BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘wildlife’

#365daysofbiking Come and have a go

June 9th – To the Canada geese with young, I remain their biggest enemy.

This momma was separated with 2 chicks from her parter and was anxious to rejoin the main brood.

I loved the little guy peering out from behind her.

It would be nice to be able to potter about the canal without being hissed at and pecked for a change…

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#365daysofbiking In need of an iron

June 3rd – Another day, another wildflower appearance, and one that although very common, is lovely if you look closely – the humble bramble, or blackberry blossom.

Very white, delicate almost as if mate from paper, and always creased. Fascinating little flowers hardly anyone pays attention to.

It might be me but they seem early this year…

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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 New ways out

May 27h – Recovered from the punishing excesses of Saturday’s ride, I headed out again on a grey bank holiday lunchtime for a gentle bimble once more to the west.

Finding decent routes past the dreadful Cannock/Great Wyrley/Churchbridge morass is always the challenge heading out that way and today, I took the canal to Brewood, through Wolverhampton – a lovely run of waterway I often forget about. The towpaths were good, and the only downside was an. encounter with a particularly unpleasant boater at Wolverhampton.

Leaving the canal at Brewood, I rediscovered this gorgeous village and vowed to return when the shops were open. The sun periodically came out and accompanied me north through Whiston, Bradley, Copenhall and Weeping Cross.

A ritual visit to the Wimpy at Milford reloaded the fuel tanks and kept me warm in the steady rain that fell on my way home.

All in all a nice 58 mile ride in lovely countryside.

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#365daysofbiking Grebious

May 24th – Spotted on an evening spin out to Chasewater on a test ride following some essential, pre long ride maintenance – great crested grebes on the canal near Wharf Lane.

Unusual to get a shot of these handsome creatures without them diving at the critical moment.

What I’m curious about is despite the huge amount of fish in the canal (and it is alive with fry at the moment) I hardly ever see grebes upon it. Wonder why? Plenty on the main lake at Chasewater, though.

A mystery.

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#365daysofbiking Chilled out

May 18th – On a quiet afternoon following the busy and better than expected Brownhills canal festival (pictures on my main blog here) I slipped out for a circuit of Brownhills after some mechanical fine tuning.

It was grey, but warm and pleasant with little wind. My favourite tree at Home Farm, Sandhills visible as a landmark across the fields from Catshill is in blossom. Such a joy to see. Bet there will be a good crop of conkers this year.

Further up, the mystery family of swans that appear to have nested beyond public sight near Freeth Bridge, Newtown were resting in a canalside garden – family of 8 clearly doing well. Lovely.

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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 Passengers

May 4th – Another marker of the advancing spring is they waterfowl chicks on local canals. On a gorgeous evening near Middleton Bridge, Brownhills, my first cygnets of the year.

This clutch of what appeared to be at least six – several of whom were riding on momma’s back – are a bit of a mystery: The pair at Barrow Close Walsall Wood are still sitting and at the Watermead, she’s apparently hatched three this year.

So where this lady has been nesting I have no idea. But lovely to see.

Sorry for poor image and video quality: The light was fading.

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#365daysofbiking From mighty oaks

May 3rd – It’s always interesting to watch the variety and spread of oak galls on the trees I pass.

At the moment, rosy red oak apples are developing well, corrupted from leaf buds by the tiny wasp who laid her egg in the bud. Her larvae will hatch inside, done on the inside of the gall and drill their way out when mature.

Fascinating things that don’t harm the tree and continue a millennia old relationship between oak and parasite.

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#365daysofbiking Hello ladies

April 28th – A day marred by a bad stomach so I busied myself with other things and headed out late in the afternoon for a circuit of Chasewater, Burntwood, Wall and Stonnall.

At Chasewater, it seems the small group of deer who have been hanging around the spillway heath at Anglesey Basin are still there.

The fece doesn’t trouble them, they just hop over as required.

Odd too see people walking past without stopping – deer used to be a spectacle here but it seems now they’re as familiar as the cattle on the north shore.

I still can’t quite believe they’re here.

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