A late afternoon walk along the riverbank from Barnes Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge revealed another fish species that I hadn’t seen before, well not this far up the Thames. With clear blue skies and a bright winter sun that cast long shadows along the grey silt covered foreshore I strolled along the water’s edge and along the side of the river wall only to find a pouting . It was fresh, eyes still bright and body still plump, its fins were still intact, only a slight mark behind its gill may give away the fate that bestowed this fish from the cod family.

Earlier in the day I saw a large gathering of cormorants, it could be that the death of this Pouting was the result of an attack from one of these black assassins.

During the year several sea fish have been caught on this stretch of the river, flounder, sea bass and dabs. Much to my surprise was to find this pouting. It could have been washed up on the inbound tide but it’s state of preservation would indicate that it hadn’t been dead that long and knowing the flow of the river I would doubt that it made its way up from the Thames Estuary past the many flocks of sea gulls unnoticed. I can only deduce that like the flounder and sea bass that they are using the reach near us as a spawning ground.

As the winter sun set and the clear sky gave way to a bright moon, glistening stars and the air temperature dropped. It was time to head back along the tow path now that the tide had turned.