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!


Sunday 29 March 2020

#BWKm0 Important - certainly not?

I've not cast a line for several weeks and, if things remain as they are, can't see me being able to do so for many more to come. My syndicate  renewal fees are due to be payed at the start of April, yet I wonder if it the money could be better used as I'll not be able to get out all the while this pandemic dominates our daily lives. Decisions, decisions! To be honest I'll probably pay my membership, but what if I was self-employed or laid off? £250 might keep food on the table for a few weeks, rather than spent on a ticket that can't be used. I suppose it's for each of us to base our decisions on our individual circumstances.
I was rather drawn to a post, it doesn't matter by whom, which questioned the Noc-mig technology being used by some "competitors" in our laid back garden challenge. My initial reaction was that I was fully behind any such records being null & void. However, after a day to ponder on such trivia, I've altered my stance somewhat.
Technology has drastically changed so many aspects of our everyday lives. Mobile phones and digital imagery are two areas which we now take for granted as are, indeed, the various social media platforms by which we are freely able to communicate our slant on the world. If it were not so Steve Gale wouldn't have been able to garner so much support for our little project in such a short space of time? As an individual, I am wholly reliant upon electronic bite alarms whenever I go fishing, especially if I'm tucked up akip in my bivvy. And what about mothing, surely an un-attended light trap, being emptied next morning is much akin to letting some fandango gadget record the sounds in the night sky whilst you are sound asleep. I think the bottom line is that we must be able to allow each to their own.
There is no prize, no highly esteemed kudos, associated with the garden bird watch challenge. Who will be the winner, well we all will? We've come together in order to find a positive distraction from the reality of self isolation imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic which we simply can't ignore. I liken my involvement to running (?) my first ever London Marathon (2000) which was an incredible experience to be part of. When I crossed that finish line, in a time of 4 hrs 32 minutes, no one could take that feeling of elation/achievement away from me. Of course I hadn't won it, didn't matter a toss, it was the taking part and completion which made it such a personal triumph.
So there you have it - my very personal overview of what we've got ourselves involved in. Please feel free to hold alternative opinions, it won't be the first time someone has disagreed with me.

So what's been happening around Dumpton? Not too much being the very simple answer. Two female Blackbirds appeared on the lawn and, I would assume, were new arrivals?  A phone conversation with my youngest brother, Simon, who lives in the delightful Buckinghamshire village of Aston Clinton, was quite amusing. He has recently undergone heart surgery and is in a period of twelve weeks confined to barracks. I'd previously told him about the garden challenge and he reported that he was currently on eighteen species. He said that Raven was a good bird for him and that he'd also recorded a single Cormorant headed towards the Tring Reservoir complex, no doubt. "Bloody hell! I still haven't seen one yet" We exchanged the usual pleasantries as we said our good-byes and I returned to the task of clearing the debris from our patio area. Huge numbers of Wood Pigeons remain  around the newly planted fields to the north of Vine Close and provide quite a spectacle when disturbed by passing dog walkers, joggers or cyclists.
Chores completed, I made the effort to dig my trusty Kowa TSN 823 (30 x eye piece) out of retirement and attach it to my Manfrotto tripod which has been part of the fishing kit due to my requirement of self take images. So there I was, stood outside, scope, bins and camera at the ready. Very impressive, almost like I know what I'm doing when I spot three Cormorants flying in from the East. No time to check the camera settings, I fired off a short series of images and have to be grateful for the photo shop technology which has enabled me to rescue one of the pitiful efforts.

33 - Cormorant - Did make me smile when I rang Simon to tell him about this latest addition to the list.


  1. Give Sy my regards Dyl, and for a successful recovery.

    1. Certainly will Ric. Let's hope that this madness has abated by July and we're able to meet up to celebrate his 60th Birthday.
      Hoping you and Bronwyn are safe & well - Dyl

  2. Hi Dyl, I am assuming it was my dissing of the NocMig that you referred to? I see what you say about technology around bite alarms, moth traps and the like but there is one big different to the NocMig. When your bite alarm goes and wakes you from the bivvy you get up and strike into a fish, hopefully, that you will land it and take your selfie. With the moth trap, I get up first thing and count my moths and take some nice pics of the best of the bunch. In both cases we have has some interaction with nature. With NocMig, the participant has never seen or even heard his subject. They might as well add birds to their list from BirdGuides because they havent seen those either, if you get my drift. Its even worse than ticking a dead bird, at least you have engaged with it as a species albeit deceased, but I cant think of anyone who would do that. Would you?
    A great though provoking post as usual Dylan, keep it up, you have us on our toes! :)

    1. Hi mate,
      I'm in total agreement with all that you say about the NocMig technology, yet because this garden listing is helping to create a positive from the obvious downside of our current situation. I'm not too bothered. If individuals are so competitive as to require the assistance of such artificial records, does it really matter? I know that, as an individual, all it would do is piss me off because I would suddenly be aware of what I'd missed flying over my garden. Like you, I could no more claim the record than if I'd seen it on t/v!
      Carp anglers now have GPS fitted to bait boats so they can re position baited rigs in the dark without the need to cast a line. Where technology will take this next generation of birders is likely to be just as far removed from the hobby we know, love and grew up with.
      So, if NocMig technology keeps folk involved and assists Steve develop this "laid back" garden challenge (which will become huge I'm guessing) then I am happy to accept that certain individuals are willing to include these "Fake" records? No less a crime than stringing, which could also be a factor amongst the more competitive in our midst?
      Cheers for taking time to offer these thoughts - always a pleasure. Take care & stay safe - Dyl