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 5 November 2018


If I hadn't dipped yesterday, then I am sure I wouldn't have gone to Margate Harbour this morning? The KOS website had a report (Jim Bloor - I'm very grateful) announcing the presence of the White-billed Diver at said site, just twenty minutes before I'd logged on. It wasn't a difficult decision and I was on my way within a few minutes. I parked near the surgery building at Cliftonville, opting to walk the seawall into Margate, hoping to bump into a few year ticks as I went.

A nice walk, but rather uneventful, bird wise. Odd groups of waders included Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Common Redshank and four Purple Sandpipers. Rock Pipits were present in good numbers yet the hoped for Black Redstart failed to appear. I reached the harbour in good time and after a few minutes scanning, discovered my target miles out in the bay, towards Westgate. My views from the beach were just about tickable, largely due to the sun highlighting the banana beak of this impressive Arctic visitor. I then made the decision to walk to the end of the harbour wall, it seemingly a little closer to the bird's position, although the angle of the sun wasn't particularly favourable. It turned out to be a masterstroke and luck was truly on my side. The bird was making its' way steadily towards my position and swam passed me into the main bay of the harbour proper. I thought about wandering back, to get a better angle, but the bird had other ideas and proceeded to swim past the end of the harbour wall, coming within 30, or so, metres of where I was sitting. Get in! Absolutely stunning views of this wonderful bird, all to myself. Camera in overdrive, I managed a few images which convey the quality of the encounter - a "lifer" in the bag!


  1. And what a plumage to get your lifer in Dylan! I have had 4 in Northumberland but all have been winter plumaged birds. One was so close in Blyth Harbour I could see it as it swam under water, though my best were finding one at Hauxley many moons ago then another at Boulmer about 10 years back, superb birds...

  2. Cheers Stewart, it's been a while!
    The bird was absolutely stunning in the late autumn/early winter sunshine. I accept that I'm now well out of the loop. but there are certain birds which demand an audience and this was one of them. My photos are very ordinary, in comparison to some that I've seen, however, they provide a record of an encounter which was so enjoyable, exciting, because I was all alone with this splendid visitor.
    Probably the most important aspect of the experience is that I went along to pay my respects, rather than going through a ritual of adding another tick to a meaningless list. I don't have any issues with lists, but recognise that they play no role beyond personal gratification - fun, without question, yet pointless? - Dyl

  3. Oh I dont know about lists. On a personal level they give me targets to look for and goals to achieve. I am only in competition with myself ( or maybe Steve Gale :) ). If we didnt keep a list we wouldnt know what we had seen, and every day could be spent in a kind of groundhog day loop looking at the same old garden robin all the time. A bit like catching one carp in a pond and catching the same one every day. Life would soon get pretty tedious, hence I quite like to monitor my own lists for personal guidance. Oh and dont knock your photos, theyre excellent!

    1. My issue with lists is all of my own doing. Being an OCD kind of guy, lists quickly became more important than the hobby, be that angling, birding, moths, etc, etc ..... It has taken an awful long time for me to recognise that the enjoyment of any encounter far outweighs the tick in a box exercise of lists and listing. Time in the great outdoors is far more rewarding when the subjects of your attention are given due respect, rather than a number. So whilst I still, to this day, maintain lists of all sorts of things, I choose not to publicise them as tool to demonstrate my prowess in any particular sphere. It seems to me that lists, rules and league tables have overtaken the simple pleasure of getting involved with our natural world and I want no part of it.
      My photos are a byproduct of my time in the field. My kit is usable but, by no means, state of the art! Some of the images that are captured, by those folk who keep abreast of such technology, are simply stunning - mine are OK for a blogger, although ten years ago would have been un-achievable, given my budget? - Dyl