BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘wildlife’

#365daysofbiking Impressively tolerant

March 7th – The canal was a bad choice of route, as I realised after a short time that the toads were on the move, and the towpath was littered with amphibians taking the cold night air.

Heading to spawning waters, many would not make the perilous land journey from their normal habitats, being lost to traffic and, er… Bike wheels.

Fortunately, as far as I know, I didn’t hit any. I came back on the road, with the lights on full.

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#365daysofbiking A tempting brush with spring

March 1st – It was a gorgeous day for sure. Yes, everything was wet; despite overtopping the weir for weeks on end now, the main body of Chasewater seems fuller than ever I remember it being.

The fields of Home Farm at Sandhills were emerald green, and deer loafed at Brownhills West and Clayhanger.

A day that reminded me what spring was all about.

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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 – Gaining gradually

February 13th – Food, sleep and love made me feel better, and heading home on a nicer and mercifully shorter day I took to the McLean Way that follows the old South Staffordshire Railway line from Ryders Hayes to Brownhills, for a change.

It really is a gorgeous route and when a bit drier I’ll use it loads more. The birdlife here is terrific, as is the relative solitude and peace.

A real gem.

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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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#365daysofbiking Please avenge my death if necessary

February 1st – Later, returning with some shopping and wheeling my bike up the canalside on Silver Street, I met these aggressive beggars.

True, I had a bag of shopping which included a French loaf. I guess they know what a human with food looks like. They thought I’d come to feed them.

They were wrong. There was a bit of a standoff, lots of hissing and a fair bit of irritated swearing. By me, not the geese, it has to be said.

Thankfully, I found some emergency corn in my coat pocket, and that distracted the hungry assailants.

If by chance one day I do not survive one of these encounters with the Canada geese, I expect readers of this journal to avenge my death if necessary.

Thank you.

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#365daysofbiking Early one morning

January 29th – I had a short window in the morning before I took the next batch of medication when I could get out – so in the early gloom, I left for a circuit around my beloved Brownhills.

I’m not used to Engine Lane and the cycleway to the old Cement Works Bridge in the early morning. Foxes and other furry residents of the common were busy, and I disturbed their activities. Birds were awakening, and the darkened woods were full of life. I could hear horses in the paddocks snort in the dark and deer grumbling as they tend to.

Normally rides at this time of day are strictly fast commutes to work.I don’t normally stop to look at what’s around me at this time of day.

It was actually an unexpected joy to be out. I must do this again.

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#365daysofbiking Flocking hell

January 9th – I had to nip up to Newtown in the morning, and went via the canal  and Ogley Junction. I was intrigued on the bridge by a quiet but fairly large roost of birds in the trees behind the old lock cottage by The Long Pound.

It turned out they were just wood pigeons.

Whilst very familiar with these ambling, affable birds, I can’t recall seeing flocks of them like this before, but I guess it must be normal.

An intriguing thing on an otherwise very dull morning.

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#365daysofbiking Bandits at 3 O’clock

December 24th – I encounter robbers and hoodlums on my return. They spotted food in my bag and were keen to levy their toll for safe passage, but I shooed them off with the aid of my pump.

I adore the Canada geese despite their aggression. These guys were healthy and full of life and fiercely protective of their group and patch.

Got to respect that really.

They did get some corn from my pocket stash once they settled down…

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#365daysofbiking Camouflage – you’re doing it right

December 15th – Passing through Chasewater on the dam road on what was so far a lovely sunny day, I just spotted the dear loafing in the scrub at the foot of the north end of the dam.

Their natural camouflage was working well.

A gorgeous sight to behold that I’d guarantee only a small percentage of those passing by actually noticed.

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