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 6 April 2016

Always a pleasure

I had to take my Mazda 5 (MPV) into Canterbury for a bit of TLC and an MOT - as we are now, once again, a two car household, it didn't make any difference that we dropped it off yesterday and picked it back up again today. The experience made us £145 lighter, but the car remains roadworthy and legal, very important when it provides my transport for fishing and a taxi for the grand-kids! So a big up for Canterbury Mazda!

Just to make it clear - I didn't capture any of these images, from my car, today!
They were recorded during the last two years at Loch Awe
As I was driving back home, there was an Osprey flying above the A28, close to Hersden Industrial Est. It had, no doubt, been fishing the lakes of the Stour Valley, feeding up in preparation for it's final push North. They are one of my favourite birds. I suppose this has its' roots in my childhood and of a time when Ospreys were incredibly scarce breeding birds in the UK. During my childhood Loch Garten RSPB Res. was probably the only place anyone had access to, and any realistic chance of seeing, these magnificent fish hunters. I couldn't hazzard a guess at the number of Ospreys I've seen in the UK - I saw a few at Tring during my time there and have seen many more since moving to Kent (1993) - I've even seen one from my garden! They are a conservation success story and the subsequent reintroduction program, centred around Rutland Water, has been a flagship project for all that is good within this movement to re-establish our lost wildlife species. (Mirroring that of the English Red Kite program)

The day that I don't get excited by seeing an Osprey is the one when
I throw away my binoculars.
They are magnificent birds which are a joy to behold - even when I'm driving!

Now I am a cynical old git and wonder just how well this Osprey success story would be going if the species ate Grouse, instead of fish? The Red Kite success, north of the Tartan border, is not going at all well. Mystery nest failures, poisoning and shooting - all occurring regularly in, blatant, disregard to any wildlife laws and/or EU statutes. Why? Because, ill-informed, morons - funded by the ludicrously wealthy (Greed is God! - nice tie in with my previous offering?), see Red Kites as predators of Red Grouse. Shooting Red Grouse = mega bucks, the fine for killing a Red Kite = peanuts (let some poor sap take the wrap and the "gentry" pay the fine - every one's a winner, except the Kites! or the Hen Harriers, Buzzards and Eagles.) It seems crazy that so much conservation effort, and funding resource, is providing the basis for these two programmes yet one is falling victim to the, steam-rollering, power of wealth over law. A very worrying sign of the times - how many of the PS3/Nintendo generation care about what's happening to our natural world once we've moved on?


  1. Dyl, it's great seeing large raptors nowadays. When a lad, all I saw were Kestrels and one day (1973)the thrill of a Sparrowhawk.
    Now I get Red Kites and Buzzards over the house, I've picked up Goshawk while out and about working, and of course the fly over Osprey. Nothing compared to Kent but ok for a quiet bit of NW London.

    1. Richie, when we were young the raptor population of the UK was at a very low ebb - courtesy of DDT and organo-chlorides. Thankfully these chemicals are no longer a factor and the skies are once again graced by the magnificent birds. Obviously the Red Kite reintroduction program has aided the situation and tipped the balance back in favour of these birds, hence NW London - Watford - Hemel Hempstead etc all playing host to several resident species of raptor.
      The beauty of Thanet is our geographical position, at the base of the North Sea and the start of The English Channel - prime position to witness raptor movements to and fro between mainland Europe and the UK. My garden list has the three Harriers, Osprey, Common & Honey Buzzard, Red Kite, Red-footed Falcon and Goshawk - plus the usual Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. In fact the only two omissions, which are a realistic proposition, are Rough-legged Buzzard and Black Kite (one of which I missed due to being at work! May 2008)
      Sorry for the delay in my reply - there's lots going on and my head is swimming in legal detail and money speak! - Dyl