Wednesday 21 October 2009
Much of the week has been spent putting the river to bed, knocking off the fringe and edging in the bank, the blanket weed is rolling into balls and pulling out a lot of the good weed. Cutting back the banks has revealed just how little water there is in the river. After looking so promising in spring the speed at which the river flow ahs dwindled this summer is alarming.
The wind got up for a few days blowing many of the leaves down; the screens in the stew ponds are covered with leaves every morning. The fish in the ponds and river have finally started to put their minds to reproduction, starting to scrape their redds on the same shallows that they use year on year. I was kindly invited to fish a lake near the middle river on a keeper’s jolly, some of the big browns on that stretch seemed to be far more advanced in their spawning. It also came to light that an enormous Dog Otter had been found dead on the road. Over forty inches in length it was some distance from the river. The local Conservation Officer suggested that it must have been chasing Rabbits???? Which is not behaviour that I would associate with an Otter particularly one that would have trouble getting his head down a bunny hole let alone the rest of his body. After ticking various boxes and jumping through a number of hoops the Otter has now gone to the taxidermists where it is being set up, although tragically not with a Rabbit in his mouth as someone on the day suggested. An enjoyable and entertaining day, we all caught fish and were royally fed and watered, I can confidently say that I have never eaten as much Roast Pork in one bread roll.
The first Cormorants have arrived, three sitting in a tree looking down at the flight pond. The pond is shallow at the moment and coloured from feeding ducks so not ideal conditions for the Cormorant although the shallow water has attracted a couple of Herons who are stabbing away at whatever passes by.
The Pheasants still spend most of their day in the one block of Maize, returning to the water meadows mid afternoon before going up to roost. Walking up the river at dusk they make a right racket as they go up to bed at night.
We have had our first frosts and several days of rain are forecast, the water meadows are wrapped up in the throes of autumn and the local town are threatening to turn their Christmas Lights on. Is it me?