I got no change out of the fish yesterday evening when I tried to sucker them into ingesting a little nymph and so the gypsy barbel of the Guadalhorce enjoyed a relaxed, uneventful evening. To be honest I should have had one when I lifted into a dip of my yarn indicator but without any real conviction. I thought I had snagged on the bottom and, by the time I realised that the bottom had drifted across the river a couple of metres, everything went slack again and the fish was gone. It may have been true that those fish were not disturbed yesterday evening but this is not true of the preceding hours. One of those gypsy barbel had been plucked from the river by an osprey and the event had been witnessed by a couple of guys I came across on the river.

These were pretty serious bird watchers, these fellas, and they had a great interest in the wildlife of the river. They approached me and we exchanged observations. The picture they showed me was clear enough for me to confirm to them the identity of the bird´s catch. It was a good fish too and it was impressive that the osprey should be able to fly off with a fish that must have been very close to its own weight.

They showed me two photographs, one of the bird in flight with the barbel and another of the bird on an electricity pylon with the fish at its feet. They were kind enough to agree to send me a copy of both photographs.

I had seen the osprey myself fleetingly when I arrived at the river and remember having seen it in the same stretch of river in the past. This afternoon, when I really ought to have been working, I slipped off to the same stretch of river to see if the osprey was still around. Unfortunately there were people there and I think the bird might have decided to give them a wide berth. It was only when I returned to the car that I saw the silhouette of  what I suspect was the osprey but the failing light and distance between us conspired against me and so I cannot say for sure.

I managed a couple of nice fish this evening and but I had to work hard for them. My fishing ability is clearly eclipsed by that of the osprey that can swoop from the sky and, in a matter of a second or two is again airborne with its catch held in its talons. Hats off to the real fisherman!


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Unfortunately this image is not as sharp as the original shown to me at the river.


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This was the first of a couple of barbel I had this evening. I have not had many this year and this is the best I have had yet.