A swift conclusion?
WE are lucky to have a smattering of swallows back from Africa, but the total number flashing around our house is lower than it has ever been. Even in the still quiet of an evening’s fishing, with mayflies hatching in their countless thousands, there is emptiness in the sky. I used to be able to predict the fortune of a day’s fishing just by the number of swallows and housemartins hoovering up the insects in the sky above the river. Now, it’s almost empty, although there do seem to be a few more swifts screaming about than in past years.
Has everywhere seen a crash in swallow numbers or is it just southern England? Will there, one day, be no swallows to greet our summers? I’ve heard just one cuckoo this year and wonder whether future generations will hear one at all.
Still, the fishing on the Rivers Meon, Test and Nadder has been excellent as long as you’re prepared to wait late into the evening for the lugubrious trout to conjure up the energy to start feeding. On the beats next to mine, most people seeemed to leave before the fun really started. MH