A variety of birds on an off water

Blackbird at Lamberton  23/02/2013
Blackbird at Lamberton 23/02/2013

My Christmas spent on the Shropshire Union Canal is continued from last week.

I noticed a variety of birds on and off the water. The robin perching on the fence posts, the blackbird hunting in the hedgerows for any remaining berries.

There was a large flock of geese that grazed each day on the brow of the hill. A pair of mute swans tapped with their beaks on the edge of the boat, so beautiful to observe as they seamlessly glide past. I noted that to gain speed they push their necks forward and paddle their legs a little faster. The mallards that tap very gently as they scoop up any bits on the surface of the water especially where it gathers around the edges of the boat. The heron that parade their own territory and dive for fish. I was surprised to see a pair of cormorants one morning.

After another beautiful sunrise and an interesting day out exploring the Wheaton Aston area on Boxing Day, it snowed and settled as darkness fell. Somehow it seemed just a fitting end to my stay. Saturday with the snow still on the ground we drove to Telford to catch a very crowded train to Birmingham. The next leg of the journey was very attractive, the snow had settled over Derbyshire and from the train was wonderful!

My last leg was York to Berwick. The day that Kings Cross and Euston were closed. York is an interchange, the station was crowded, no train was running on time, but the Platform staff were excellent. Everyone was advised calmly and kindly which train to catch disregarding any firm bookings on specific trains they quietly helped. I heard no complaints!

The next meeting of the Scottish Wildlife Trust in Duns is tonight, Thursday, February 5, Neill Grubb will show several short films on The Wild Places of The Lothians. The meeting starts at 7.30pm in Duns Parish Church Hall. Non-members are welcome. There is a friendly atmosphere and a cup of tea after the talk.