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, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. 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!


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Focus - or lack of?

Adult male Lesser Grey Shrike - Pefkohorri, NE Greece, September 2009
I enjoyed Phil Parker's (The Broadstairs Birder) "2 shades of grey - 48 more to go!" post in which he recalls the events of the weekend when he was able to see Great and Lesser Grey Shrikes within the Kent county boundaries. I, too, had a fantastic weekend; finding a new patch bird - sharing it with a few local birders, Phil included, as well as my grand-daughter, then was able to spend a few hours on the R. Stour in the futile pursuit of barbel. Living the dream? Patch birding is a very rewarding pastime, relatively common birds can take on a whole new status - I've only recorded Coal Tit once, in 13 years, around Newland's Farm.

Great Grey Shrike - Chamber's Wall some time back in blah, blah, blah  - I found it!

Female Woodchat Shrike on Mallorca - June 2007
My efforts over the weekend are indicative of my present mind-set, I find myself at a cross-roads. Birds have provided some salvation from the undeniable fact that my angling efforts have been a total failure. I am going through the motions, purely to fulfil a stubborn insistence to carry on (regardless) until November. It would seem that I've learnt nothing about the barbel of the R.Stour - if I knew what I'd done right then I would know what I am doing wrong? I haven't got the first idea and, as such, am at a point where I see little purpose in continuing with this project. I have given myself two more sessions on the river, before November, but have thrown in the towel - I'm off piking on Sunday. It will matter, not a jot, if I catch a pike or not - I will be doing something different and fishing for a species which I feel I have a far greater insight into their behaviour, habits and preferred feeding areas. FREEDOM - George Micheal eat your heart out!
Southern Grey Shrike - Gran Canaria January 2004
I find it impossible to see the capture of two 13lbs+ barbel as a success, if I am unable to fathom out what combination of factors contributed to these fish gracing my landing net. It is no better than the "chuck and chance" mentality of the pre-Richard Walker era.
So why all the shrike photos? Well they are a birder's bird - a photogenic family which have provided me with so much enjoyment, over the years - so very different from the barbel of the R.Stour!
Juvenile Red-backed Shrike - Asparan, Turkey - October 2011

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