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!


Saturday 29 July 2017

Much to be said for an untidy garden?

Bev likes tidy! She takes pride in the appearance of the inside of our humble abode and sees it as an extension of herself. Therefore, if it's all prim and proper, it reflects upon the individual and the standards by which they live. I'll go with that as I have never been embarrassed to welcome visitors into our home - well done Mrs W. The garden is a totally different ball game. Bev doesn't do gardens, I have no more commitment than to keep the lawn cut, so the kids have somewhere to run around and I have space to place the moth trap when I can be bothered.

The front of the bungalow was starting to look a little "unkempt" and Bev wasn't happy about the situation. First off was visit from the double glazing lads for new windows before the guys from S.E. Driveways completed the transformation with the laying of a new block paved drive/parking area.

All of a sudden the Wrathall residence had been transformed and no longer resembles the sub-urban territory of a factory dwelling Yeti! The rampant swathes, of Red Valerian, but a memory as a result of the transition. Fortunately there are still a few clumps of this Humming-bird Hawk Moth magnet along the side of the bungalow and there's still plenty of Buddleia  around the rear of the building. The status quo has realigned itself and all is well in our little part of Dumpton.

Feeding station action in the back garden - House Sparrows dominate the scene.
Behind this new facade it's business as usual. My back garden remains a wildlife haven without impacting on the perception of our tidy little home - everybody's happy! The House Sparrow numbers continue to provide constant action around the feeding station and plenty to talk about with my neighbours and work colleagues alike; everyone agreeing it has been a phenomenally successful breeding season in 2017. The reports of large numbers are not restricted to Dumpton. Cathy Newbury at the Newington pet shop, Maxim's, spoke of large numbers being present in the yard behind the shop and other conversations have revealed numbers to be "exceptional" (thus worthy of mention?) in Margate, Minster and Westgate. It is really great to see these little brown birds become a subject of discussion because they are doing well instead of the usual doom & gloom associated with UK wildlife news.

Feeding station action - the Canon/Sigma combo recording much better images than the Fuji bridge camera
I was up relatively early this morning and, after the ritual kettle filling/coffee making, I went outside to fill the feeders for another day. The Sparrows are ravenous, easily clearing half a kilo of seed within a couple of hours. I have no idea of what they would eat if money were no object and I was able to keep the feeders topped up 24/7? So there I was, coffee in hand, when a juvenile Song Thrush dropped down onto the grass beneath the feeders. I rushed into the study and grabbed my EOS and big lens, combo, before getting back to the kitchen door. To my relief the thrush was still present and eventually ended up foraging around on our patio area. Garden bird event of the year?

Not too sad considering it taken through a double-glazed window panel. As you can see, the patio
is not the tidiest place on earth - much to the approval of said Song Thrush.
I was awake, with the camera kit to hand, so had a mooch around the garden to see what else could be found?  Macro was the name of the game and a couple of very cooperative subjects provided the opportunities - I thank you!

A Hummer at rest on Honeysuckle

A Comma on our Buddliea


  1. Great stuff Dylan, glad that you haven't made the rear garden as sterile for wildlife as the front. Also, a Song Thrush, that'd be a real garden rarity for me here. And the spuggies - Kent really is bucking the trend for them at the moment, long may it last.

    1. Derek, you can rest assured that the front of the bungalow will not look like that for too long. Hanging baskets and window boxes are already being planned. That Song Thrush was a fantastic surprise and might be of local origin? There have been two singing males this year, one over on the farm and the other by Broadstairs Cricket Ground. So, just like the local sparrows, things might be on the up for these smart little birds also. All the best - Dyl