On Sunday 16th March I took part in the annual fish-eating bird survey organised by the River Eden and District Fisheries Association. This project has been ongoing for a considerable number of years and aims to provide hard evidence of the number of such birds occupying our rivers at this time of year.
My task was to walk the river between Old Church and Ruleholme Bridge, Chris Pearce covered the upper Irthing and Tony Wheatcroft the Lanercost stretch. I spotted three mergansers, Tony saw three mergansers and two cormorants and Chris did not find any on the area he covered.
The day was quite pleasant and on my walk I found signs of badger, otter and deer. Frogs have spawned and male toads are congregating in the flooded areas making ready to spawn. Primroses, celendines, coltsfoot and dandelions were in flower; I also saw a bumble bee and red admiral butterfly. Some hawthorn was in leaf, pussy willow starting to flower and hazel ready to burst into leaf. Grey wagtails and dipper were busy on the river, oyster catchers were making their distinct piping call and buzzards were circling on the thermals overhead. Unusually on this stretch of river, I did not spot a kingfisher darting up or down the river in a flash of iridescent blue.
Spring I think is here.
The weather was kind on Monday, if a little blustery, and I managed two trout on the snipe and purple and a number of small grayling from last year's spawning which appears to have been quite successful. I expect that there will be a good stock of grayling in coming years if most survive.
Monday, 20 January 2014
|Lower Irthing at Middle Farm|
As we look forward to the start of the 2014 season I have decided to add another blogger to the website to provide news, enable members to post their views, experiences and catch reports on the river during the coming season. Check out the tabs at the top of this page to access the various sections.
March 15th 2014
The trout season has arrived at last. Despite the dull, cool and breezy day I am going to wet a line for as long as I can withstand the wind and cold. I will let you know what happens on the fishing reports page.