Arriving just in time to see the footie results appearing; I have to admit to being amazed by the QPR result - we had just conceded an equaliser as I parked the car outside Darryl's house!. We spent the evening enjoying a meal in The Hop Pole, in Weston (I believe) - all very pleasant and highly recommended.
|Smoke on the Water!|
Looking out, across Chew Valley, from between the two picnic areas - just before noon
The birding was OK, although I failed to see anything particularly unusual, I did discover a couple of Chiffchaffs amongst a large mixed flock of Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits which also had a few Goldcrests tagging along. Winter thrushes were all but absent - I saw four Redwing and a scattering of Blackbirds, despite the hedgerows being heavily laden with berries. A pair of Bullfinches, feeding high up, provided a nice distraction - their soft whistling contact call being a sound of which I'll never tire.
That was about it, in all honesty. A few Goldeneye amidst the regular Tufties and Pochards; a pair of Egyptian Geese along the shoreline between the two picnic areas - Mallards and Teal, Great Crested Grebes and plenty of Cormorants and mixed gulls - so always something to look at.
|Looking along the dam wall, the famous tower in the foreground, with|
the Visitor Centre complex on the far bank
|There's something not quite right when an adult Block-head (not a spelling mistake; Thanet slang!)|
can acquire its' breeding plumage in November. Are the birds as confused as some plants by these conditions?
What about my views as a Pike angler? As aware, as I am, as to the history and potential of this fishery to produce a pike of mammoth size - it doesn't do it for me. It's not the size of the venue, it would fit into Loch Awe or Loch Lomond without anyone noticing the difference, so yes it's big, but not massive. I don't find myself enthused by the prospect of short, fat, unhealthy pike, whatever they might weigh. If pounds and ounces are the key factor, then Chew Valley Lake every time - for me it is about so much more, thus I seek my challenges in different arenas - thirty years ago it would not have been so and I would have been as keen to fish Chew as I was Llandegfedd, Rutland and Grafham - weird how time can change a man?