BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘waterfowl’

#365daysifbiking Snoozing it out

February 7th – I have a new pair of pals and I’ve called them Arnold and Flossie.

This pair of young swan mates have been hanging about the canal at Bentley Bridge, between Pleck and Darlaston for a few weeks now and are surprisingly tolerant of human company.

I suspect they may well nest this year, which would be nice to see.

On this windy but otherwise pleasant, sunny morning they were both dozing on the towpath, out sheltering out of the wind when I stopped. They both listened while I talked to them and they allowed me to take photos without too much grumping.

I look forward top seeing more of these gorgeous characters in coming months.

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#365daysifbiking Truculence

February 2nd – Up by Middleton Bridge, two likely characters loiter and preen on the ice, regarding me with grumpy, truculent eyes.

I feel for the waterfowl this weather, they don’t have much open water, and most of that will be full of Canada geese and Mallards, who are both just shouty, loud idiots and must drive cultured birds like swans mad.

Still, at least that answered the IC scale question well enough…

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#365daysofbiking Maturing:

October 2nd – Spotted on the canal in the during the morning commute, both the Walsall Wood swan family and the Walsall group. All in rude health and maturing to adulthood.

Woody the single cygnet at Walsall Wood this year is clearly thriving and he was happily browsing the weed with his parents never far way, his white plumage really coming on now.

More advanced, and loafing at the back of the factories on Pleck Road, the large Walsall family were having a communal chill out and preen session.

It never ceases to amaze me the positions swans are comfortable to get their legs into…

#365daysofbiking Going it alone:

September 27th – On the canal near Walsall town centre, I was accosted, as one often is, but loud, bullying, aggressive beggars, of the kind that inhabit most urban canals.

In this case, it was a pair of cygnets. On their own without mum and dad, they were enjoying the sun and harassing any passing human for food. When I declined for the seemingly perfectly valid reason that I had none to offer, they swam off, complaining noisily.

Nice to see them in rude health and taking after their parents.

#365daysofbiking Duck tales:

September 21st – The humble mallard duck doesn’t get much love, but I’ve always held that, like magpies, if you study them in any more than the most cursory fashion, they’re absolutely beautiful. The iridescent, shimmering greens of the males are lovely enough, but also the females are very much more than drab brown; if you study them, they have the most gorgeous blue and white flashes on their wings.

But better than appearance is their personality and social behaviour – here on the overflow in Brownhills near Silver Street, the ducks were in parliament doing what ducks do – sat in running water, dozing, chattering and generally being the best ducks they can ever be.

Such contented creatures.

#365daysofbiking A bit Woody:

September 5th – Good to see the singular Walsall Wood cygnet christened Woody has survived and thrived. This couple haven’t historically had large clutches of eggs and I was concerned this year to see just the one chick, late in the season.

It has however thrived and is now nearly the size of it’s parents, and they remain a tight family group.

A wonderful thing to see.

#365daysofbiking Swanning around

August 28th – Oh hello guys, not seen you for a while.

Just at Bentley Mill Way aqueduct, the swan family seem to come from Moxley were determinedly heading towards Walsall – mum dad and five cygnets, now nearing adulthood. They were in a perfect line and a wonderful thing to see,

It’s nice to see another generation maturing.

July 20th – I met the. Walsall Wood swans near Clayhanger bridge. Woody, their single cygnet this year, is growing and developing very well indeed, and the family are confident, wary of humans, but relaxed.

Woody posed happily for the camera, which was lovely.

But I still can’t get used to how alien swan feet are…

July 10th – This one has puzzled me. An unknown family of swans has appeared in Pleck, Walsall on the canal near the Rollingmill Industrial Estate.

Mum, Dad and six cygnets (a smaller, slightly runty looking one was hiding behind the weed on the right) were sunning themselves and preening at the back of a factory, while a man worked noisily through the door in the workshop behind.

I don’t know this year of any local family with six surviving chicks, and the adults don’t seem to be ringed.

They look in rude health though, and weren’t at all skittish.

Wonder if they’re now resident or just passing through? Where are they from, any ideas people?

June 20th – Undeterred by the mower, the latest gosling family on the canal near Silver Street were in good spirits, and one of the parents stared me out while the other attacked my stationary bicycle. 

Geese are odd creatures, but their chicks have all the cute.