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Riff Raff Diary: September 2019

Published on: 11 Sep, 2019
Updated on: 11 Sep, 2019

Riff Raff Cottage and Weir

Riverbank tales from the local St Catherine’s lengthsman and weir keeper

By Robert Craig

Heading into late summer, I’m continuing with my routine work of mowing and strimming although the vegetation growth does seem to be slowing a little now.

Rob’s fight against the invasive Indian or Himalayan balsam is never-ending.

It is still possible for me to pull some of the invasive Himalayan Balsam although a large amount will be seeding by now and it would be counterproductive to attempt to deal with those plants. I shall have to wait until next year to resume the battle.

At Stonebridge Wharf I’ll be cutting the hedge and clearing the ditch in the car park now that the nesting season is behind us. Also at Stonebridge, I have a large Alder tree to clear from the entrance to Guns Mouth.

It floated down the river and I was able to secure it to the bank before it ended up on the weir further downstream. There are also a number of saplings growing in the bank which I shall be clearing.

Purple loosestrife

Whilst walking along the river look out for the clumps of purple loosestrife in flower at the moment, looking particularly striking bathed in the late afternoon light we get at this time of year.

Common buzzards are a regular sight as they soar high overhead and the Canada geese have started to gather in their v-formations, passing over honking loudly.

A flock or “charm” of goldfinches – Photo Malcolm Fincham

Flocks of highly coloured goldfinches are busy also at this time using their long fine beaks to reach the otherwise inaccessible seeds in the thistles and teasels which grow in the meadows surrounding the navigation.  You may have had an opportunity to take a closer look at their beautiful markings as they have become more frequent visitors to our garden feeders and bird tables. Many UK goldfinches will migrate as far south as Spain in the winter.

See you by the river.

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test One Response to Riff Raff Diary: September 2019

  1. Gordon Bridger Reply

    September 11, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Congratulations to lengthsman Robert Craig for his charming and delightfully illustrated diary.

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