or when the season ends and I have gathered my thoughts on the extraordinary challenge on which I embarked - it developed a life of its' own as these slimy pests have suddenly become a worthy adversary - respect!

Cameras never lie? Bloody computers do!
At no time during the session did the scene look quite as menacing - grab a digital image and anything is possible.
I was out again on Sunday evening - for only the second time in the entire winter I failed to register any type of action. I fished three rods - two with prawns (hedging my bets) and a single "spicy peperami/ 1/2 fluoro pop-up" in a vain attempt at luring a carp. I can't say that I was too surprised, or disappointed, it was bloody freezing! I have been studying the BBC weather forecasts and have come to the conclusion that Wednesday (2nd March) looks as good as it's gonna get? With everything else that is going on - I might not be able to get out again until the final weekend, and that will be cutting it a bit fine.
Just for the amusement of my fellow bloggers - my first Wheatear of 2015!
That granite block is not a fancy decoration in a Thanet flower garden - it is
on the banks of Loch Awe; I had travelled 600 miles to see it and was at least six
weeks behind most others in recording the species.
I fear I'm never to win that coveted trophy!
Another feature of March, in the skies above Thanet, is the start of Spring raptor migration, the vast majority of these birds pass well to the west of Newland's Farm, yet I still manage to enjoy some decent sightings each year. The species are rather limited during this period, they are much more varied in the Autumn on the return journey. Common Buzzard and Red Kite provide 90% of the records with odd Marsh Harrier thrown in just for good measure; I must also add that my only patch record of Goshawk is a Spring sighting of an immature male, so surprises are possible. There is also the annual ritual of the Wheatear hunt - mostly in vain around the farm. The coastal hot spots will sound the alarm and the game begins - who will get the first one? Then it's Swallows, Willow Warblers and Ring Ouzels as Summer migrants flood into the country - exciting times if you're in the right place? Bloody frustrating when you're not - or stuck inside a factory when the gulls go up!


  1. If the current weather forecast of it being exceptionally cold this March turns out to be true, you might be waiting till April for any migrants.
    Bout time you gave the eels the respect they deserve. Seeing as how you always seem to have multiple rods out, how about having one of them with a simple hook and garden worm, as I used too. I'd love to think that did better.

    1. Derek,
      Your suggestion that I should use one rod baited with worms echoes that of my son, although I do not see it as an eel specific tactic. As it might be my last chance before the dawning of the next Ice Age, I will be giving it a try tomorrow night - I'll let you know how I get on.
      As for returning migrants; I've always been of the opinion that daylight hours play just as important role as temperatures. Once the birds get on their way, they will get here in spite of our weather. I know that every Spring is different, but still look forward to the excitement caused by the first singing Willow Warbler or Swallow zipping over the fields of Newland's Farm. Take care - Dyl

  2. The first Swallow is still the only returning migrant that really gives me a lift up each Spring, it's a magical thing and it's the only first bird list that I have ever kept, going right back to the 60's.