Very high river flow

Landing in deep water

This morning was a double river day for the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. I met with Tony first thing for our first riverfly monitoring session on a new site at Ebley. However it had been raining all weekend and we didn’t hold out much hope to be able to carry it out safely.

Sure enough, when we got there, the river was very high. We kitted up with life jackets and throw lines and decided to just sample the edge. This was really to get some practice at the methodology and ID skills.

We wouldn’t enter the results into the database because we really need to sample from the faster flowing middle section for accurate results.

Man kneeling next to riverfly monitoring equipment next to river
Counting the sample

In the end we did a kick sample no more than a meter from the bank. It contained four of the eight species, including some magnificent mayfly. It was definitely worthwhile to get this site underway, if a little disappointing not to do the full process.

Afterwards I headed toward the river Cam to do my regular raft monitoring. The river was again high there, but two of the rafts I can access safely from the bank. The third I didn’t go in as it was too high. The encouraging thing though was that there were probable water vole signs at one site which I’ve not seen there for a while.

High water level in a brook which is very brown
Very high levels by the third raft

In the afternoon I held the regular python Dursley Code Club in the library after school. There is a regular group of enthusiastic participants, and a lot of their code now needs close examination when it doesn’t work. It’s good that they are progressing well beyond the basics.

In the evening I joined the Stroud Wildlife Survey Group for a christmas meal up in Stroud. It was an excellent evening as I haven’t seen some of them for quite a while. The food was very good as well and we didn’t leave until around 10pm. Their main activity at the moment is rugged oil beetle surveys which are best carried out in the dark evenings.

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