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!


Saturday 23 March 2024

Garden exploits and encounters

 With Bev slowly starting to get over her operation I have found myself plenty to do pottering around in the garden. Hanging baskets, and the vast majority of my planters, will have to wait until after the Easter break before they get any form of attention. At the moment, the only three garden plants which I care about are my Buddleia trees, of which there are three, the Red Valerian and, of course, Nicotiana. Why? Because they are the three most attractive plants for moths, especially Hawk-moths, and therefore are an essential part of the garden flora. To be fair, the Buddleia and Valerian look after themselves, my task is to keep them in check. The Nicotiana require a little more effort in order to ensure that they are in fine fettle come the late Summer/early Autumn when moth migration tends to be at a peak. I have four planters specifically for these flowers, yet it is the one directly outside my study doorway which is of prime concern. Quite a few of last year's plants have successfully overwintered and are already showing signs of new growth but, just to ensure a plentiful supply of, heavily night-scented, nectar I have scattered a very liberal number of seeds to help boost the odds.

Red Kites - not in Aston Clinton

As I mentioned in the previous post if I'm in the garden my camera and binos will be close to hand. Today saw me add two more species to my tally which now stands at forty! With Spring raptor migration now well underway it was no great surprise to spot two Red Kites when the local Herring Gulls went into full frenzy mode. The female Brambling, at the feeding station, was a little more of a surprise as they are not quite annual garden visitors. 

Hedgehogs are nightly visitors to the feeding station, yet I haven't seen, or heard, a Fox in a good while. I will make an effort to grab some images of the "spiny critters" if the conditions allow. The moth trap hasn't been particularly busy, although an Agonopterix arenella (Brindled Flat-body) did require me to take a look at my Micro Moth field guide and visit Kent Moths to confirm the id.


  1. Harty had it's irregular visit from the fox hunt this week, hunting foxes in the way that they always have. I was pissed off the following morning, on arriving at the Swale NNR, to find horse and hound footprints going some way on to the reserve. The week before that the beagle pack was also out, chasing hares. Both activities are illegal now but the two farmers that own most of Harty, support what goes on.

    1. Hi Derek,
      I am not too sure if these events are not just a demonstration of social standing by this bunch of entitled snobs. Riding around the countryside, with a pack of hounds, just cementing their status to us peasants? It would be very difficult to convict them of any wrongdoing without evidence of Foxes being killed in this manner. However, surely encroachment onto a designated wildlife reserve would fall foul of the Wildlife & Countryside Act both because of willful disturbance caused and obvious trespass?
      Really great to hear from you, hoping all is well?

  2. Don't think that there's any doubt about their intent on hunting foxes, the local gamekeeper isn't very robust in denying it, plus they normally have a couple of terrier men on quad bikes, with their terriers, following them. Unfortunately, most of their activity takes place on farmland well away from the public.

    1. There's not too much I can say about this but, if you wish to ask questions about their activities, your local MP and/or newspaper might be worth contacting for a second opinion?