I walked from home to Lower Barnwell lock. There were none of the sights and sounds from yesterday so I walked downstream towards Ashton. A few hundred yards beyond the bypass there were kingfisher calls in a willow on the near side. Nothing emerged. Then just past Ashton lock a bird surprised me by taking off almost under my feet and wheeled around towards the weir pond.
I didn’t see another bird until the Cotterstock stretch, which seems about right for territory and distribution. Again a bird started up almost from under my feet, this time at the bridge over the second weir. It looked to have been perching on one of the wooden undersupports. I’ve been hearing lots of calls from that direction when standing at the end of Glapthorn brook, so now I know to creep up on the bridge. Looking back along the river from the other side of the weir there appeared to be a few good perches by the ruined jetty.
On through Cotterstock and back to the end of Assiter’s Spinney. I always go in at the first path where I saw the chicks a few weeks back – there are often calls from there. Near was at the spot where the chick had perched I heard calls from nearer the edge of the wood. After a couple of minutes a bird came flashing through along the line of the brook towards the river. I saw a lot of blue backs that day!
After looking to see where it may have been perched I found a guano covered stump that could serve. I also discovered that the section of the brook which sees the most action is only joined to the main brook when it floods. It’s a closed tributary of the river which stays a good depth all year and which fish swim along from the river and back. A good feeding place, which must be why there is such a lot of activity there.