August 24, 2011


It happened about a week ago around the time of the full moon. One morning the air felt that little bit thinner, cooler. A look up and the sky was bereft of swifts, their three month stint of screeching and zooming aerobatics over for another year as they spend the next nine months in constant flight in warmer skies.

Over the subsequent week I've noticed that the sparrows have formed into busy flocks and the starlings are losing their first brown coats to acquire speckles which will in turn darken and take on that iridescent sheen. They descend upon the feeders like inner city gangs, looting all in their paths and driving the other birds away. Yet I love to watch them, whilst my neighbour bangs her window to scare them off, I enjoy watching their squabbling antics and their communal bath at my garden pond is always entertaining.

Yes, the first signs of autumn are here.

The river is still low and no doubt proving difficult but rain is due - soon. The new water will provoke an urgency amongst the fish as they recognise the change and feed hard to gain the strength and reserves to combat another winter. Next week the fishing will become easier and the barbel will be at their peak of condition.

Autumn is the time to fish. I have plans for chub, barbel, carp, perch and roach fishing, all to be crammed into the next six or eight weeks. I love this time of year. All I have to do is sort my back out again. I am confined to barracks and have been since last Friday, will I never learn? Picking your boy up when he is three is one thing but at thirty! Its my own fault, we mess around - horse play - but if I was a horse I'd be glue by now :-)

One last autumnal thought for now. This time last year I was amazed at the amount of berries on the trees and the portent for a harsh season ahead. Tosh and nonsense say some yet, what followed was the hardest winter for a generation. Look at the hedgerows as you pass, the hawthorn bushes for example, are bowing from the weight of all those red berries - I reckon we could have another cold one.


  1. Spot on Dave,best time to be out on the bank:-).New lap top isw on route too.

    Monty D

  2. Ah, I saw the first tint of yellow in my Aspens yesterday. Spots starting, here and there. I've always been told to look at the Wooly Caterpillars' thickness of coat (much like your hedgerow berries)....there are some really thick ones I've seen recently. I'm readying to hunker down....but an really looking forward to fall fishing too! You're always a pleasure to read, Mr. Burr!

  3. I have heard that it is going to a long cold one again this year Dave............ great!

  4. Thanks for the comments Erin, hope you stay snug in your canyon.

    Tom - ice fishing on the Wye again :-) Not to mention the cost of heating oil.

  5. I will be knitting another sweater, cannot afford the price of heating oil mate