It has been a while since I last posted, what with life, school, Christmas, New Year and the arrival of my little boy Toby. 19 days early but healthy and happy. Today, 3 weeks on, and I have returned to my routine and daily river walk.
The tail end of Storm Ciara was still making its presence felt. The wind roared through the bare trees along the river bank. Debris was scattered across the path and in places trees had been felled by her fury. Undeterred by the storm and its aftermath the river was alive. The twittering of Siskin and Goldfinch in the bare tops of the alders, Canada Geese milling on the grassy banks, and a bright blue flash and piercing call of a Kingfisher dashing down river.
On the other side of the river a Moorhen scrambled out onto the bank with an indignant shriek. I wondered if it is I who has disturbed it, although I am across the river on the other bank. A glance bank revealed the true culprit as the sleek brown head and body of an otter. I watched as it slipped back into the dark water and disappeared.
Despite the storm and the wintry feel, there was a real sense of spring in the air. There are carpets of delicate white snowdrops, their heads waving erratically in the wind.
Among the bird calls the occasional burst of song could be heard, a sure sign of the nesting season to come, Mallard’s were starting to pair off, with some fierce battles not only between rival males, but also between drake and duck. And for some nesting season was already upon us, as the family of Egyptian Geese goslings sticking close to mum and dad on the river bank attests to. Spring is coming, but first there was Storm Dennis to contend with…