Should you be planning an early season barbel fishing trip with your recently acquired split cane rod, then make sure you pack the right avocet in your holdall. Those drowsy early hours can cause confusion but finding an avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) in your bag when you get to the riverbank will likely lessen your chances of catching.
Unlike the three sectioned, whole can butted fishing rod of the same name, the avocet is in fact a wading bird and the emblem of the RSPB. Black and white, the avocet is truly elegant, moving on long light-blue legs and sweeping a long upturned beak through the shallow saltwater lagoons where it frequents. They feed on small insects and crustaceans that they catch as they sweep and are a great success story in British bird conservation.
One thing they lack is a reel fitting on their butt, allowing the angler a foolproof reminder when he reaches for his barbel gear..