Who am I?

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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, 21 May 2022

The "WOW" factor

Every day, in the skies above Thanet, I see aircraft flying to and from Europe. That's all I do, see aircraft. Never once have I made an effort to identify the model or even the company who's colours adorn the plane! If I was so motivated, then the technology I use for birding, etc, would surely enable me to do so but, as I've absolutely zero interest, this situation will continue unchanged. I use the example in an attempt to differentiate between seeing something and actually looking at it. 

A garden first and, if my info is correct, a very good record for Thanet?
Grey Birch (Aethalura punctulata)
To obtain a positive id it was essential that I actually looked at the insect, not just saw a moth!

I started mothing way back in the Summer of 1994, purely by accident, and have been extremely fortunate, over the years, to have trapped some very rare/interesting specimens. At the very start, just as with my Kent birding adventure, rarity was a key factor. A Gem, Vestal, Bordered Straw or, if the Moth Gods were smiling, Convolvulus Hawkmoth, any of them would evoke immense reaction as I sorted through the egg boxes. However, with the passing of time, there is one resident species which has retained a very special place in my appreciation of the mothing experience. It was Andy Johnson, at Sandwich Bay Obs, who showed me my very first Gold Spot (Plusia festucae) right back at the start of my journey and it was that "wow" moment as I looked at the individual contained within the, cardboard & clear plastic, pot that were par for the course back then. 

They are not annual visitors to our Thanet garden so, this morning, I was overjoyed to clap eyes on an absolutely stunning example of the species. Thankfully the light levels and my, woeful, camera technique allowed me to obtain a reasonable image of this stunning creature. All I will say is "if this doesn't do it for you - then don't bother looking at moths!"


  1. Oh dear, I think I'm best described by your last comment. Occasionally a moth catches my eye but in general they are simply just moths. Much prefer butterflies.

    1. Not such a big deal? If we were all the same it would be a very boring world. That you derive pleasure from the outdoors is good enough for me but, on the other hand, there are folk who get their kicks from coin collecting or watching planes landing at Heathrow Airport. Who's to say which is better? Surely it is a decision for each, and every, individual to make on how they define enjoyment. Cheers for the comment, as always, hoping you are keeping well - Dylan

  2. The wow! factor Dyl. I have to admit to few of those with moths and even butterflies, but the sentiment is largely relative. A couple of years back I happened across a chap who declared himself 'heartbroken' at the small numbers of Marbled White's about that year. See ya!
    My own latest wow! moment kicked into action two weeks back when a Badger; for the first time I'm aware of, started to frequent my tiny back garden. Peanuts and sultanas were put out, and every night since it's been there, munching and crunching away right under the back windows. I've only been here about thirty years. Worth the wait.

    1. Hi Ric,
      Badgers on Thanet are very rare beasts hence, a garden sighting, would certainly qualify as a "WOW" moment. That it's taken you thirty years means that Bev & I still have eight years to play with?
      I think the wow comes from taking time to look at the mundane, the ordinary, and then seeing the incredible diversity that the natural world has to offer. Why, when they fly in the hours of darkness, do moths need the colours they display? Why do spiders require eight eyes, the learning potential is endless and only limited by the individual's desire to push boundaries.
      Take care & stay safe - Dyl