Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 22 December 2013 14:27
If you can think of a better fish pun, let minnow. At last, some 30 years after I first ate one, I finally caught up with a wild Cod! I was rock-pooling today at St Mary's Lighthouse but it was slow going with only one each of Long-spined Sea Scorpion, Corkwing Wrasse (last time I recorded Ballan), Two-spot Goby and Shanny. I had my eyes on a fella (not in that way!) sea-fishing off the edge of the rocks and I looked up at a time he was reeling in a catch. I grabbed my binoculars and tentatively identified it as a Cod as he landed the fish. Little did he know he was being watched from behind a rock! I legged it around to get a better look. 'Excuse me, did you just catch a Cod?' I yelled as I came running over the rocks. I think he thought I was either very hungry or very strange (I was actually both but he didn't know that nor was it relevant) and after a while he let me take a photo and we were soon exchanging fish-based anecdotes. Not exactly the rarest creature in the world but not something I was expecting to see today. The fish in question went back in as it was too small to take. My 69th fish species and maybe my last new species (4718) of 2013. I hope I'll see a wild Chip soon and complete the set! A couple of Purple Sandpipers were working the shoreline too but they flew off when I asked them what they had caught.
Yesterday I added the Common Starfish Asterias rubens from the rocks at Tynemouth but little else. Ivory Gull Tourette Syndrome has set in this week. I am jumping at every gull, carrier bag, football, ship, even the odd white van that moves. Now that would be a fitting end to a year! I was thinking of going to twitch the bird in Yorkshire but I am some 160 miles and over three hours NORTH of it here. I'd rather have a surprise Cod any day.