BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘wildlife’

#365daysofbiking Ladies who loaf


August 18th – After a dry few weeks it’s great to see the deer at Anglesey Basin, near Chasewater.

I’m sure I’ve seen this pair of ladies – either close pals or mum and daughter – many times before. The younger one is inquisitive and not easily spooked, whereas the older one seems a bit eccentric, is quite vocal and can be nervous.

I watched them for a while loafing in the meadow, amused at their green chins from the lush meadow they’d been browsing.

Such lovely faces and they look in very good condition considering how scruffy they looked during the moult a couple of months ago. They will be regrouping back into herd groups in coming weeks in preparation for the rut.

Welcome back, ladies.

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#365daysofbiking An only child

August 16th – There’s a small family hanging around Catshill Junction at the moment. The pair of Canada geese who often mug me on the towpath back toward Clayhanger this year had a second clutch, and just one gosling survives.

It’s doing well, however, and is now a large, healthy and undaunted bird, getting its feathers through and generally being doted on by mum and dad.

They were especially tolerant of me today – I think they know me by now – and there was minimal hissing and head-bobbing. Junior was undisturbed and seemed happy enough to pose for me.

A lovely little family – I hope this chicks parents can keep it safe.

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#365daysofbiking I know it’s under here somewhere

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August 13th – Spotted at lunchtime on an excursion from work to the hospital, a heron loafing on a wall in one of the most urban, industrial bits of Walsall: Pleck.

I adore herons for their impressive fishing ability, their shabby, almost mad appearance and their raw, appreciable character and individuality. They are endlessly entertaining to watch.

This large adult bird was preening, being slow, methodical, and thorough. It paid me scant attention as it picked at whatever underwing irritation was troubling it, but for all the world it looked like it was searching for a misplaced wallet or pair of glasses.

A welcome distraction on a lovely day.

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#365daysofbiking Duckling and diving

August 10th – I’d not been well overnight, and ventured out in the afternoon for a gentle bimble. On the canalside near the Pier Street Bridge, I came across mama mallard and her second brood, still doing well, snuggled together in the grass.

Their patient tolerance and perceptible pride made a welcome change from the constant haranguing of the cCanada Geese and swans when trying to get photos.

A lovely little family that cheered me no end.

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#365daysofbiking Browsing

July 26th – I’ve lost track of most of the local swan families in Walsall this year – there were a fair few and they’ve all been quite mobile and most have suffered attrition from predators, so I’m not sure which family I’m seeing where now.

These hungry characters were feeding near the old copper works, just west of the motorway flyover at James Bridge, on the Walsall – Darlaston border.

They look healthy and well, but I’ve no idea if this is the family that hatched just a little way up the canal from here or another family.

Never mind, it’s all good…

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#365daysofbiking A place of safety

July 22nd – In the middle of the canal at Catshill Junction, in the midst of the algae mat, a mother proudly sits on a nest. A nest built upon driftwood flotsam trapped in the algae.

I’ve been watching her a few days. You can see trails in the surface from her partner coming to feed her, or take his shift sitting.

Safe from foxes and other land predators, this moorhen mum’s got a relatively secure nest.

It’ll be interesting to see how this develops!

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#365daysofbiking A pair of characters

July 20th – Many of the ducks and smaller waterfowl are on second and in some cases I suspect – third clutches of the season. Up by Middleton Bridge I spotted momma and two ducklings.

The bond between the two chicks was very strong and they were characters and entertained me for some time.

One thing that occurs to me is I’ve never seen waterfowl – flightless until quite old – learning to fly I bet that’s something to witness.

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#365daysofbiking Dem feet tho


July 5th – Riding through Aldridge on the canal down through Longwood and Park Hall, the water life was busy and the canal limpid and green.

What interested me most were the water birds: I was once again reminded how very odd swan feet are – by a cygnet in this case – it’s foot tucked up on it’s back in rest position. They odd leathery texture – and those claws!

There was a gorgeously aloof, elderly heron too – who was active and looked in good health, except when he walked off I noticed a curious growth on his foot.

It wasn’t affecting his walk at all and he didn’t seem to bother him at all. I found myself wondering if it was some kind of ganglion like humans get.

Strange.

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