Sunday, 31 May 2015

Bird thoughts

This years brood

         I lived first in a little house,
           And lived there very well;
         I thought the world was small and round,
           And made of pale blue shell.

         I lived next in a little nest,
           Nor needed any other;
         I thought the world was made of straw,
           And brooded by my mother.

         One day I fluttered from the nest
           To see what I could find.
         I said, “The world is made of leaves;
           I have been very blind.”

         At length I flew beyond the tree,
           Quite fit for grown-up labours.
         I don’t know how the world is  made,
           And neither do my neighbours!

All these youngsters are from nests in the garden.
Today I have witnessed a wren and goldfinch starting to nest build in the new hedge.

Down in the Valley Lake 2
Just a few of the "accumulators" mentioned in my last blog!!

I scared this lot off the bank on Wednesday evening on my way to a late session. 

Once again it was quiet fishing wise, with only the carp showing and a couple of small roach.
 I think I'll move on to the third lake next week, and come back to lake 2 when the warmer mornings set in, and the crack of sparra's fart allows me down and back in time for breakfast..

Friday, 22 May 2015

As Kingfishers Catch Fire


Nice to see you getting out again Fred, missed you.

I'll try my best to improve Richard and get fishing a writing more.
I've been down in the valley since, in fact the day after my last blog, but in my haste to get out of the house, I left the hemp at home.
I didn't feel comfortable with just a fresh loaf for the roach, so I ended up, after attempting to catch a few, taking carp of 8/10lb off the surface.
Good fun for a while on relatively light tackle, but far too easy.

I've since been down two nights on the trot , but I decided on Wednesday evening to go back to the first lake.
There's been a lot of rain and I steered clear of a potential bog on the approaches to the second lake.
On my approach to the water I was met by two families of greylag goose there are probably 50 pairs down there, and these two families had more than a dozen goslings between them.
There are also a dozen or so pairs of Canada's and an odd couple,at least it looks like it,of a Canada and a greylag, I'll keep an eye on those two.
So as you may have guessed, there will be(and is)shit everywhere!!

Anyway, fishing with worms and hempseed I settled in my usual swim, my first bite and fish was a chub of a couple of pounds, at first I thought good roach ,but then it showed itself.

A good few smallish roach were caught then all went quiet, and I got myself a perch of about a pound and a half.
The roach continued with the occasional interruption from a carp, but all in all, an enjoyable session.
I'm determined to get a good head of roach, hence the keepnet, not usually a part of my armoury.

During my stay on the bank I was alerted to the shrill peep peep of a kingfisher,the vivid blue and orange flashed up and down the pond most of the evening.
It must have a nest somewhere on the pond but, it never settled on the bank, certainly not in my field of view.
It  also never came close enough to me to get a decent photograph,as can be seen.

The end product makes me even more eager to get myself a better camera.

It was back to the second lake last night, again using the same method, but it was unusually quiet, with only carp around the same size as my last visit driving me mad.
I did see George though, the farmer owner and had a chat with him, rather than the wave I usually get when he rumbles past in his tractor.
He tells me that all the big tench that were in this lake had "perished", I knew it had some a few years ago when the pub club fished it, but hadn't seen any for a while.
He said he had restocked with some smaller tench and some crucian's at around the pound mark, we shall see what I can find..

Back to the garden
I've found the goldfinch nest, it's just about ten feet from the back of the house, in a hawthorn bush which is part of the natural hedge I planted a couple of years back.The first nest in this now maturing hedge and it has four eggs!

Also a first, is a flower on our tree peony one of two planted about 3 years ago, the red one  should produce open flowers in the next day or so.One of Pauline's favourite plants...big and blousy!

Our great tit pair haven't returned to the nest, and we haven't seen of heard from them for some time now, perhaps the hoards of sparra's around the feeders put them off?.

Just today, my first spotting of the house martin's this year, a pair were around most of today. I wonder if there is a problem we usually have a good flock above us.

It was a day in the garden today,whilst the sun shines, but by lunchtime The Boss was asking if it was Pimms o'clock, and so it was. Followed later on the patio by a nice piece of grilled salmon, broccoli ,some Jersey Royal's, and a shared bottle of fishing tonight!

The view from our lunch station

Oz family
I had picked up family messages via facebook telling that my brother Ted was in hospital.
I 'phoned his home yesterday to be advised that he had an emergency operation for what turned out to be a gangrenous appendix.
Being up in the sticks in Exmouth the North of Western Australia with no decent hospital facilities meant a Flying Doctor was needed to take him the 750 odd kilometers to Port Hedland, about 9 hours by road.
Fortunately all went well and he is now home.
Some sad news for him though. Mollie his early morning and evening walking companion for the last nine years or so, had died whilst he was away.A big part of the family, as can be seen and is being missed.
She didn't walk around you!

