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 13 January 2016

A fringe birder

My bird watching has taken, very much, the back seat since 2011 and a return to speccy hunting. It's not that birds have become less important - just fish have become more so and there is only so much time in a week/ month/ year to go round. I've some sort of plan to level the playing field, in 2016, and have made a deliberate attempt at a return to year-listing as a way of keeping my eye in.
Quite obviously my Newland's patch remains central to my avian observations, yet I hanker after something more. I can't ever see a return to the lunacy that was Kent "twitching" in the late 1990's - but cannot deny the great excitement that period provided. I am looking for the middle ground, a space where birds provide interest without obsession. Is it possible such a place exists? Surely; it's all down to me!

13.01.2016 - An after work stroll, down to Ramsgate Harbour, produced some superb views of  the
immature Great Northern Diver which has been present for a couple of weeks now.
Hardly "twitching" - yet by definition; exactly what it was!
It's January 13th 2016, I've added five new species today, and yet still my list total only stands at a paltry 69. I need to get a grip and focus some effort into my birding - or do I? The year is 366 days (it's a Leap Year!) and the list is a marathon, not a sprint. I have plenty of time - it will be all about how I use this precious commodity to best effect. I've caught my January eel, the local pike fishing is pants and I have no other angling targets - maybe I'll go birding, not fishing, this weekend?
Living in East Kent allows a great deal of scope for birding and potential target species - it shouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility for me to get my list to 105 on Saturday morning - given a little good fortune. It probably won't happen - 105 by the end of February will be fine. Let's not forget that my list is a year list - not a Kent, UK or Newland's effort - it will consist of what species I have confidently id'd in 2016 - wherever I have been.

Garden Warbler along the Nature Trail at Stodmarsh NNR. The only way I'm going to see one in 2016
is by deliberately getting off my arse and going birding.
So  what if I screw up an id? The only one to be affected is me - so it matters not a jot! If I can lie to myself - the problem is mine, and mine alone; it will require a doctor, not a rarities committee, to sort that type of issue out. Purity listing is now where my birding has gotten to - what species I can find and identify for myself. In 1999 I managed 223, in Kent, out of a county year total of 263 - manic and obsessional times. If, in 2016, I can discover somewhere around 200 species (on my travels around the UK and Europe) for myself, I'll be very satisfied.

I couldn't give a monkey's toss if there was a Hoopoe in Ramsgate Cemetery tomorrow - I
wouldn't be concerned about rushing over to see it. Bev and I are already booked to return to
Kefalonia, later in the year, and I know that I'll have plenty of opportunities to see
these superb creatures then. If I'd never seen one previously - the reaction might be a little different?
Just as I require a bait in the water to stand any chance of catching my desired fish, I need to get outside with my binoculars around my neck in order to maximise my birding opportunities. Will I have the resolve to focus my efforts toward specific targets or, as is my usual failing, become distracted by some other projects?


  1. Guess I'll be seeing you on the seawall here soon then, looking for the Richards Pipit.

    1. Not too sure I follow? The only purpose of my travelling to Sheppey would be to rendezvous with your good self for a "light ale" - quite where a Richard's Pipit fits in is lost on me. I've found three in Kent and am in no hurry to see another one - here or anywhere else.

  2. I look forward to 'coming along for the ride' via the blog Dyl.

  3. I am always happy if I see a peewit or an oystercatcher and of course a kingfisher.Wouldn't go looking for them though

    1. As anglers, we always have a lot of spare time on our hands. That I choose to use mine looking at the birds and other wildlife which inhabit the same environments is how I justify my own pleasures. It is, and always will be, each to their own. It would be a mightily boring place if we were all the same? Tight lines - Dyl

    2. Yes, we are lucky to be out there.

  4. Accidental ticks. They all count. As 'life' birders, we are always looking.
    I ticked Water Rail, Slavonian Grebe, Willow Tit, Barn Owl and Honey Buzzard while behind the rods, SEO while at work, Monty (male) coming home from a track race, Common Crossbill while playing golf and Golden Oriole driving home from an exam.

  5. Sorry Dyl, in the muddled early evening of red wine and dinner I got my knickers in a twist so to speak and read your comments as an indication that you might be going on the road again after birds. The Richards Pipit reference was because there is one on the seawall of my patch attracting daily attention from some birdwatchers.