Messing About on the River

I don’t forget how lucky I am to live where I do, and with nothing on the diary I set out with the kayak and went for the river equivalent of a stroll.

Being on the surface of the water gives you a different perspective on the wildlife that lives there, you can sneak up on the sulky herons on the strand line. With their shoulders hunched and their beaks pulled in they look studiously unimpressed with the weather. Perhaps they prefer it drab and grey.

The water erupted in a burst just ahead of me. Breaking the surface a cormorant emerged, fish in beak, droplets falling from its wing tips to its tail. Up close it’s quite a stocky bird, it’s tail more of a wedge and it’s bill a fairly substantial weapon. Given the presence of a large-ish boat the cormorant recovered itself quickly enough and flew off to an emerging sand bank.

Early though I was, it was shaping up to be a very hot day again and the double assault of the sun and salt water was prickling my skin. Turning home, this time against the tide, I paddled slowly, admiring the colours in the hills – it’s a lovely time to be in Devon.



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