BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘young’

#365daysofbiking De-stressing

August 13th – On the way back, it was still sunny and having got through my appointment quickly, I had time to dawdle on my way back. I’m glad I did, as near Bently Bridge on the Walsall Canal, I met another family of happy, content mallards being charming.

They weren’t bothered about me, and mama was happy to mind her loose group of developing ducklings from a relative distance as they dozed and chattered to each other in the sun.

Such a delightful little family. Just wthe kind of thing you need after a stressful task.

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#365daysofbiking Garden tiger

August 4th – I had a call to make over in Bridgtown and I was pushed for time so I blasted down the A5 and over the challengingly complex Churchbridge Islands, just for the hell of it. 25 minutes later, my errand was complete and I returned via Great Wyrley, intending to check out a lost lane I’d been meaning to do for a while.

In Hazel Lane, I startled this handsome set of stripes and whiskers who was stalking something small and squeaky in the hedge. What a fine garden tiger!

An absolutely gorgeous cat who was clearly very annoyed with me for disturbing it’s activities!

Someone if very proud of that puss, and justifiably so.

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#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 Nursery tales

June 8th – The weather cleared, so I left the fair and headed up to Honey Hill, No Mans Heath, Netherseal, Coton in the Elms, Walton and over to Barton for coffee – but from the rickety Walton Bridge, I watched a fascinating drama unfold.

Four adult Canada geese were shepherding their clutches as one group along the reedbeds at the edge of the Trent, foraging for food. It’s not uncommon for these geese to team up on parenting duties or mind each other’s chicks, but this group of nearly 30 is one of the largest I’ve ever witnessed. It was stunning – not least for the control exerted by the parents.

They guided the goslings upstream to an inlet to the west. I watched as they processed one by one and two by two into the side brook.

Then, a splash and a flash of red fur – a fox was waiting. There was a commotion, and Reynard fled empty mouthed, and the geese herded their young back into the main river. They appeared to be counting as they gathered the young birds into a tight, safe circle.

Fox had gone, his lunch thwarted by eagle eyed parents – or maybe goose eyed – and then normal business resumed as a human with food was spotted on the eastern bank.

I’ve never seen anything like it and had I not ventured out on a wet, miserable Saturday, I probably never would have.

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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 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 Going it alone:

September 27th – On the canal near Walsall town centre, I was accosted, as one often is, but loud, bullying, aggressive beggars, of the kind that inhabit most urban canals.

In this case, it was a pair of cygnets. On their own without mum and dad, they were enjoying the sun and harassing any passing human for food. When I declined for the seemingly perfectly valid reason that I had none to offer, they swam off, complaining noisily.

Nice to see them in rude health and taking after their parents.

July 14th – S sadly hastily snapped picture, but something I do love to see: a young grey heron, on the canal in Brownhills near Anchor Bridge, contentedly fishing, just caught with a fish in it’s bill.

The bird was about half adults size, and I was lucky to see it. So many about at the moment, but hard to get them actually actively hunting.

A great start to a long ride.

June 25th – I wasn’t expecting much when I headed to Chasewater; battling a strong wind and drizzle, the place was all but deserted and my circuit of the lake looked set to be dismal.

However, I was to be proven wrong; first of all I spotted a group of three red deer browsing the north heath contentedly, and they were happy for me to take pictures, even seeming to pose. But the real treat was waiting on the brow of the hill.

There was an adult female plucking greens from the trees, and after stopping to photograph her too, I noted she had another adult and two fawns with her. They progressed down to the marsh and loosely joined with the earlier three.

The antics of the fawns – never still for a moment – were lovely and the deer weren’t a bit shy or skittish. I watched them for a long time, even thought the rain was pretty steady.

However used to these gentle, beautiful beasts I become, I still can’t remove myself from the shock that we have them here, living on our green spaces. A wonderful, beautiful spectacle.