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!


Sunday 18 October 2015

Living in a dream?

Benno, Luke and myself spent a very enjoyable morning on the RMC. Luke took the only fish (around 4 lbs and that's being very generous), I bumped an even smaller one, on 1/2 mackerel, and Benno had a total blank. Nice social and a few ideas in the mix for what to do next - it just ain't pike fishing weather yet. A few nice birds around the marsh included 3 Little Egret, 2 Grey Wagtail, 3 Kingfisher, 2 or 3 Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, 5 Yellowhammer, 1 Common Buzzard and an immaculate imm Peregrine. I'd also seen a Barn Owl, on a fence post beside Manston Airfield, as I drove down to our chosen spot, earlier in the morning.

My best effort of the SEO high up, over the maize stubble.
Back home for mid-day, I was straight out into the garden to feed my birds. Almost immediately I was aware that the local corvids were hassling another Short-eared Owl high up above the maize stubble. I ran back to grab my camera and managed to secure some very poor record images of the bird before they forced it back south. There were one or two Redwing flying around and I watched a couple of Swallows zip by - it had to be worth a quick check around the farm?
I only walked the tracks around the caulis - I didn't manage to check the Scaffolder's yard, Ellington School, the paddocks or St. Luke's playing field, so there were many places where something interesting might still be lurking. Almost straight away I was confronted by a group of three Chiffchaffs, one a very "grey" individual - they flitted along the hedgerow in front of me and I flushed Redwing from the hawthorns and Song Thrushes from the caulis. A couple of Brambling were mixed in with Chaffinches and Reed Buntings feeding on the tracks and a few Meadow Pipits were "tseeping" overhead as they moved steadily north. I managed to get a shot of a Redwing and thought that I ought to try to get a decent image of a Reed Bunt - easier said than done! There is an area where the caulis have already been harvested, so I can get out into the "big field" in an attempt to get a little closer to these skittish little birds. I'd not gone 20m  into the field when I flushed another Short-eared Owl from off the deck. I clicked away merrily, as the bird headed off to the north, only to see it pushed back by the attentions of the local gulls, thus it ended up circling directly above my head in wonderful sunshine - fill your boots time!

This final image shows the bird hunting over the caulis
For the next forty-five minutes, I was able to watch as this bird was harassed, as it attempted to move off before, in the end, it decided to spent a period hunting over the fields before it dropped back down into the cauli stubble. Four Short-eared Owls in a week? How many have passed over, un-noticed?

Redwing and Reed Bunting - the supporting cast for today's main attraction


  1. Hi Dyl, I was looking for the post you did about your photography kit and experience? Where is it please? I like your macros etc and wondered if you have to swap lenses etc around a lot? Cheers Stewart

    1. Stewart - the post you're looking for (I think?) is from way back in December 2012 - The best £7.99 I've ever spent. Check it out. My macro stuff is very primitive by modern standards - I think Steve has a, recently purchased, bridge camera with far more macro technology than anything I have at my disposal, so it might be worth contacting him as well.
      I generally use the extension tubes in conjunction with my standard 18 - 55 mm Canon lens - certainly for the moth-type stuff. I have, however, also used them with my Sigma 170 - 500 mm lens for dragonflies, butterflies and other such buggy critters with a decent level of success. I make no claim to be a photographer - digital or otherwise - my images are purely for personal reference and to accompany this constant drivel that passes for my blog! If you've got a spare Yellow-browed I'd be only too happy to give it safe haven - I only have one record for Newland's and that was in October 2007. It's been an amazing few days down here and I'm completely blown away! Take care and keep blogging - Dyl
      P.S. - If that's not the post to which you refer try Feb 2013 - Little but Large

  2. Cheers Dylan thats the ones. I am quite new to real photography, and am enjoying it as another branch of my interests. I dont have the cash to spend on loads of different lenses at the minute so I like to see how other improvise, so maybe I can learn from it. I might research some of those tube thingy's.....