Saturday saw us heading from Ford to Temple Guiting where the river starts to change again and gets a hard gravel bed and larger stones. A great habitat for invertebrates and, sure enough, a few probes with the net and atruning over some stones showd cased caddis, olives, flat bodied nymphs and lots of gammarus (shrimps).
We are going to come back to do a proper Riverfly Survey this week and will do some more detailed counting and identification to see how the area scores on the Riverfly river health scale.
We have taken our first samples and tested them for nitrates, phosphates and ammonia and have also taken samples for to Mike Bowes, a scientist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. He is going to give us some very accurate test results and we will be able to see how our own tests compare from the same locations and times.
We only saw one Bullhead in the stream, and it is not really big enough to suport a lot of fish but we did see this.
It was on a fallen branch, over the stream and you may recognise it as otter spraint (poo if you are not familiar with that word). Maybe someone can tell us what it seems to have has been eating. We thought those were small mammal or bird bones. Any other ideas?
If you would like to have a go at your own water testing with the free kits from Freshwater Watch and join the Thames region Water Blitz have a look at this link It would be great if you could add some data, especially to the rivers Windrush, Eye, Dikler, Sherbourne Brook, Evenlode, Cherwell and Glyme - as well as anywhere on your doorstep, streams lakes and ponds. it is very easy to do Link below.