While the nation sits glued to Springwatch on the Beeb, we have been having our own wildlife spectacular here on the fen rivers.
Last night, moored in a quiet spot above Earith we had our barbecue on the river bank and watched kingfishers, a barn owl patrolling, the usual herons etc. Then as the light dwindled, there was a swirl in the water and, not six feet from the boat, a seal surfaced and gazed at us for a minute before sinking beneath the surface and swimming off.
Today, up the Old West River we have seen two more barn owls, numerous oystercatchers, more herons than you can shake a stick at, and paraphrasing the immortal words of Frank Sinatra, Egrets, I've seen a few.
The Old West River, which stretches from the tidal stretch of the Ouse at Earith to the junction of the Cam is narrow, weedy and not all that inspiring. Its remoteness is all very well but there is nothing much to see because of the dykes flanking the river. Each mile seems a slog. But we've done it now, and the weather has been lovely. Tomorrow we go onto the Cam and we expect showers.