RSPB Snettisham

It was an early start yesterday morning, and this morning, when I finally got my arse out of bed and down the road to see the pink footed geese and waders at Snettisham. It’s only a ten minute drive from my house, but I’m ashamed to say I’ve never actually been down there to see the spectacle of the geese and the waders.

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Yesterday and today were very high tides. Unfortunately yesterday it was a flat calm and the tide just didn’t come up high enough to push the waders off the mud, and I was too late for the geese. So I went back again today. There was a nice onshore breeze, and I was about half an hour earlier. You can see the geese far out on the flats, and you can hear them too. They sound excited, as if they’re all discussing the coming day’s adventures, and then the noise rises to fever pitch as they begin to lift into the air. I always think it’s interesting to think about the very first goose that leaps into the air. There’s no way of seeing it because the rest are after it in an instant and before you know it several thousand of them form a black morass moving skyward. Once they get into their stride so to speak they begin to form the characteristic v-shaped skeins streaming across the sky. This morning there were three separate launches, each with maybe five to eight thousand individuals. It is a sight that, unless you see and hear in person, can’t be imagined.

The geese were the highlight for me, the waders were pretty impressive, but not in the same league as the geese.

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As I write it’s dusk, and over the football results I can hear the geese passing over my house; in a straight line it’s only a mile or so to their roosts out on the mud flats. I turn the TV and the lights off and sit and listen to their curious high-pitched two-tone squeal as they return from their feeding grounds inland.

Different strokes

Mmm… it’s been almost a year since I wrote anything on this blog. I’ve had a busy Summer, and unfortunately fishing, and the other good things in life, have been pushed aside by work. Last week I went to Hampshire for my occasional once-or-twice-yearly-barbel-fishing-fix. The barbel were sadly lacking, but on my first walk along the river Avon for two years I bumped in to another angler who recognised me from this very blog which was nice, and as a result I feel the need to begin writing again.

This entry may have begun on the banks of the Hampshire Avon at Burgate, but it is now winging its way across the Atlantic to that jewel of an island that straddles the gulf stream: Cuba. I’m not a big fan of flying but because we’re now so busy in Summer we decided to get away to warmer climes after Christmas, and after some discussions Michelle and I decided on Cuba. Cuba has sun, sand, beautiful clear caribbean waters, but also fantastic culture and history and, of course, Cuba has fishing.

I like to mix things up when it comes to fishing and this was certainly a fantastic new experience. There are some photographs below, but other than that I’m not going to go in to too much detail here because I’m hoping that my Cuban exploits will be published in the second edition of new fishing magazine Fallon’s Angler, which you can find details about here: Fallon’s Angler – Caught by the River and purchase here: Fallons Angler.

I’m not sure how much fishing there’s going to be over the next few months, but definitely some, and in February I’m returning to Cuba. This time I’ll have a fly rod in hand, and bonefish and permit on my mind, and that is very exciting.

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The Aurochs

Aurochs, aurochs, aurochs

head full of rocks

I’ve seen their horns

piled like pine trunks

by the roadside

Extinct? Yeah right don’t

believe everything you read

I’ve heard them rumbling

through the village

dead of night

with my own ears I tell you

my damned ears

Don’t let them tell you

that which is not true

Gad! what bore

must take them down

and in their throes what

trees what houses what

mountains left unripped

After all this time

must we extinct the aurochs ourselves?

Leave them be though

they hate man and rip and trample flesh every

chance and every bone they’ve

ever encountered is smashed

and cars disappear down the

sinkholes of their hooves

like toys at the hands

of kids that don’t care

But don’t let them tell you of

that which is not true

never let them tell you

the aurochs is gone

that it sleeps in the stones man walks on