Although I was there for football, nevertheless, as always, there are windows of opportunity to do other things. After all, no-one works twenty four hours a day and seven days a week, do they.
Prior to the trip to Macedonia I realised that the Vardar River ran alongside the hotel. Just yards from the building itself, it was a perfect opportunity to take my Poachers Pocket mini-rod and reel and a few basic items of tackle.
Using corn and bread from the team dining room and rubber maggots that I took with me, I had three very short sessions on the waterway. Unfortunately though, I didn’t even get a bite. Talking to one of the girls who worked in the hotel she said it’s polluted.
Although it may not be tainted to the extent of being devoid of fish, she may have a point. Anyway, the important thing is that I enjoyed it, and although it would have been nice to have caught, I can now add Macedonia to the list of nations that I’ve fished in.
I also took my binoculars and with lots of hooded crows (featured image), little egrets and rock doves in the immediate area it was nice to watch birds that although are found in the UK, I don’t see them every day.
I did spot two new birds for the very first time though. A purple heron was poised over the river on the outskirts of Skopje and then, walking back to the hotel I heard an unfamiliar bird call from a tree.
With dense leaf cover I only caught slight movement but I waited until it eventually flew out. That’s when I saw my very first Syrian woodpecker. Birding is like life, it’s all about location. It’s about being in the right place at the right time.
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