Who am I?

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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!


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Of Izaak and new arrivals

For the first time since June 15th 1992, I was at the water's edge, awaiting the midnight hour to make that first cast of a new season. In these modern times, this ritual is little more than a symbolic gesture by us "traditionalists" - a fast diminishing breed of old timers! However, in time honoured style, I raised a glass at that magical hour, wished my brothers in arms "tight lines" and asked Izaak (Walton) for his blessing at the start of this new chapter to my adventure with rod and line.

Did this bird really fly all the way from Africa to keep me awake on "Opening Night"?
I enjoyed the ritual, even if the reality wasn't quite as I'd hoped - Eels like curried chick peas, the slimy bastards! The enduring memory, of this session, was the incessant chuntering of a Sedge Warbler. All through the hours of darkness and on into daylight, this individual was constantly announcing his territorial rites - very nice, but it does start to irritate as sleep becomes a casualty of the encounter. I stayed until 06.00 hrs before admitting defeat and heading off homewards. There are plenty of chances for me to continue this project, happily the requirement to be present at mid-night is not a factor. I have three swims which, I feel, have the potential to deliver the result I'm seeking. If I keep the bait trickling in, then I should be in with a chance?

Dawn out on the East Kent marshes - dew covered kit and, sun lit, spider's webs,indicate the severe lack of action.
Two split cane Mk IV's, with Mitchell 300's, awaiting some early morning action.
It wasn't about catching fish - I just wanted to be there and be part of that traditional new beginning.
I got back home, well before the "bin men" had got the recycling stuff sorted out, so no point going to bed until that noisy activity had been completed. I went down to the aviary, to feed my Java Sparrows, and the two newly fledged juvvies were exploring their environment - time to grab the camera gear!

A silver and a fawn - my two new additions to the Vine Close Java Sparrow flock.


  1. Nice to see your young Java Sparrows. I have four new Goldfinch mules fully fledged now and the canary mother is now back on eggs. Seems odd to me that you go fishing and expect to sleep through it, much more interesting to see what goes on through a night by the river.

    1. Hi mate,
      The young Java's are cracking little birds, my aviary provides much entertainment and learning opportunities as I watch the behaviour of the birds as they go about their daily routine. They appear to be well in tune with the wild birds, which visit the garden feeding station, reacting instinctively to any alarm calls, diving straight into the shed should a Sparrowhawk appear or offering a scolding "chrrrrrrr" at the sight of a domestic cat.
      As for sleeping whilst going fishing - it is very much the same as mothing? I use the technology available to allow me to do other things whilst I am actively engaged in these hobbies. The opening night ritual isn't a typical situation, I did it because I had the opportunity, and my work pattern had involved 16 hours in the previous 24 inside the factory - I was very tired, yet that Sedge Warbler was incredibly vocal - I managed to cat nap for a few minutes at best, I hadn't taken a bed chair purely to assist my efforts to remain awake for the majority of the session. I certainly enjoyed the night time experiences, a calling Barn Owl, a flyover Curlew and a fox trotting along the opposite bank - all completely oblivious to my presence, quietly tucked away in the bankside vegetation.
      Take care - Dyl

  2. Didn't go first night Dylan, but had a chub less hour Friday early doors, in the company of an otter and a kingfisher. Found out I'd have had the chub all to myself the morning before but never mind, just good to smell the damp dawn, hemp and meat again.

    1. Wow, I'd love the chance to spend some time in the company of an otter - it's been thirty years plus, since I last saw one! I think that Kent was the last county to record one, after the banning of hunting them. The EA used to report them using the storm drains around The Batchelor's site, in Ashford - I worked there for eleven years and never had a sniff!
      Damp meadows, running water and a need for watercraft - everything that Izaak had written about all those years back, yet sadly lost on many in these modern times.
      Take care, tight lines and wet nets - Dyl