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 16 December 2015

A Newland's moment to savour

I am doing eleven hour shifts, right up to Christmas Eve - my choice and "big bucks" come the New Year! I left home, just on 05.30 hrs this morning, walking the main footpath across to Ellington Girls School, rather than the field margins ( they're more direct, but very muddy at present).
I'd just reach Burbridge's Wood Yard when I became aware of a bird flying down Pyson's Road, illuminated by the street lights. Bloody hell; it was a Barn Owl! It didn't fancy the Newington Estate and the massed lighting of Thanet suburbia, instead, choosing to fly across the darkened wood yard, towards St. Luke's beyond and so, in my direction. I squeaked it (sucking air in through my closed lips) causing a momentary alteration in flight path, before it continued on its' way. It is a patch tick of sorts? I have a record of a Barn Owl, perched on my garden fence - illuminated by the glow from my 250w mv moth trap! It was in the summer, a good few years back, and I never felt happy with the sighting - my thinking being an escaped falconer's bird or a recently released re-introduction individual. I included it, but my tick wasn't with any great conviction. The sighting, this morning, has elevated the status of Barn Owl to fully paid up member of the Newland's Farm "patch listings" The bird wasn't hunting, having probably just reached Thanet after a sea crossing from some far-flung European shore. No camera, no bins, it made not the slightest difference to my pleasure of the encounter - my eleven hour stint within the factory was so much easier because of this totally unexpected sighting - I'm still smiling now! Patch watching - can you beat it?


  1. Can you beat patch watching you ask? No you can't Dyl...

    1. Cheers Steve - it's probably an age thing? Mellow thoughtfulness - Dyl

  2. Best type of watching going Dyl, when you get a moment like the above it's as good as any rare bird chasing. Seeing you mention the Newington Estate jolted me. Whilst I have lived on Sheppey all my life, my mother's sister and family lived along Stirling Way, Newington, when I was a child and I spent most of my summer holidays and Christmas's there as company for my cousin. Very happy memories of exploring the countryside round there in the 1950's.

  3. Derek, sadly Newington gets a lot of bad press these days, which seems quite harsh considering the many friends and work colleagues I know who reside on the estate and are all decent folk. As for the surrounding countryside - I can only imagine that it would have similar appeal to that habitat back in Hertfordshire, as I recall it from the 1960's and beyond. As for patch watching - it is the basis for all my birding effort these days. Getting excited over common species is a direct consequence of habitat, or lack of, which makes these sightings so much more enjoyable, at a very personal level. All the best - Dyl