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.
January 15th – One of those horrible, headache-grey wet winter days when it never really seems to get light and never stops raining. I plodded out to Chasewater, after checking the waxwings were still at Silver Court. Their numbers had increased, but the light was way too poor to get pictures.
Chasewater was empty save for a few brave souls, and the cafes had closed early. I mooched for a bit, looking for interesting wildlife, but found none, not even the large white geese which seem to have been missing now for weeks. I hope they’re OK but I guess by now they’re very old and I think they may have passed away.
I noticed with some amusement that new signs have been erected about not feeding the birds near the fort (due to pollution in the gravel there) – and something looked odd about the spacing of the ‘s’ on ‘birds’ – and then I realised someone had hastily removed an apostrophe. On all of them. Oops.
Also, is that comic sans?
The canal route I took back to Brownhills on the other hand was quite interesting. In atrocious light I saw the goosanders again, and I wonder if I’d ever be able to get a decent photo of these odd birds. The two remaining Abbey Road ducks were out and about too, as was Mrs. Muscovy, but her photos were so poor as to be unusable.
An awful day to ride, but I did see some interesting stuff which at least made braving the elements worthwhile.
January 3rd – Still rough this morning, I took a leisurely cruise on some errands, and was surprised to note on the canal near Pier Street this couple – Goosanders. I know they’re fairly common on the local lakes like Chasewater and Ryders Mere, but I can’t recall seeing them on the canal before.
Fish eaters, they must be a sign – like the kingfishers and herons – of good water quality and a good fish population.
They were fast moving, so apologies for the poor pic.