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!


Monday 23 January 2017

Fated moment

We'd run out of teabags so, before the day could get properly started, I had to take a stroll up to the shop to put the situation right. It was another clear, crisp morning and the frost indicated a very cold night had just passed. Mission accomplished, I made my return walk to be stopped dead in my tracks by the unmistakable, high pitched, trills of Waxwings. A quick search revealed a flock of nineteen birds perched high in the crown of a small group of Sycamores at the junction of West Dumpton Lane and Vine Close - result! Not only a year tick, but a patch year tick to boot!
I was already thinking about rushing home for the camera when another flock of a dozen or so flew over and the perched birds immediately rose and joined their buddies as they headed off low, skimming the rooftops of Prestege Ave.

Sadly not obtained this morning - so just for effect
I got home and made the tea before informing Bev that I was going out to see if I could relocate the flock. I had an idea that the Rowan berries around The Broadstairs Cricket Ground vicinity might just be the place? I gave it ten minutes, but no sign, so decided to have a quick drive over to the harbour for another bash at getting a photo of that Black Redstart of yesterday's outing. I parked up by Government Acre and walked down the steps to the port entrance then proceeded to make my way towards the harbour. Bingo, the bird was in exactly the same spot as I'd seen it on Sunday. It ranged between the concrete wall, below Churchill's Bar and the concrete arches, quite happy to feed at low levels behind the protection of the wire fence. A dark-bellied Brent Goose, another year tick, was floating about just off the Western Undercliff - home within the hour. Nice!

I'd called it as a 1st winter male - in much better light I'm now not so sure?


  1. Ah, patch watching at it's best, well done.
    Tea bags! horrible things, I'm a leaf tea in a pot man myself.

    1. Cheers mate, it was a most unexpected encounter under the circumstances. Waxwings were due to show up within the local area, at some time or other, given the influx this year - but, as you say "patch watching at its' best"
      Teabags - now sir I can tell you a thing or two about these items. My first job, when I joined Unilever, was within Brooke Bond as a warehouse operative. My task included assembling various tea blends, from palletized tea chests, onto a wooden conveyor belt (very important that it was wooden!) before an automated system carried the assembled tea chests into the cutters department, where the lids were removed, then on to the blenders!
      The tea bag was the greatest invention ever for increased profitability of the tea industry. Leaf tea - you can see exactly what your buying/brewing. Hidden in a tea bag - you wouldn't believe what gets in there! By the way, it's only Bev who drinks tea - I'm a coffee man myself! - Dyl

  2. Yorkshire leaf tea for me and I probably drink one or two cups of coffee a year, don't like the stuff. For me it's like curry, they both smell great but taste horrible.

  3. Dyl, Waxwings! fantastic birds. In 2011 there was a flock reported in Watford. My wife Bron, stunned me by requesting we both go and see them. A twitch, hmm. Well worth it. I came across Waxwings in six other places that winter, but not when officially birding. Birders never really stop birding, do they?
    I drink both tea and coffee. Masses of it. I've gone to de-caf which isn't great for tea but coffee has a chance. Might stop me thinking a three hour sleep is a good one.

    1. I twitched my first Waxwings at Kenton Railway Station, Harrow, in 1991. They were simply stunning; so exotic in that environment. I have seen many thousands since, including a flock of 1,300 which assembled in the Pegwell/Ebsfleet area during the winter of 2010/11 ? There's just something about them that makes you want to see more. If I ever tire of such sights, then it's time to hang up my bins.