BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘watermead’

#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 Rainy day bandits

June 11th – The rain continued throughout Tuesday and everything was sodden.  Squelching my way home I hit the canal back to Brownhills, again avoiding the mad wet-weather traffic, and met these guys near the Pelsall Road.

It’s nice to see the Watermead swan family – such attentive parents they hatched just 3 this year, but these cheeky little bandits who immediately came over for treats are healthy and full of beans.

I didn’t realise it was possible for swans to look so wet, but they did. I wonder what they think of this endless rain?

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#365daysofbiking Just like mum

May 29th – Encountered just by Clayhanger Bridge, the Watermead swan family are growing fast, and the youngsters are growing in confidence and pottered over to see if I had treats, under the stern, watchful eye of dad.

Mum was grazing the bottom of the canal, pulling up choice strings of algae and offering them to her chicks – who obliged by attempting to copy her. This is obviously ja learning exercise only, as the tiny birds can’t yet reach the bottom.

Lovely to see the family growing and developing so well.

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#365daysofbiking Follow you, follow me

May 13th – On the way home from work, near Catshill Junction, one of Brownhills’ most closely watched families – the Watermead swans – head towards Catshill, purpose unknown.

Mum and dad and 3 cygnets, like any family. Proud mother, protective father and chattering, pottering children, learning all the time.

Timeless and beautiful to see.

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#365daysofbiking Reconstruction time again

March 23rd – On a short late afternoon ride out on a cold, windy afternoon, I noticed the Watermead swan couple were making preparations for another family, just by the canal basin and houses around the canal bend from the canoe centre.

These two birds have raised many cygnets to maturity in recent years and it’s good to see them back.

However, the mail is somewhat formidable and canoeists, kayakers, passing dogs and waterfowl will need to be careful: This lad protects his family aggressively.

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#365daysofbiking Into the black:

October 13th – A dreadful, wet and dull day during which I got absolutely none of the things done I wanted to. High winds and rain meant I was hemmed in and my mood deteriorated.

Slipping out purely from necessity in the evening to get shopping and a takeaway, I forgot half of what I needed and the takeaway I’d planned as a pick me up wasn’t available.

A somnambulant Brownhills, even at the early hour of 7pm didn’t help.

This autumn is mad. One minute it’s sun and shirtsleeves, the next it’s like a typhoon.

This does nothing for my mood.

June 23rd – I have developed a strong liking for Canon cameras, through the trusty G7X which has been my weapon of choice since Christmas. The G1X is larger, more awkward to use but the things it’s capable of are clear, they question being can I gain the nous to exploit it?

Also on test I have a Sony RX100 mark VI – an altogether different proposition. I’ve always liked Sony’s user interface, but the boxy nature of this small camera feels awkward so far, but not had much chance to play yet. The images seem nice.

Cameras fascinate me, and as a means of showing folk just how beautiful our area is they cannot be beaten. Even at night, Brownhills can be stunning…

April 8th – Following the sad, low fug of the day before I awoke determined to feel better today come what may. I busied myself catching up with the blog and this journal, and getting things done that had been withering for a while.

I actually got a lot done and felt much better, so much so that I actually didn’t get out on my bike until after dark, when I had to shoot up to the shop for some supplies. I took a more scenic route than usual, and headed for the canal since it was such a clear, still night.

The watered from Coopers Bridge looked wonderful. The only sound was the generator used by the narrowboat, and occasionally waterfowl calls. The Canon camera, as usual, drank up the dark and worked magic with it.

A glorious evening.

March 23rd – Passing through Brownhills in the morning, I paid a call on the Watermead swan couple. Not sure if there are any eggs yet, but the nest is looking good and a bird is clearly sitting.

I look forward to watching another batch of cygnets thrive and grow. Exciting times!

March 16th – There may be a return to winter forecast for the weekend, with impending snow and freezing temperatures, but on the canalside near the Watermead Estate in Brownhills, it’s spring and therefore reconstruction time again.

At dusk, the swan couple who have nested here in previous years were busily engaged in rest building, following their springtime imperative. Yes, it’ll be cold for them for a couple of days, but they know good weather and warm days are coming and they must prepare for this year’s brood.

I wish them warm days and good luck. I shall, as usual, watch with interest.