BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘breeding’

#365daysofbiking Family values

May 7th – It may be just me spending more time by the canal this year, but we seem to have a larger number than usual of waterfowl chicks about. It’s lovely and heart warming to see – and let’s face it, we all need a bit of cute and heartwarming at the moment.

The Canada geese have been particularly prolific, and everywhere I go on local canals I see gorgeous balls of fluff bobbing along between proud, defensive parents, or I meet hissing, protective aggression that requires careful negotiation.

A beautiful and very positive reminder that life goes on.

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#365daysofbiking Supervision

April 17th – Near Newtown, just near the A5 bridge on the canal, another wonderful sign of spring on a grey afternoon: The swans are nesting here.

This is the first nest I’ve seen in this spot and I think it’s probably the mystery couple from last year who suddenly seemed to appear with hatched chicks, which I think had been incubated in a nest out of sight behind a moored boat.

I noted one bird was supervising while the other did the work. I have no doubt that if the one watching could have folded its wings, it would have done…

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#365daysofbiking Nest option:

April 9th – Also a welcome and cheering part of spring are the antics of the waterfowl. Not so much the riotous, anarchic mating of the mallards, but the pairing off, nestbuilding and sitting of the other waterfowl – coots, moorhens, Canada geese and swans.

Mrs. Coot was clearly very pleased with this spot as I rode off to work along the canal.

It’ll be nice to see chicks again.

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#365daysofbiking Full time mum

April 15th – Always nice to spot the first mallard chicks of the season and these today were spotted near Bently Bridge in Darlaston.

Clearly new hatchlings, these energetic and busy little ducklings followed mum as she puttered in the reeds. There seemed to be 12 in total, but it was difficult to keep count with several stragglers!

You know it’s spring when the ducklings arrive…

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#365daysofbiking Waiting peacefully

April 9th – A run on the canal through Pleck and Bentley Bridge to check on the nesting swan couple at the former Anson Arm. I needn’t have worried. She was fast asleep in comfort and he was on patrol, threatening to peck my feet on the opposite bank.

This pair usually have small clutches. When the long wait is over, it’ll be interesting to watch them develop this year, as ever.

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August 5th – Rding over to Screwfix in Walsall Wood, I passed the swan family who were loafing on the canal near the rear of Lindon Drive but clearly vaguely heading somewhere.

I suppose soon they’ll move into the main flock on Chasewater until next season when they return to breed again.

I haven’t seen much of the family this year, out paths haven’t crossed much, but it’s so nice to see them.

We never had this locally when I was a kid. It still amazes me.

June 26th – Another hot and sunny day, and on the way to work, it was clear that fish has been breeding successfully in the canal at Pleck: Looking into the green water under Scarborough Road bridge, tends of thousands of tiny fry had had hatched. Further up the canal, larger fish were heading in that direction, one presumes fo lunch.

Who’d ever have thought these canals would be so green, beautiful and full of life?

June 8th – On the local canals, it’s still multiplication time, and I was pleased to note in passing that the swans nesting in the Walsall Wood canalside garden had hatched a single cygnet. This pair have never had big broods, and last year hatched a pair.

Good to see the little grey ball of fluff and nice to see how attentive the parents are. I look forward to watching this wee one grow.

Meanwhile the Canada geese continue to promenade in their lines, share chick-care duties with other mums and hiss aggressively at observers.

This is always such a lovely, busy time on the canals.

May 15th – I’m a scientific and cultural atheist, as most readers know and I’m a really strong believer in evolution. It’s just the way I am. But even my stoic scientific approach falters sometimes.

Like in the case of coot chicks.

What evolutionary advantage does looking like they really had a moorhen as a father create? And just what made them so ugly that probably even their mums find them a bit grim?

They have cute in shedloads but bless my soul they’re not lookers.