BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘wildlife’

#365daysofbiking Staying focused

November 5th – On the way to work I hit the canal between Brownhills and the Black Cock Bridge, and through the copse alongside the towpath, I could see a group of female red deer in the field between me and Clayhanger.

Sadly, there were just too many trees in the way and the deer were remarkably nervous today, so my attempts to  focus on them beyond the trees were thwarted.

I must get faster at that. Far too ham fisted at the moment.

Also fascinated by the zoom compression of the houses in the background, which aren’t anywhere near as close as that in real life.

Nice to see the ladies about though…

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#365daysofbiking Deer in the mist

 

November 3rd – Sunday meant an afternoon trip over to Burntwood to help a relative with a job, which on such a dull, overcast and periodically rainy afternoon was a welcome diversion.

Returning as night fell, my attention was snagged by a very localised, patchy inversion, leading to a trapped cloud on mist on the secondary pitches at Chasetown Rugby Club.

And who was luring by the goal in the murk? Possibly Englands new front line, corvine-style…

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#365daysofbiking It doe matter

October 27th – It’s nice to note the rabbit population on the dam at Chasewater seems to be booming again. They were here and down in the basin for years, but myxomatosis swept through a couple of years ago and the warrens dwindled to nothing.

Now, the bunnies are back and I watched this apparently elderly doe feed for a while. He companions scarpered, but she was made of sterner stuff, keeping an eye on me but not being distracted from cropping the turf.

Can’t help wondering what they might be doing for the structure of Chasewater’s largely earth dam, though…

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#365daysofbiking Completing the circle

October 17th – One of the things that makes me happy in autumn is the parting of ways of that year’s cygnets and their parents. Gradually, as winter closes in, that year’s clutch are gradually pushed away by the parents who still keep a loose family group but won’t tolerate the young too close.

This gradual transition into adulthood is visible about now as you meet lone cygnets like this one, hustling for treats on the canal in walsall, a few hundred yards from its parents.

For once I had some corn and it ate like they always do, like tit had never had food before.

Soon, it’ll join the main local flocks and will spend a few years socialising before pairing off and the family cycle continuing.

Another successful year for the local swans.

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#365daysofbiking Default browser

October 5th – And then, in the scrub at the top of Chasewater dam, between Pool Road, the bypass and rugby club, this fine solo lady was browsing the scrub and posing for photos.

With the rut starting now and the old herds regrouping, odd to see a lady on her own, but she was in good condition and her coat was sleek and beautiful.

Always a fine sight and one I’ll never quite get used to.

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#365daysofbiking A small bimble

October 2nd – I was recovering after the hospital appointment, but fresh air called and I took a spin out in the afternoon, enjoying the sun for a circuit of Brownhills, Walsall Wood, Pelsall and Clayhanger.

Slow and leisurely, I wanted to see if I was up to riding. Thankfull I felt no ill effects.

At Clayhanger Bridge I met the Watermead family, all now large birds, having a communal preen by the canalside. They tolerated me, and only went for my ankles a couple of times.

Beautiful, adorable birds.

To my surprise, Mr. Miyagi the turtle was basking too, but slid back in the water before I had my camera. Didn’t expect to see him out so late, but always nice to see.

The fresh air improved my mood and it was nice to find my riding wasn’t impeded.

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#365daysofbiking Hard of herring

September 26th – Crossing the Parade in Brownhills near the Fullelove Memorial Shelter, there had been oddly enough, a landing of herring gulls, presumably on their way between local water and one of the several landfills where they feed.

These really are huge birds, and quite aggressive in appearance.

It’s hard not to associate these surprisingly complex birds with the sea – but with abundant food locally and planty of water, this one has probably never seen the sea.

An odd feature of local wildlife.

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#365daysofbiking Duck deluxe

September 6th – It’s easy to overlook the ubiquitous, humble mallard duck, but they are most beautiful birds if one looks closely.

This female spotted at Clayhanger overflow lives perfectly happily on the canal, and is usually seen loafing with others in a loose social grouping.

The plumage is actually really detailed complete with the underwing blue stripe.

I’m convinced that were they not so common, we’d cherish these affable, indolent birds a lot more than we do.

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#365daysofbiking Oh, balls!


September 3rd – Good to see the fungus starting to kick off for the autumn, I adore the mycology.

These earth balls have appeared on Clayhanger Common, and although not prime specimens, they’re the start of a season of wonders of the fungi world that’ll fascinate me for weeks if not months.

These will grow, then ripen until ready, whence they’ll burst upon contact with some passing animal, spreading their spores for another season – and the cycle will continue.

One great thing about the autumn for sure.

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#365daysofbiking Sugar me

September 2nd – Another product of wayside roses that’s beautiful but dare I say it, a little more mundane: The sugar-laden rosehips.

Rosehips are loved by jam, syrup and wine makers and, of course, many birds who devour the energy laden confections to fatten up for winter – and thankfully there seems to be a good crop this year.

They are beautiful colours, too…

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