BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘canada geese’

#365daysofbiking Canal dreams:

May 24th – A beautiful, much less changeable day than the one before saw me saunter into Wolverhamton on the canal, then into Birmingham on the old line via Oldbury, Tipton and Smethwick.

With nothing open to dawdle at, Birmingham was a fleeting visit and I headed out towards Tyburn and Castle Bromwich on the canal, transferring to the Plants Brook/New Hall Valley cycleway to Sutton, then through Sutton Park home.

As usual, nature, and it’s relationship with urbanity was the star. Even if one particular rarity at Birmingham was made entirely out of Lego…

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#365daysofbiking Bandits at 3 O’clock

December 24th – I encounter robbers and hoodlums on my return. They spotted food in my bag and were keen to levy their toll for safe passage, but I shooed them off with the aid of my pump.

I adore the Canada geese despite their aggression. These guys were healthy and full of life and fiercely protective of their group and patch.

Got to respect that really.

They did get some corn from my pocket stash once they settled down…

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#365daysofbiking Getting the bird

November 17th – Another rain sodden day. I know this is getting repetitive if you read these posts in series, but this is seriously what life here is like at the moment. It’s been so wet for weeks now that I’ve stopped grumbling at having to go out in it; it’s just a sort of a new normal.

The state of this is weird.

Down in Brownhills on a shopping trip, a wander over to the canalised for a loop over to Walsall Wood. The birds here – gulls, mallards, swans, geese and more – didn’t seem as tired of the rain as me, but they did seem a bit fractious. Maybe they were missing human feeding, which on a normal Sunday would be almost constant here.

I notice the goose with the white feathers on it’s head is still around. It’ll be interesting to track it over the winter, and see if it mates or if the colour discrepancy renders it an outsider…

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#365daysofbiking Come and have a go

June 9th – To the Canada geese with young, I remain their biggest enemy.

This momma was separated with 2 chicks from her parter and was anxious to rejoin the main brood.

I loved the little guy peering out from behind her.

It would be nice to be able to potter about the canal without being hissed at and pecked for a change…

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#365daysofbiking New ways out

May 27h – Recovered from the punishing excesses of Saturday’s ride, I headed out again on a grey bank holiday lunchtime for a gentle bimble once more to the west.

Finding decent routes past the dreadful Cannock/Great Wyrley/Churchbridge morass is always the challenge heading out that way and today, I took the canal to Brewood, through Wolverhampton – a lovely run of waterway I often forget about. The towpaths were good, and the only downside was an. encounter with a particularly unpleasant boater at Wolverhampton.

Leaving the canal at Brewood, I rediscovered this gorgeous village and vowed to return when the shops were open. The sun periodically came out and accompanied me north through Whiston, Bradley, Copenhall and Weeping Cross.

A ritual visit to the Wimpy at Milford reloaded the fuel tanks and kept me warm in the steady rain that fell on my way home.

All in all a nice 58 mile ride in lovely countryside.

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#365daysofbiking Familiar hoodlums

April 2nd – Since it’s spring, I note that the aggressively begging Canada geese are back on the canal near Clayhanger Bridge. Although they’d both clearly been grazing the freshly mown grass on the towpath, they were both hungry and refused to let me pass until I gave them a treat.

Curiously, this seems to be their permanent state, no matter how much food they have…

Fortunately, I’ve been anticipating their reappearance and had some seed in my pocket ready for these shameless muggers.

I’m glad to see some traditions holding steady.

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June 5th – This is an urban canal in the Black Country – Between Walsall and Darlaston, at James Bridge.

It runs past the site of what was one of the most polluting factories in Europe: James Bridge Copper Refinery.

The canal is green with water lilies, and dappled with yellow and white blooms from them; flag irises aggravate my hay fever but line the water margins. Two families of Canada geese promenade in the sun.

Not all change is for the worst.

May 14th – At Bentley Bridge, a proud new family – mum and dad and five cute goslings.

The parents hissed at me to be careful, but were tolerant as I greeted and watched the brood they were clearly very proud of. The goslings just acted like I wasn’t there.

A delightful encounter on an urban, industrial Black Country canal bank, and one of the reasons this place is so dear to me.

April 5th – There will be a series of muggings on the canal in coming months.

A pair of familiar criminals met me on my way home – gone for the winter, these fair weather foes appear in the spring every year, and raise a local brood, surviving on the abundant local greens – but also on the tidbits and seed they bully out of passers by whom they harass for treats.

If you’re on the canal between Clayhanger Bridge and The Black Cock, take seed or something to shoo them off with…