Sunday, 15 December 2013


20lbs of golden carp ... and we were kneeling down to protect it's beauty
Camping out on cold December nights is wearing a bit thin these days but this week it was worth it.

Milton Abbas - such a beautiful lake

I was asked by Martin Bowler to help him out with some filming in the hope he could catch a winter carp. No one had caught one from the lake for three weeks [and that was by Martin], but as you see from the pic. Martin delivered yet again. He’s a bit of a star when it comes to catching fish … and to work with too … the ultimate professional.

sliding it carefully back unharmed
It was good to be filming with him again, for we hadn’t done so since completing the epic series, “Catching the Impossible” in 2010 and having the A team back again resulted in two more carp to 25lb+ … and when we weren’t filming I caught a raft of roach up to 1.4. Lovely fishing and all on waggler and sweetcorn.
when filming allowed I caught loads of lovely roach to 1lb+

cooking Martin's curry in the old VW - as used for 'A Passion for Angling'
We apologise for the lack of posts recently … finishing the River Allen film for our fund-raiser on behalf of the Dorset Wildlife Trust will have to do as an excuse.

filling up ... and every penny of their ticket money goes to protecting the rivers wildlife
tales from the bush - talking tigers

We had a successful night, filling the Allendale Centre in Wimborne with about 300 supporters and raising about £2,000 for habitat enhancement work for all the special critters in the river, including endangered water voles and white clawed crayfish and our lovely native brown trout. [I have added the film at the end of this post.]

I find being in front of an audience scarier than facing an angry polar bear or man-eating tiger. I survived both to tell the tale but I’m still recovering from the film show!

such a glorious wild landscape of eagles, choughs, otters and sea trout
In late October, Sue and I returned to the beautiful Hebridian island of Islay to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary. 

we camped on this exact spot 42 years ago
We camped here before we were married because the bird watching and walking is as good as it gets. 
great walking in this watercolour landscape where eagles fly

barnacles flighting out at dawn
The malt whisky isn’t bad either and with eight distilleries around the coast, there’s plenty of choice.
a fascinating tour around the Laphroaig distillery

mid-day bathe in a streams fresh water
the skies are filled with geese all day
our 'home' is the white one on the left
the view from our window

no wonder the farmers don't like the grass eating hoards
With some 36,000 barnacle geese, along with Greenland whitefronts and  greylags, along with nearly ninety other species, it was a memorable trip, despite getting a hammering from numerous storms sweeping in from the Atlantic. 
good book reading weather

we had plenty of cappachino seas
It was a rainbow holiday and attached are several of our happy snaps so that you can share the spectacle.
 empty beeches washed clean by Atlantic storms

otters search the bays for fish

whooper swans feed on the many freshwater pools
Penny, Michael and Sue on one of the many amazing beaches
Islay is a beautiful island with marvellous skies - you should visit there soon
approaching Brownsea Island as the sun started to shine
Last weekend we had a jaunt on our local island in Poole Harbour, Brownsea … and good it was too, hundreds of avocets and black tailed godwits and weather to die for. 

birding at it's best
little egrets were just one of many species on the lagoon 

December warmth in a sea of gold
We enjoyed a shirt sleeve picnic under the beech trees as the red squirrels scampered about.

haven't the autumn colours been glorious this year
fungi decoration on a fallen stump

an ancient survivor of the storms
beautiful Poole Harbour - and it's just down the road
You don’t have to travel the world to find some wonderful wild experiences, though I’m off in January with some good friends for a couple of weeks of Mahseer Magic.

Christmas present?
In the meantime, Sue and I are hoping you loyal readers enjoy a great Christmas and a wild and fish-filled year.
wedding anniversary happy snap on Islay
Here's our most recent film about the lovely River Allen in Dorset and the value to the Dorset Wildlife Trust of the volunteers who help enhance the river's habitat for it's impressive diversity of wildlife.

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