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 16 January 2023

Utter madness

Not sure that it was ever in doubt? Yet today's escapades must confirm, once and for all, that I ain't too tightly wrapped! The forecast was for gale force NE winds, heavy rain and plummeting temperatures, so absolutely perfect for a session, at the farm reservoir, after the Carp - NOT !! Thankfully it is possible to get the van very close to the swims, thus getting set-up isn't a major trauma. Being well prepared, I had the Groundhog brolly in situ before getting the rest of my kit to the chosen swim. The weather gods must have taken pity on me as I was able to get both rods fishing before any heavy rain started to fall. It was Matt Hayes centrepins on the Duncan Kay's today, ably assisted by the Nash "Bushwhacker" baiting pole. My previous three sessions have seen me using my Okuma CBBF 5000's which, I must admit, have performed very well.

Baits in the water before 07.25 hrs, it was just ten minutes later that I missed the only bite of the session! I remained on the bank until mid-day, why? Despite the foul conditions, it was quite an enjoyable session due to the shelter provided by the Groundhog, plenty of clothing and a flask of coffee. I even managed to add another four species to my self-found list which was most surprising. Stock Dove and Common Snipe should have already been ticked, yet a pair of Goosander was unexpected and the adult Kittiwake, which was spotted swimming around the pond, completely surreal. Sadly, this bird was not in good health and had died before I left the venue. Bird Flu?

The very sorry looking adult Kittiwake

Huge numbers of Lapwings were on the flooded fields, surrounding the fishery, along with a good number of Curlew, assorted Gulls and a lone Redshank. As is so typical of any winter session, a Robin was in close attendance looking for scraps right under the rods. So close that my long lens was unable to focus and I had to use the 18-55mm option in order to get any images.

Not too much else to report, from a fishing perspective. The nocturnal feeding stations continue to provide entertainment. A vixen is now a regular visitor, although there is no pattern to the time when she comes to the garden. A lone Hedgehog was seen, at the fox bowl, a few nights ago which, on looking at my photos, had quite a large infestation of ticks. Although I've not seen it since, I'm hopeful that should it return I will be able to capture it and get it to a local charity where they will treat the animal, for these blood sucking parasites, before releasing back into the wild.

Ticks are visible just beneath the ear and there were many more on the other side.


  1. Re: Hedgehog and its tics. Hi Dyl, I read an article about how a Hedgehog was cleared of its parasites and subsequently became very ill. Something to do with anti-bodies the Hedgehog has with which to deal with such parasites. A repulsive (to us) natural balance.

    1. An interesting slant on the situation. If I don't see this individual again, then it probably will be for the best as I won't have to make a decision one way or the other. Hoping all is well? - Dyl

  2. I had a Hedgehog in my garden last summer and it had 6 ticks on it which I removed but they were all blue, was that because they didn't have a latch? and weren't withdrawing blood? they came off quite easily so at the time they weren't imbedded and didn't see anymore. I saw the hedgehog for a couple of evenings afterwards before wandering off. Interesting to hear Ric's view on them, I would have naturally thought they could be of no good whatsoever.

    1. My own interest in the garden Hedgehogs started at the beginning of the pandemic. Prior to this I had always seen them as a bloody nuisance because of their habit of feeding on moths attracted to the area around my moth traps. I now use a wire fence to protect the insects, but have no knowledge about Hedgehogs, or their health, beyond that of a very casual observer. If what Ric says is correct, then it does make an awful lot of sense to leave nature to take its' course. Tics certainly don't appear to be a major issue with the individuals that regularly visit the feeding station during the warmer months. Thanks for taking time to share your experiences - all the best - Dylan