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!


Friday 20 January 2023

Sorry state of affairs

Nineteen days into 2023 and I spotted my first Greenfinch of the year. Fortunately it was a spanking adult male feeding, alongside a bunch of Goldies, on one of our sunflower heart feeders in the garden. Less than twenty years ago they were so numerous as to be given little more than a casual glance, how the passing of time has changed my perception. Is there any point in lamenting the situation? What's happened in the past is done and nothing I, or anyone else, do can change that basic fact. I could just have easily used Tree Sparrow, Yellowhammer or even Song Thrush to serve as an example of species which have simply disappeared from the local avian demographic, a very sorry state indeed.

My local wildlife fixes have still been able to provide much enjoyment although, lightning couldn't strike twice, as another attempt at Barn Owl photography drew a blank. On the plus side, that particular outing did produce a superb, if distant, adult male Merlin perched in a dead tree overlooking the set-a-side where the owl favours. A pair of Stonechats were flicking about some game cover and I flushed thirty-plus Common Snipe from a flooded field as I wandered around the area.

There's been three different Foxes using our feeding station. It would seem that there is some form of hierarchy as they come to the food individually and are very flighty. Certainly no chance of any of them becoming hand tame going on current behaviour! By using the camera and viewing the subsequent images it is possible to pick out facial patterns which allow me to identify the individuals involved. It would seem that it will become an ongoing project. 

Two, very distinctively marked, individuals which turned up this evening 

Talking of ongoing projects, I bumped into Franny whilst queueing at the Tesco checkout, the other day, and he asked if I would like to get involved with some Thanet moth recording? I think you might know my response, but I did say that I was happy for him to use anything posted on the blog, if he wished. We exchanged email details and have set in place some lose plans for the coming season.


  1. Dyl, I wonder if many birds have simply moved away from sterile farmland into the suburbs? In the Colne valley there appears to be plenty of Greenfinches. Song Thrushes still breed in the thicket beyond my garden and Yammers I hear calling in Rickmansworth when out on the bike. Come to think of it. I passed Chequers last year and swore I heard the chip chipping of Tree Sparrow. House Sparrow? Didn't sound like one. However, not many of those where I live nowadays. And to think that as a kid in 1970 while walking to school I wondered what it would be like if they all disappeared? The answer is silence. Deafening. Apart from Parakeets that is.

    1. Ric, the status of local bird species must be influenced by so many factors as to be beyond the comprehension of us "ordinary folk". The habitat which surrounds my bungalow is still home to huge numbers of House Sparrows, yet I've not seen a Tree Sparrow on Thanet since 2011! I offer my slant on the situation purely as an observation and certainly have no answers to what are the causes and why.
      If I were a gambling man, then I'd reckon climate change has as much impact upon avian distribution as any environmental impact caused by modern farming practices. Still, what do I know - I go fishing!!