The weir below Stramongate Bridge is dramatic, a cascade of amber water with a loud churning of rocks below the fall. When the river is in spate the shoals of rock and gravels are submerged and the waterbirds seek the shelter of bankside reeds upstream, and of eddies.
On 28 September someone saw a salmon trying to leap the weir. There is a fish pass but I haven't seen salmon this autumn. There are often grey wagtail calling, darting across the river, perching on rocks amid-stream, when the rocks aren't submerged. Dipper too. On this day goosander and cormorant sought shelter on a shoal of gravels close to the eastern bank, below the weir. A solitary goosander fished in the turbulent water.
Another rainy day, but with fitful sunlight that sparkled and gleamed off the river. And the wild water sent long ribbons of bubbles downstream.
I spent a while by the river. Long enough for it to fall visibly and reveal the bases of the three piers where Gooseholme Bridge stood until recently. On such days locals come to look at their river, with tales of Storm Desmond and the havoc wrought on that December day.
Grey wagtail and dipper showed too.
Next day, there was a gathering on the gravel shoal. Only black-headed gulls. I walked upstream and saw a cormorant flying high over the river, downstream. So I back-tracked to Stramongate Weir. An all-black cormorant sat amidst jackdaw and black headed gulls and a sole goosander. I could make-out the hooked tip of his bill. Not the cormorant I'd seen before.