BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘duck’

#365daysofbiking – You shall not pass!

April 26th – Second attempt to sort the noisy bottom bracket appears to have worked. It’s true what they say, you’re never alone with a square taper chainset…

On a test run, I encountered this female mallard. Not a happy bird, it had settled on Coopers Bridge and was defying me to pass.

Unusual for mallards, as whilst fearsomely vicious to other ducks, and occasionally their own clutches, they are generally affable to anything else.

There was a bit of a Mexican standoff. Then she clearly remembered she was a duck, and flapped and honked her way back to the water, leaving the confused cyclist wondering what that was all about…

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#365daysofbiking Duckling and diving

August 10th – I’d not been well overnight, and ventured out in the afternoon for a gentle bimble. On the canalside near the Pier Street Bridge, I came across mama mallard and her second brood, still doing well, snuggled together in the grass.

Their patient tolerance and perceptible pride made a welcome change from the constant haranguing of the cCanada Geese and swans when trying to get photos.

A lovely little family that cheered me no end.

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#365daysofbiking Bottoms up

March 5th – On the way to work, I took the canal through Bentley Bridge to Walsall. Near the disused Anson Arm at Bentley Bridge, apropos of nothing, four pure white domestic pekin ducks I’ve never seen here before. I assume they’d come down out of the wind for a break.

They have got the cutest backsides of any waterfowl though, I think…

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April 30th – Yes, spring continues although the expected weather has still failed to turn up for the gig.

Spotted in Pleck, Walsall, near the Scarborough Road bridge, a momma Mallard proudly marshalls her new ducklings away from the inquisitive human and to apparent safety.

First hatchlings I’ve seen this year. Always a joy to the heart.

June 26th – the weather was grey and overcast on the way home and it had been raining, but I managed to just miss the showers. At Walsall Wood, momma mallard was inexplicably stewarding her new brood through a clump of water lilies. 

The ducklings, confused, were endlessly entertaining as they tried to stand on the foliage and invariably failed. Their mother seemed to be enjoying the spectacle and there seemed to be plenty of food in the clump too.

A lovely entertaining thing to see – and those waterlines are gorgeous.

May 11th – Less hard to spot is Mrs. Muscovy, the Newtown One. Now feral, the flock she should have been part of has moved on, and this uncaged canard who escaped and subsequently survived nearly 18 months of canalside freedom is now a permanent fixture of the canal between Middleton Bridge and the aqueduct over the railway at Newtown.

When I passed this rather unique duck today, she was preening and bathing determinedly in the water, and making quite a splash.

And long may she continue to do so…

April 24th – And not far away, just drifting on the canal asleep, softness and colour of a different natural kind. Mallards are colourful birds – even the females who would ordinarily be considered plain have remarkable colourings if you look closely. This fellow’s head is a lovely shade of iridescent green.

As I watched him and took his picture, he opened one eye, regarded me sleepily, and closed it again, totally at peace, drifting in the breeze.

April 21st – Spent some downtime doing mechanical things on the bikes and then went for a test spin up to Chasewater. On the way, I noted that Mrs. Miuscovy, who escaped her domestic flock over 12 months previously, was still thriving on the canal despite her singular and peculiar habit of rarely moving from the towpath and adjacent patch of canal.

She’s a fascinating and resilient bird, and considering her fellow escapee was fox lunch soon after escape, the Newtown One’s survival is remarkable and to be commended.

A daring and delightfully eccentric duck.

January 22nd – It was hard leaving the house today. Occasionally in winter it can be, and on yet another headache-grey day, I didn’t expect to find much of note. A 25 mile ride was fast, and the bike felt good under me, but the lack of light was tortuous and made for very poor images. I looked in vain for something of the coming spring – aconites, maybe, or even snowdrops – but all I found was Mrs. Muscovy, the Newtown One, who seems to be getting friendlier – actually waddling towards me today until she realised I had no food. Either she’s been taking tutelage from the begging, uncouth swans or someone’s feeding her and making her tame. 

I hope Foxeh isn’t paying attention.

Way more skittish and frustratingly hard to photograph in any light, let alone this murk, the goo sanders are still speeding around the local canal, here near Ogley Junction. One of the three females present last week seems to have departed, but the remaining birds are acting like a close unit.