|The heron attempts to deal with his luckless victim|
Herons are usually the most quick and deadly anglers; diving in, grabbing a small fish, whipping it around and dropping it in head first. Down in one swallow.
Fishing seems to have been a prominent feature of the last couple of days; the black pencil lines of those long carbon fibre fishing poles have been drawn across almost every bend, stretched right across the water to dangle maggots in the distant edge. I've given up wondering why they don't fish at the near bank but then I'm no angler. If they did, though, there wouldn't be any need for all those Pickford's truckloads of kit – and what's a bloke's hobby if it doesn't involve the purchase of the latest, most elaborate and expensive kit?
|Lots more kit than the heron but not having as much luck|
We've been heading 'downhill' since Wolverhampton and the locks are much more frequent – we've done 14 today alone, including the curiously complex three at Bratch (so fiendish it has its own lock-keeper) and a twosome staircase below it. Tonight we are moored just below what was Swindon Ironworks. It only closed 40 years ago but you'd never know it had been there – a neat, clean modern housing estate has taken its noisy, smelly place.
|Bratch locks: pretty but pretty complicated|