I am always hankering after a bit of fishing but extricating myself from domestic commitments is rarely straightforward. So it came as a pleasant surprise when Catriona more or less told me to go to the river yesterday evening. She and Leo had settled down to watch The Hobbit and realised that, having little interest in a watching a film I was likely to get bored and annoy them and so the best thing might be just to get rid of me. Fair enough! And this morning I just got up early, gave the dogs some breakfast and headed back to the river again.

One of the benefits of being on the river at the start or end of the day, apart from not being fried at this time of the year, is that there is always a chance of bumping into something interesting. This morning I came across two young foxes playing with one another just like a couple of puppies. I had been stalking carp in a shallow pool and the foxes just bounded down the opposite bank and played around for several minutes before one of them spotted me and they both vanished.

Last night a red necked nightjar was crouched on the dirt track and took to the wing only when approached pretty closely. On leaving the river this morning I saw bee eaters gathered on telegraph wires. These will soon be off to Africa and we can expect more to come in dribs and drabs over the next few weeks.

What was the fishing like? It was good. Last night I had a couple of barbel and lost one or two and this morning I had three barbel and two carp. These carp are really strong fighters even though they are not particularly big fish. I imagine each of today´s fish would have weighed about three pounds.

Interestingly, I was stopped by one of the Medio Ambiente  guys and asked for my license and documentation. Apparently I am not allowed to drive along the track next to the river and so I had to move the car. He was a nice guy and asked what kind of fish I was after. He suggested that the barbo gitano (gipsy barbel) are protected and can not be fished for. This is news to me but I thought it better not to argue with him. I said that I would fish for carp!

There is a service station on the A357 which has become a regular rest spot after a spell on the river. The sign outside reads Cafetería E.S. Europa. Simon Barnes will remember this place, as will Paul and Ceri Morgan. It has now become a habit to drop in and have a coffee and a couple of tapas. The red tailed parrot here was having a nap today and was not his usual talkative self. He probably needed a sleep in. I guess he had been up half the night shooting the breeze like everyone else.

This is a lovely photo of a red necked nightjar. It was not taken by me!

This is a lovely photo of a red necked nightjar. (It was not taken by me!) They are so well camouflaged that they are hard to spot during the day. At dusk they often crouch on roads and tracks and can be approached quite closely. They scan the sky for moths which they take on the wing.


I really have to work on my photography!

I really have to work on my photography!

The parrot was pretty subdued today

The parrot was pretty subdued today. This photo was taken the last time I saw him.