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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. 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!

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Sunday, 19 April 2020

#BWKm0 - I never expected that

Working in the chemical manufacturing business, ink to you and me, has meant that the Covid-19 pandemic has a much lesser impact upon my daily routine than if I was forced to work from home or furloughed. Because I was on earlies last week, my garden listing was severely restricted and, as a result, only one new species made an appearance. When I finally left work on Friday lunchtime, the weather was already on a downward spiral as cold winds and rain became the reality. Up reasonably early on Saturday morning, my reward came in the shape of a Grey Heron being pursued, noisily, by an angry mob of Herring Gulls. However, my hoped for vis mig failed to materialise and I was left to ponder what might be happening elsewhere?
52 - Grey Heron - not unexpected, though never regular at this time of year.

It dawned bright, yet cold, this morning. The sun shining from a clearing sky, but a brisk ENE wind ensured it felt chilly as I stood outside, first coffee in my hands. A Chiffchaff was singing from a garden just to the south and I noted three Swallows flick past as they headed towards their breeding sites, who knows where? Coffee number two and three were consumed, as was a sausage sandwich, and I didn't hold out much hope. One of the local Common Buzzards drifted over the farm and prolonged scanning through the binos revealed a total of four Sparrowhawks around the area. It was now 11.25 hrs and I'd just finished chatting with Mike, my next door neighbour, socially distancing over the garden fence when the gulls went up. Not a lot of noise, but they certainly weren't happy about something?
It wasn't long before I picked out the familiar shape of an approaching Common Buzzard, surely the gulls hadn't reacted en mass due to this? As I watched, through my bins, a second bird appeared and with it alarm bells started ringing in my head. It's got a white tail, bloody hell, it's got a pale head and a dark belly - isolated carpal patches - F*cking Hell it's a Rough-legged Buzzard!! Always distant, I grabbed the camera and fired off a series of shots which, I hoped, might confirm my id. The two birds continued on their steady way, headed into the wind and disappeared off to the NE with me a gibbering wreck looking at the pathetic images I'd managed, on the back of the camera. I rushed into my study and downloaded the camera then rang my brother, Simon, with the news. I was physically shaking, just like I do when I land a decent fish. Only those who share this passion will be able to understand how I felt? Not only was it a garden, therefore patch, tick it is everything that this laid back challenge stands for. A positive during a period of such negativity and I am going to savour this experience for some time to come unless, of course, something else turns up tomorrow?




All of the above images are massively cropped from the originals. I'd like to think they do enough to confirm my id?

53 - Rough-legged Buzzard - now I never expected that!

This is a ridiculous cropped image from a pretty bad starting point yet does, I feel, confirm my sighting!

6 comments:

  1. Bloody hell Dyl, that's a stonking garden tick. I often carry my camera just in case of exactly what you've done there. Not the award winning shot but enough to be able to identify the bird. Done that many times. The memory will live forever. Congratulations.

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    1. Hi Marc,
      Cheers for this! Because it was so out of the blue, I'd been expecting an eagle, my reaction was completely over the top. With this species now patch ticked, realistically all I need is Black Kite for the complete Kent set! Have to admit that I cracked open a San Miguel and raised my glass to the birding gods. I'm still buzzing now.
      Keep safe mate - Dyl

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  2. Brilliant! There have been some terrific BWKM0 birds during this challenge, but that is right up there with the best of them, Dyl. Shaking? I'll bet you were! 😄

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    1. Gav, I don't think I'll be more excited should I ever land that split cane thirty? It was an incredible experience, probably because it was so out of the blue. Can't ever remember a bird doing that to me before - crazy!

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  3. Without doubt Dylan, superb. One of those when you see it you know, no matter how far off it is! Well done.

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    1. It was a most surreal encounter which will take a lot of beating. To end up a gibbering wreck just goes to demonstrate how much the #BWKm0 has taken hold of my "lockdown" birding. I'm rather enjoying this challenge which has resulted in three new species for the garden so far! Thanks for taking time to comment - hoping you are keeping safe and sane - Dylan

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