I had planned to fish for Grayling but due to the recent rainfall, and the River Dove being over the banks my decision was made for me. So off to the trent after barbel I went.After earlier checking the river near Willington, I decided that the parking was better on the other side of the river at Repton. So once I had recc'ied the bank, to make sure it was safe to wade through the stading water left by the recent flood, I hauled my tackle over and set up.
The River had an aveage temp of 6.5 deg C, I've only fished the Trent once or twice before, so it was good to try a reconnaissance session in another new area for me. River was right up to the rim, so I struggled to hold bottom even with a 6 oz lead and a 10 oz padlock ! that I had brough to use in case it reeally pushing through. I had one run on the right hand meat rod , but then wondered if it was just from a large 'weed fish' afterall.
I stayed fishing into dark but never had any takes and although I never caught any barbel, it was an enjoyable session none the less. Now I'm not really what you would call a "twitcher" or anything but I enjoy observing nature when I'm out and nowadays, always try to identify birds that I see whilst fishing ( well you might as well keep busy while your blanking !).
There was a flock of birds I photographed, I have looked up waterfowl etc on the web and think they might be widgeon ?
I also saw what I think was a male Sparrowhawk hunting some wood pigeon. Too far away for the camera, (approx 300 yrds) but I tracked it with my binoculars for a short while, till it disappeared behind some trees.
Again I'm no bird expert but I have looked it up on the RSPB website and I think it was most likely a male Sparrowhawk based on it colour and markings. I watched it fly across the river then perch on a fence post for approx 30 seconds, long enough for me to get the bins out and focus in on it. I saw it had a blue / slate colour back (male) and an underside of white with black stripes, that I had noticed while it was in flight.
As it took off again it flew low to the ground through a small meadow between some hedgerow trees and that's when I saw three or four pigeons hurriedly take flight from the ground as it swooped over to them. I soon lost sight of it and so I don't know if it made a kill or not. I initially got excited as I thought it might have been a Peregrine Falcon at first but later realised that is highly unlikely, based on location and it's flight pattern etc.. not that a Sparrowhawk is any less worthy of course, but I would love to see a Peregrine in the wild.
Hope I can report a fish in the next update.