Back down on the banks of The Stour, Tuesday morning, only to discover that the snowmelt run off had caused the river to rise by a few inches and the water temperature to drop some 8 degrees F. By 08.00 hrs I was already casting my baits into the third swim of the session, such was the amount of debris being carried down by the current. Even with 5oz leads I couldn't keep a bait in position for more than a few minutes and this was in the margins! No surprises then that I blanked, yet again, even though I remained on site until mid-day. Crazy as it might, at first, appear it was actually a very enjoyable session. I'd arranged to meet up with Mark "Chiddy" Chidwick and we had a lovely time catching up with tales of birds, fish, moths and bumble-bees. Like-minded souls tend to have this affinity that others struggle to understand. Mark was using his fly fishing kit, but had no more success than I on this occasion. Assuming that nothing untoward happens, we should cross paths again tomorrow?
Once Mark had headed off homeward, I spent the majority of my time playing around with the EOS 70D. I'd seen some stuff on Youtube about a "hack" used by professional wildlife camera-folk. They used manual settings but with auto ISO. With nothing to lose, I gave it a bash and am very happy that I did.
This Robin was a right poser - "Look at me!"
A Song Thrush was a little less cooperative, but still provided some good tests for the camera set-up
Finally, this Long-tailed Tit was feeding in overhanging trees on the far side of the river. Light conditions were awful yet, somehow, the camera was able to capture a useable image. My Pike fishing had to be cut short due to an unscheduled school run which, under the circumstances, wasn't such a trauma. Grand-kids sorted, it was time for the main event. The Canterbury/Thanet PAC regional Christmas bash. What a fabulous evening, spent in superb company, enjoying an absolute feast as provided by the staff of The King Ethelbert PH, Reculver. Amidst the customary banter, there was ample opportunity for me to gauge the feel of my fellow members and their own perspective of the current Pike season. I'm relieved to report that, with odd exceptions, the general view is the local scene has been very hard going due, entirely, to the crazy impact of the weather. I'd particularly like to thank Andy Larkins for his input. A pike angler with over twenty years experience, on The Stour, his comments about my current project were very reassuring, despite my lack of results thus far.