BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘mallard’

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.

June 19th – Returning from work I noted the Catshill Canada goose commune which appears to consist of two inseparable families was thriving. They don’t seem to have lost any of the goslings, and the older set are developing apace now, losing their mousey fluff and growing adult plumage, and the first wing feathers.

They have healthy appetites and are healthy, busy birds.

I noticed not far up the bank Mrs. Mallard with her newly hatched brood, which may well be her second set of the summer.

She was very proud and relaxed. I love to follow these little families on the canal.

May 2nd – The canals locally are a joy at the moment. Spring is in full effect and in one short journey between Walsall and Darlaston I saw new goslings, moorhen and coot chicks and an older family of ducklings.

When your ride to work contains such wonderful things, it’s hard not to have a great day.

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.

March 26th – Another long ride, this time out to Middleton Hall, then onto the canal, up to Tamworth, then out to Alvecote, Shuttington, Seckington, Clifton and back via Hademore and Whittington. A colder, less sunny day, it was still lovely to be out.

Sometimes, the animals you see make a ride, and so it was here. The Alpacas at Canwell were a delight, as was the feeding station at Middleton. The woodpecker at Tamworth was a lovely spot, too. All around, nature was busy and animals were enjoying the air.

One thing puzzled me though. At the bridge in Footherley, someone had spread seed on the bridge wall, clearly to feed this beautiful pheasant, which doesn’t seem like a normal bird to me: it shimmered and was almost bronze on the back, and his blues were the loveliest colour. 

I wonder if he’s a domestic escapee someone’s trying to recapture?

August 4th – The bachelor boys – the mongrel domestic/mallard ducks that live on the canal in Walsall Wood –  are sadly down to two now from the original four. Probably lost to age or a fox, it’s always sad to see such close groups decrease in number, and their loss was in the summer, coincidentally at the same time as the local fox cubs would have been learning to hunt.

I spotted the two remaining ducks on the canal by the overflow at Clayhanger Bridge, loafing and preening. The two were relaxed and content in each other’s company and for all the world were like an old married couple.

It’s hard not to love the ducks, although mother nature seems to consider them very expendable.

July 23rd – Spotted on the canal near Tamhorn Park, between Hopwas and Hademore, this late brood of mallard ducklings. Mum wasn’t nervous and tolerated me quite close, and the little chicks were relaxed and content.

I love the fact that umma almost, Mona-Lisa like seems to be smiling. I must stop anthropomorphising animals, but she seems very pleased with herself.

There are few things cuter than ducklings, after all.

July 14th – Also spotted in suburban Walsall – Bentley Bridge to be precise – momma mallard standing guard over her two duckings on a simple reed nest. It was a warm, sunny afternoon, and I can’t think of a better spot for a little siesta.

She looks so proud. 

May 27th – The birdlife on the canals of Birmingham and the Black Country is wonderful at the moment – everywhere there are goslings, cygnets and ducklings, and the herons were performing well, too – I particularly liked this guy’s Eddie Cochran impression.

Iff these don’t make you go ‘ahhh’, you’ve no soul…