It was good to be back on the water again. Another club trip with great company: Sandie, Clare and Brian for the first leg joined by Andy Brooker, Martin T and Peter at Ironbridge. The first stage of this trip from Atcham to Ironbridge is said to be boring but I love it for it’s massive sleepy oxbows through the widening Severn basin. At this time of the year there are always considerable gatherings of Canada Geese. If one decides to take off they probably all will and this is a truly awesome sight as they rise above you. It’s easy to see Kingfishers from a kayak especially if you are on your own. One will zip out from it’s riverside perch and fly low to the surface of the water like a little exocet. It’s a thrilling sight. They are very short lived birds and their numbers are reducing but that’s hard to believe if you kayak the Severn in Shropshire. But last year we saw far less of them. There was a late cold snap: “the Beast from the East” and flooding which I believe reduced their numbers. So it was good to spot three between Atcham and Bridgnorth.
As you paddle towards Buildwas Bridge the sleepy rural atmosphere changes. Quite soon the bold handsome shapes of the power station cooling towers emerge from the trees. Sadly this is probably the last time we’ll see them, they’re due to be demolished.