Winter fishing

Keep an eye out for the kingfisher that Jay Pickard saw and photographed two weeks ago.

In weather as wet as this, when the Avon and the Biss are flooded, the water is not only deep and fast-moving but it’s filled with silt. Kingfishers can’t see their prey in the murky water and the turbulence can be too dangerous to dive through. No longer able to rely on their usual fishing spots, they leave their territories looking for quieter water, ponds and canals, where there is a chance that the silt will settle and they will be able to see the fish.

Left: Jay Pickard’s picture; Right: DKG’s pictures from last winter’s floods

Our shallow dog pond, with its little weir to slow down the stream, is just the right sort of place with just the right sort of overhanging branches to serve as perches from which to fish. It also has plenty of fish of just the right size: sticklebacks and roach.

Last winter, during the heavy rain in January, DKG photographed a kingfisher in almost exactly the same place. It might even have been the same bird using the park as winter fishing grounds when the Biss is in flood.

Go carefully today; the Lambrok will be flooded and some of our paths will be under water.

Here is DKG’s post from last January:

2 thoughts on “Winter fishing

  1. Iv’e seen kingfishers in the Lambrok behind Blind Lane in summer and autumn,when the water can be very low but never in winter. As you say, the stream then is often flooded, fast flowing and silty, and in places behind the houses it can be as much as 150 cm deep! As overhanging branches are quite high up we have placed a couple of slim branches across the stream from one bank to the other and kingfisher have used these.

    1. Our pond’s little weir slows the water up and the silt settles. Even today, there are places under the willows that would be clear enough to fish in. Further down the Tributary, once the water has rushed over the weir, it’s silty again. Well done you for providing a perch for your kingfisher.

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