Natural Eden Images Nature Photography by Stephen James Thompson
Natural Eden Images Nature Photography by Stephen James Thompson

A year on the solway

Just like the shifting sands that divide the English side from the Scottish side of the Solway plain the year on the Solway changes month by month as the seasons bring in and then take away migrating birds.The colours of the landscape changes with the seasons and the light levels fluctuate as the sun orbits the earth changing its height and angle as the year progresses.

A year on the Solway starts with cold grey skies and strong West winds that bring in rain from the Irish sea,the scene looking out from Port Carlisle resembles an artists blank canvas as the bleak grey misty sky and rain blanks out any detail in the landscape.The only thing that breaks the silent bleak scene is the distinctive calling of Barnacle Geese that slowly fly low along the shore following the ebbing tide,these birds now high in numbers after they arrived during the Autumn months.The short days of the early months drag on with high tides and cold weather predominating as the Winter reaches its peak.Large amounts of bird activity takes place during the cold early months as large flocks of Knot and Oystercatcher's constantly feed on the wet sand their activity spurred on by the harsh cold weather with the need to maintain there body heat to survive the winter weather.

Once March approaches the days start to lengthen that little bit faster and the mid day sun holds hope of spring as its subtle warmth can be felt.Lapwings start to return after they moved further south when the fields were frozen hard making feeding impossible for these familiar birds of the Solway.

As the new growth of the green leaves,and the full Hawthorn bloom takes hold of the landscape the end of May is approaching.The first of the years Seatrout now start to cruise towards the mouth of the Eden,their sleek powerful silver flanks sparkle in the bright rays of light that shimmer through the brown sandy water,as a shoal move together along the sand bar that they follow to there home river.The ebbing tide makes the narrow channel shallow out as the Seatrout steadily move upwards,their progress causing a wake on the glassy surface of the ebbing water.