River Wissey Lovell Fuller


February 2003

Les(s) is more?

Hello again,

Another day, another dollar as the old song goes. The monthly deadline seems to come around more quickly each month. But, despite one unfortunate absentee, we have once again this month an excellent variety of items to tickle your fancies. That doesn't mean you can all rest on your laurels. I really would welcome more items from new contributors and particularly from the younger generation. So why not give it a go? Just scribble your thoughts on a piece of paper and I will do the rest.

Many readers will, like me, be sad to see that Les Lawrence has not supplied his usual feast of lighthearted ramblings for this month's edition. I leave it to Les in his letter to explain his reasons. As editor, it unfortunately means that I have lost a contributor I had come to depend upon to help provide the breadth of interest my discerning readers demand. Without wishing to become involved in the debate so ably constructed in last months letters pages, I can't help feeling that readers were reacting more to Les' suggestions that the Pump should grow and change it's image to the content of his articles. I get a most favourable response from readers on all items submitted by our regulars; so I, for one, would be most disappointed to lose the normal monthly input from Mr Lawrence.

Those of you who listen to Radio Norfolk will be aware that they, in association with the Royal Society for the protection of Birds, ran a garden watch over the last weekend of January. The aim was to try and catalogue the vast array of birds we are privileged to have in our wonderful county of Norfolk. Maureen and I have been totally thrilled these past few weeks with regular sightings on the Great Ouse Relief Channel of Kingfishers, Herons and Cormorants. The highlights of these sightings occurred on a cold afternoon in the middle of January. To our absolute delight on one afternoon we first saw the Cormorant rising from a dive clutching his fish supper and then, for the very first time ever, witnessed the Kingfisher's head long dive from a branch and its sudden re-emergence with a tiddler in his beak. Maureen had never before even seen a Kingfisher, so to see it actual fish for it's supper, was a fantastic experience.

Whilst on the subject of waterfowl, readers may like to know that the Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has fully recovered from its recent flooding and has an excellent bird population at all their daily feedings. The 18.30hrs feeding will continue through to the 28th February, so if you want to see the vast hordes of birds under floodlights, you still have a month in which to make your visit. The 15.30 hrs feeding will continue beyond the end of February but the bird population will progressively reduce as the evenings become lighter.

Ray Thompson

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