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!


Wednesday 18 June 2014

They're your lists - so you make the rules!

Steve Gale (North Downs and Beyond) has posted a very well-worded blog on the subject of "fridge ticking" moths. It is basically exactly the same as twitching a rare bird, but with a guarantee that the moth, in question, will still be available due to it being potted up and stored inside a fridge. This could be in a kitchen of an urban street or the remote island Bird Observatory and/or any place in between? Moths have no allegiance to a particular habitat preference or location.

Bedstraw Hawk-moth in a Broadstairs garden - not ours!
I have to admit that, over the years, I've been fortunate enough to have shown some exceptionally rare examples of moth species which have turned up in local moth traps that were not my own. Added to that Francis Solly and Phil Milton, in particular, have ensured that my Clearwing, micro-moth/tortrix list has been boosted by their daytime excursions into the remote habitats of East Kent - pheromones, net and pots to hand. So, no I didn't catch them but, in no way can that detract from the fact that I've actually seen them. It is what I choose to do with the sighting that seems to be the issue for others?
Spurge Hawk-moth - I've never been lucky enough to take one of these magnificent insects
in one of my traps, but have seen four in Kent, thanks to the generosity of others.
 I don't give a toss about league tables or official lists, nothing I see or catch gets reported - so I may as well not bother? Well yes, and no! I don't do what I do for anyone else but myself; so if I decide to include "captive" moths on my lists - so be it.
Adult Short-toed Eagle
I have no desire to travel to East Sussex to twitch a species which I have spent so many happy hours
observing in the Pyranean foothills, of Southern France, and mainland Greece.
This is in no way meant to be disrespectful of those birders who've made the journey to see that individual but,
for me, those days are now past.
I have the same approach to birds and birding - I've been twitching and seen some fabulous species, enjoying some crazy times as part of that process. That I am now no longer part of that "scene" doesn't mean that I've become "holier than thou" - I've just decided to do things differently!
My exploits with rod and line almost mirror my other obsessional journeys - flat out and full on when I first get interested then gradually change tack to a point where it is the enjoyment, not adrenaline, that dictates the direction I take.
My PB bream - 11lbs 2oz
Taken from Brogborough Lake, Beds
If it were not for the information provided, by other anglers, I would not have caught this fish.
The angling equivalent to twitching?
I don't suppose, for one minute, that everyone will see it from my perspective - but if you have to have a list, then ensure that you are Lord and Master. Stick to your guns, yet be prepared to accept your own mistakes and make changes accordingly, as your knowledge base expands. As they are your personal lists - no one else will ever need to know if you've f**ked up!


  1. Dyl, in total agreement - we are lords and masters of our own 'lists' and ways of 'doing' this natural history lark...

    1. Steve, please accept my appologies for the tardiness of my response - I've just finished my shift and only saw your comment just before I left home to start it. I think that, as individuals, we are quick to judge others by the standards we choose for ourselves. Not deliberate, just a quirk of how it is. There was a time in my past when "supression" of a rare bird was a cardinal sin (in my eyes), when counting every Heart & Dart mattered, being on the banks of Wilstone Res one week before the start of the season was priority number one. Age has mellowed me, but not blunted my passion, to an extent that I am able to take a step back and consider my position when subjects such as "fridge ticking" arise. I think it was your good self who made comment about the absurdity of this passion for natural history - listing, in whatever guise, seems to bring out this particular facet in human behaviour more than most. Hoping that you and the family are keeping well - Dyl