Sunday, 21 October 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Tantadlin Tarts and Tufted Tit-Tyrants

Now these small tit-tyrants are a family of eight species of flycatcher native to the Andes Mountains and the westernmost rainforests of South America. One of the species, the ash-breasted tit-tyrant, is one of the world’s most endangered birds with fewer than 1000 individuals left in a handful of remote, high-altitude sites in Peru and Bolivia….

….and what a fantastic looking bird it is.

‘Plain, grey and white tyrannulet. Dark grey above, inconspicuously streaked blackish on mantle. Long and narrow, black bifurcated crest, exposing white in crown. Dark wings with two bold white wing-bars and edgings. Long black tail with white outer rectrices. Ashy-grey below, with centre of belly yellowish-white in nominate, white in bolivianus’

Looks like a great little bird doesn’t it, shame it’s likely to be wiped out with its habitat and diminishing numbers.

In complete contrast to the cormorant where the European population in 2015 was estimated at 401,000-512,000 pairs, which equates to 803,000-1,020,000. 

Now the cormorant couldn’t look more different either, visually dark and sinister, it looks like it’s up to no good when they arrive here for the winter.

The bird species with its hoodie donned revelling in receiving an ASBO….

They are certainly on the increase, I’ve seen it with my own eyes and the last couple or three years seemingly an explosion of them, and over the last month or two I’ve noticed that they are back and seemingly more and more of them again for this year, judging by the larger flocks I’ve seen flying overhead.

Now this small section of the Warwickshire Avon was badly effected by them and the fishing went off completely. In the darkest depths of winter over a few years I could winkle out 4 or 5 Chub over 3 or 4lb over a short session without an issue, but then that turned in to one or two, much smaller in statue and also eventually blanking for me and others became the norm.

Not good at all !!!

When I caught a small chub with a large open flesh wound and began seeing more and more cormorants on the hunt, you could see why the fish had run scared because they were constantly watching their backs. 

Not a nice position to be in !!!!

The Barbel loved it here, even the infamous and elusive Albuttbarbelbutt had been spotted, and he don't slum it I tell you, but then now they have all disappeared. Luckily the bigger Chub seem to have returned over this summer and at the moment anyway, are quite happy to call this place home.

That’s why I was here, after a bit of rain you, like the good dumping we had the weekend, the levels rise faster than any other bit of the Warwickshire Avon I fish, and sometimes that spurs up the Chub and gets them out from their hiding places as they have more water over their heads to play in.

It’s a roving anglers stretch of river and that’s the only way to fish it to he honest, so for this session it was out with the doorstop bread and a few lobworms to try and catch one of the lunkers that lurk among its snaggy waters. One particular swim went it’s up has some big stripeys usually hence the lobworms but I find when there is extra flow, oxygen and pace the Chub can let their guard down, become less cagey and can be dare I say it, easier to catch.

Dusk is approaching far quicker than I'd like so got to try and grab every fishing opportunity I can at the minute.  It was a really misty morning and the fishing was tough, I''m sure I disturbed an Otter at first light after it surfaced in the margin in the first swim.

After trying a few swims I managed to get a few Chub feeding off the top in one downstream swim around 50 or 60 foot away, but after trying to get their confidence as soon as I got near to the swim, once the bait dropped in it, one chub came up for a look, literally nosed the bait but it sensed something was wrong, and they all did a disappearing act.

They really are cagey at the minute....!!!!

Some small Perch were obliging but then after a Jack took a liking to the lobworm as well and someone hogging both swims in the Chub banker swim, it was time to call it a day.

The local rivers are a bit poo at the moment, clear, low and badly in need of another dumping of rain.


  1. Wonderful post, excellent blog. Mick I'd love to know who you got the front page, it's very well done.

  2. Hi Richard, I’m sure it was plenty of meddling in this and other filters


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