Another total blank on the canal, this morning, not a sound from the alarms although there were a few signs of fish in the section (species unknown). I was fishing to features and leapfrogged the rods along a few hundred metres in the hope of dropping in on a pike. It didn't happen and that might be it for the season? Wednesday morning could provide some final hope if I am able to muster the enthusiasm to visit the marshes for one last effort? I think that the weather will make the decision for me. Dry and I go, wet and I stay in bed! So far the BBC are saying dry, with sunny spells, and a light southerly. I'll know more on Tuesday!
So back to this morning and the birds which enlivened the session whilst I awaited some fishy action. I'd already picked up another year tick, as I spotted a Tawny Owl perched in roadside trees, as I drove along the Elham Valley - number 100! I also saw a Badger as I was driving through Etchinghill. Parking beside the canal, the dawn chorus was already underway despite the time being 05.50 hrs. The distant corvid roost was a cauldron of noise as the massed ranks of Rooks and Jackdaws greeted the dawn. Above all the din sounded the deep croaking of a pair of Ravens, as they flew past in the semi-darkness. The two birds continued to call and show, regularly, until 08.25 hrs when they headed off, south-west, across the marsh towards Dungeness? Unbelievably, another pair headed over, some two hours later, their abraded primaries allowing me to be confident that they were different individuals. Four Ravens in a day, and not a family party, in Kent! Crazy. It wasn't over, there were several singing male Yellowhammers, a nice flock of Redwing flew west, two Common Buzzards engaged in display flights, a Peregrine (year tick number two) caused panic amongst the feeding Wood Pigeons out on the kale fields, as it marauded overhead in the gloomy, grey skies. At least three singing Song Thrush, a Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Wood Pigeon and Skylark enthusiastically greeted the dawn, providing a wonderful ambience to the venue. Fishless, who cares? It was great to be outdoors. I'd recorded 41 species before I packed up, just after 11.00 hrs - a very enjoyable session.