Setting the Scene
|Looking upstream from Brockweir Bridge.|
plural noun: elvers
These days the fishery is gone or regulated after years of over fishing. The eel larvae are carried all the way from South America's Sargasso Sea, carried northward by the North Atlantic Drift. The baby eels or elvers remain in rivers and ponds for seven years and then return to South America lay their eggs deep in the ocean and the resulting larvae would float to the surface making their way to North America and Europe. The life-cycle of the eel (Anguilla anguilla) was a complete mystery until very recently.
|A 16th century malt house in the village.|
More About Brockweir
...and there are birds too. All except the Robin are difficult to approach so quite a bit of stealth is required. The Robin is the most common bird in the hedgerows and very territorial. The Robin is a curious bird often coming out to greet the imposter be it car or hiker. I must have counted 15 on my last walk and that might be conservative as it has many types of calls that can confusing to the birder not familiar the 'tick-ick-ick' or the single 'tick'.
In the distance perhaps 12 miles away I can see the Severn Bridge suspension bridge and in the Valley below is Tintern Abbey.
The oak trees are laden with acorns, each tree has a family of grey squirrels busily collecting the nuts for their winter larder. Wood pigeons are also in the trees fattening up for the winter.
My First Fish
There's a small bridge barely wide enough for a small car or horse and buggy and a babbling brook where as an eight year old I caught my first trout.
|I leant over this wall to catch my first fish in 1961.|
The brook hasn't changed at all, these days it's much cleaner after the farm upstream was made to clean up their act. I can still remember walking home with the smelly catch. Almost six decades have passed since that day, just one of a lifetime of memories!In those days I would be outdoors all day when school was out, the moniker 'Helicopter Parents' hadn't been coined then. When school was out I would leave in the morning and return for supper. I would spend the day on the riverbank learning how to 'read' the river, learning where the fish might hang out, very similar in a way that birders learn how to find birds.
Foxes love the banquet too as do the raptors, unfortunately farmers are not averse to shooting or poisoning birds of prey. There are even egg collectors who raid nests.
On my return from my walk a few hours later I notice the road kill is pretty well picked clean and now being squabbled over by a pair of Magpies, such is the pecking order in the UK countryside.
One day I walked to
My grandparents lived out their lives there. I often drank too much at the pub and walked home rather than risk driving the narrow lanes. Those were the days. In the church yard I found this Song Thrush feeding on the red berries of an ancient Yew tree.
From the castle grounds I watch around forty Jackdaws plying the thermals off the steep escarpment. They glide and dive over the village, their raucous calls more playful than anything. Jackdaws pair for life and are very tolerant of humans although I'm not too sure if that's reciprocated, especially around gardens at harvest time. The Jackdaw is a social bird, interacting with humans and often using chimneys to nest and raise their young. I stopped to talk to one villager, she told me they were a noisy pest.
|Jackdaw or Chimney-Sweep bird on the roff of the local pub.|
Nikon P900 at 2000mm handheld
Getting late in the day so the shutter speed is too slow but I would have go this shot unless I had the P900 at 2000mm
Next day off is a trip to Slimbridge..weather permitting!