Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to 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 18 February 2014

Can I tick it? Yes I can - but I don't have to!

Birds, birding, twitching and associated stuff - "Blogland" is awash with thoughts surrounding these subjects,at present. I have joined in the melee and  made my own thoughts known, via recent posts, yet still, inspite of my cynicism, find topics with which I'm able to feel empathy.
Bad behaviour at twitches? Nothing has changed since I started serious listing in the late 80's (post 1987, at a guess).- I didn't really get the bug until moving to Kent, in August 1993. I cringe at the antics I got involved with; but only with the benefit of hindsight. When I was there, and part of the mob, it was a sensational period of my existence and, as such, I wouldn't change a thing. Two Greater Yellowlegs (Welshe's Dam,Cambs and Elmley RSPB,Kent), a Snowy Owl Wainsfleet, Lincs, Bridled Tern Hanningfield Res. Essex, and so many, many more. An Ivory Gull in Suffolk, December 1999, might be the last time I travelled beyond the Kent borders to "twitch" but they were happy and exciting times. How things have moved on? Like reformed smokers - us, stopped twitching, birders are the most vocal in our critique of the present generation and, I think, slightly envious of the Peter Pan-like enthusiasm of a certain LGRE. How does anyone remain so fanatical?
A Harris Hawk on the Ash Levels.
At no time did it enter my head to think that this could be a genuine vagrant.
It was still a very enjoyable encounter.
I have arrived at this point in my life, via a mind-boggling, roller coaster ride, which has provided ecstatic highs and excruciating lows, but not in equal measure - the highs are way in front at a ratio of 100 - 1. I've had times when my head wasn't capable of rational thought; birds being more important than a 20 year marriage and my family! Crazy times, fantastic times - spent in the company of some of the most talented birders anyone could ever hope to meet. Still it's "spilt milk" and things have moved on - Bev and I have now been together for 14 years and my life has meandered across the floodplain of mid-life with many happy intrusions along the  way. My daughter's wedding, four grand-children, the rediscovery of the enjoyment of "speccy hunting" and, as part of the deal, my son - this is the total focus for the rest of my days. Every thing that I failed to be, at my first attempt, I am committed (and many say I should be!) to be better at this time round.
It was not possible to get excited by this sighting. An adult Harris Hawk over
Long Shaw Farm fishery - complete with attendant Carrion Crows
It  didn't  detract from my pleasure of watching the spectacle and the interaction of the
birds involved.
I know that I can catch fish, I know that I am able to id (the majority of) birds, butterflies, dragonflies, moths and the odd assorted invertebrate that I encounter - so my goal must be to pass this gift/desire, to look at our natural world, on to my successors. If that is all I achieve - I will have been a success, in my opinion.
I live by my own set of rules and these govern my entire outlook. I work hard and I play hard; I am a loyal friend and a c**t of an enemy; the natural world is my playground, my hobby, and my distraction from the trials of everyday living.
A Saker-like Falcon - over Stodmarsh NNR, Carrion Crows in attendance again.
No sign of jesses, yet given the timing, I have never been tempted to pursue the record further.

Of my lists?; my feeling being that if I've seen enough to get a confident id, then it's included. However, if I'm being truthful to myself (and I have to be!) and the likely-hood of escape far outweighs genuine vagrancy, I will go with my gut feeling and not with a consensus, driven by adrenaline and desire. Hooded Merganser at Chilham - a fence hopper by statistically balanced analysis. If I've fucked up? Who dies, who loses out? I still saw it, just I've chosen not to include it on a list which pertains to my own personal standards - no big deal.
This bird was accepted  as a Black Brant!
In my opinion (the only one that matters to me) it is nothing better than an intergrade
Dark-bellied Brent X Black Brant (of unknown combination)
The real deal - a Black Brant.
It didn't require a great deal of skill to spot that this, black and white, individual possessed the
full set of  criteria required for confident id.
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - a very scarce visitor to the Kent shoreline
I refuse to allow others to make decisions, of such pettiness, on my behalf. If I am happy with the id, and credentials, then it is on my list (whatever form that takes) - I don't require the comfort of agreement, by others, in order to conform with a system which is alien to my own.
A first year male (?) goshawk: over our Dumpton garden (APRIL 2012)
The id has been questioned by a complete fuck-wit!
He wasn't there and knows nothing about raptor id, away from Sheppey, yet
claims to be an expert. What he thinks, and that twat "Splodge" for that matter, matters
nothing to me. The tear drop markings on the breast, day-glo white undertail coverts, rounded tail shape and thick-set pelvic region, plus the fact it was the size of a buzzard, a Goshawk for me - every time!
I've got it wrong? Then I will have to learn, for myself, why?


  1. I have no idea who Splodge and his Sheppey mate are, but I'm with you pal.

  2. Seth,
    Always nice to hear from a new source; any alternate opinion is welcomed in my world.
    Splodge and his mate cannot, obviously, be named due our legal system - they are two stalwarts of the Kent county OS scene and, as such,
    are beyond criticism and/or mistake. A pair of c*nts - in factory speak - and unworthy of my wasted emotions, yet still capable of causing me
    some unease (I really should "man-up")
    I have had enough fall outs, with many and various organisations (and individuals) to realise that my approach to the importance of recording our natural heritage is in a major variance to the establishment. As long as I am able to convince myself, then the record is a good'n - if not? It's not worth other guys loosing sleep - I won't change my mind due to peer group pressure - A free spirit; or am I a mal-content/non-conformist? Quite frankly - I don't give a fuck!

  3. Hmmm...you sound the kinda fella who has been there, done that, got the hat and then set fire to it whilst cackling in a slightly derranged fashion. In other words - a sound chap! Take it easy mate, don't let the fekkers get you down. I'm late-come to your bloggage but I'm liking it. Thanks mate.