Ted's best mate

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May

Long time no see!

are we there yet?

just a bit further
it's still there!

Had another go down on the lake last night with just hempseed and bits of worm.
There was a full on blow straight into my face a good sou'wester,so I tucked myself in close to the eastern corner of the lake.
It's about two feet deep at a couple of rod lengths.
I decided to fish lift method, with just three inches between weight and hook.The primary reason for this is to get the bait down fast and avoid the small rudd and to avoid the drift.
It works well,on most occasions!
I have to say I'm not impressed with the quality of the fish I've caught so far, or that there are any great monsters in residence.
The crucians have started feeding though, so at least there is some variety, and a nice net of them always goes down well with me.
Well they were feeding at first then the big black clouds moved in and all went quiet...except for the song thrush and the bloody geese!
No rain though.
My catch was the usual  roach and rudd,plus a couple of crucian, and one bream.
I'm pleased to say that the carp were quieter, and I only got disturbed by two, the later which lead me a fair old dance and was a mirror at just under 10lb.

I shall go down again tonight and try out bread flake, my aim this spring is to take less choice of bait and see how it goes without tempting myself to bait change every five minutes.
I'm beginning to feel more and more that I'm quite happy to do this sort of fishing, just aiming to see what's in a fishery, no pressure, just me and my thoughts, and who knows?


I forgot to add some photo's from my Suffolk visit, so here are just a couple of a town that was in the late 15th century the 14th richest towns in the country, when wool was the money maker for Lavenham.

Whilst we were staying in Suffolk my brother Pete joined us for a couple of days, which was good,he seems to have fully recovered from the brain bleed he had last November.
Having been given the all clear to drive a little while ago, he decided to test himself with a longer car journey than usual
The 90 minutes from Leigh on Sea didn't create too much of a problem for him.
Anyway,he enjoyed himself so much that he came up to us for a long weekend and his 56th birthday celebration..
A  good 3 hour journey.
We had a good few beers, wines, some good food, and chats about the future over the 4 days and how he and we propose to live our lives.
I have to say, that he had somebody looking after him that day in November, or maybe he was just in the right place at the right time?
He had a six month scan last week, before he came up to us...we await the results.

In and around the garden

I did a nest count yesterday whilst cutting the grass in the gardens.
We have a song thrush with four eggs and a blackbird also with four eggs in the front.
Around the back we have another blackbird nest just completed and she's sitting on it now.
The pair are feeding two youngsters from their first brood. That nest wasn't obvious to me, so may have been in next doors garden.
I have to say I haven't hunted too deeply for nests, but have a feeling we have robin, goldfinch, chaffinch greenfinch and dunnock close by. I'm not counting the woodies or the collared dove but they are in the hawthorn hedge somewhere..
The great tit did no more than lay a good foundation of a nest in our box, but never lined it and we haven't seen or heard from them for some while.
Swift and swallow are overhead, but no sign of the martins...yet. Three buzzards also overhead yesterday mewing away, would the third be a youngster already or one trying to butt in?

Monday, 4 May 2015

Beer days


The Boss was reading our CAMRA newsletter and found a holiday cottage in the grounds of a pub with its own brewery.
The question was "Do you fancy a week in Suffolk"? She then went on to advise that the pub was holding a Dark ale festival.
Is pigs arse pork, was my response.
And so it was booked!
The one at the back
So we're just back after 7 days in the Suffolk countryside staying at the White Horse Edwardstone.
The pub is really in the sticks, in a triangle of narrow single track lanes with Lavenden to the North, Sudbury to the West and Hadleigh to the East.

Despite spending many of my formative years in Essex and touring around the country for my jobs, I have never been into Suffolk, save for a couple of trips to fish the Stour on the Essex borders around Flatford Mill, in the mid sixties.

Spruce Cottage, as can be seen from the photo above is two story, the bedroom is up a staircase at the rear of the cottage and the ground floor is the living space, a kitchen and a wet room.

All comfortable,well, apart from the first night,  the double glazed windowed cottage was let down by the entrance door that did not quite fit in the hole! The wind was blowing straight through the crack and it was pretty cold inside.
We overcame that with the electric heating tactically placed, and a blanket over the door.
The rest of the week it was very comfortable, having been warmed up after what may have been some time vacant.
There weren't 30 dark ales but there were 24 ales to taste.  I had a good attempt to try all 16 of the dark beers.
Of varying quality and flavour, my favorite being a stout from an Islington Brewery called Hammerton  Pentonville Oyster Stout at 5.3%.
I steered clear of the four  6% 's on offer!

All in all, an excellent highly recommended location for an away from it all stay.