16 May 2011

Close encounters

One of the joys of fishing is that it often brings me physically closer to water-loving birds than birding ever did - often simply a function of sitting still for hours on end. It is not unheard of for kingfishers to alight momentarily on fishing rods for example.

Sunday was a case in point. I sat just a few feet away from two banks of reeds while reed warblers and sedge warblers flitted past my eyes all morning (distracting when you're supposed to be watching a float). Behind me sang whitethroat and blackcap, across the lake was a persistent turtle dove, a cuckoo had a brief  go at about 6.30am and then seemed to give up for the day, and above and around me were swallows, swifts, buzzards and plenty more besides. All very welcome company indeed when the fishing slows a little.

Of many and varied other sightings in recent weeks, the highlight was a modest marsh tit, another addition to my lunchtime Henley-in-Arden list - as is so often the way, I bumped into as I took a stroll along the canal at Preston Bagot.

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