BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘waterfowl’

#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 – 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 – Multiplication

April 24th – A short exercise ride, still working from home, mostly. Despite the strangeness in everyday human society, the natural world continues as normal.

Nice to see the moorhens pairing off to mate. Such humble, unassuming little birds.

I keep saying it, but it’s the normal, beautiful events of spring that are keeping me going day to day at the moment.

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#365daysofbiking Ducks deluxe:

April 19th – Another first for the year on a short afternoon ride out to test the bike and legs. I’d had a go at sorting a creak in the bottom bracket, but it was still grumbling.

Although bright and sunny, there was still a chill in the air.

On the canal in Walsall Wood, my first ducklings of the year – seven balls of mallard fluff squeaking and doing their best to stick with proud mum.

This is always such a joy to see. Look forward to more of it, and goslings, too.

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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 Pondlife

March 2nd – Over between Clayhanger Village and the canal, behind the big house the new pond – created by the removal of Walsall Wood Colliery’s spoil heap in the 1980s – is enjoying its annual but brief period of visibility.

In spring, before the leaves come, once can see the pond, and it looks healthy and full of life.

As the leaves grow, it will become impossible to see – but it will frequently be heard when the roosting waterfowl that love it so will squabble and bicker.

The fact that nature is thriving on this once very polluted, barren place fills me with joy.

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#365daysofbiking Always a disappointment

February 13th – And on the canal further on, the usual characters are regrouping for the spring rituals. Soon, shady aggressive beggars like this lad will be building nests and chasing off any unwelcome visitors.

For now he was grumpy with me because I had no food.

He glared and honked at me from the water, his contempt at my lack of largesse painfully clear.

To swans, I will always be a disappointment.

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#365daysofbiking – Out for a duck

February 6th – My wellbeing is steadily improving, and so is the weather. Finally, it’s seems like spring is on the way and summer might be a thing, too. It’s been a long winter.

I’m still building myself up gradually with rides increasing in length as my energy, and capacity to process food, improves.

It was nice to pause at the Clayhanger canal overflow and chat with the mallards. Unlike the swans, they aren’t fussy about the company they keep.

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