"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Saturday, 11 June 2016

#30DaysWild - Walk Along a Canal - Day 8

On Wednesday, for my 30 Days Wild challenge I decided on a walk along a canal. It was very tranquil and relaxing and very quiet apart from encounters with the occasional cyclist or walker.

Views of farmland from the tow path.

There were plenty of birds around - Moorhens with young, Mallard with Ducklings, Grey Heron (the one in the photos below was very tame) and Reed Buntings. The highlight for me was watching Swallows and Swifts flying along the canal catching flies with the former swooping down to drink water every so often.

So many wild flowers and trees in flower on the canal bank and along the hedgerow - Vetch, Ribwort Plantain, Buttercups, Cuckoo Flower, Elder Flower, Sorrel, Water Lilies, Cow Parsley, Daisies and Hawthorn

There were half a dozen or more Damselflies on lily leaves - Red-eyed Damselfly I believe. If I am wrong please let me know.

I visited the same canal at the end of May as it is where I survey for water voles for the People's Trust for Endangered Species National Water Vole Monitoring Programme. Sadly, again this year there were no field signs and I wanted to return to the canal and walk further than the transect route to see if the bank reinforcements - see photos below - (which are bad news for water voles as they are unable to burrow into the bank side) ceased.

This small nature reserve at the side of the canal looks worth a visit too.

Photos taken with the Canon Bridge SX50HS


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Love the heron looking straight at you, and those damselflies! I've not seen that species

Margaret Adamson said...

What a lovely oeacfu walk you had along the canal and it did have quite a number of birds. I loved all the wild plants. I hope you investigate Park Lime pits. Looks interesting adn you neverknow whatmight turn up there.

Rosie said...

Such a lovely walk, the plants and flowers on the towpath are wonderful and you spotted so many different things. I love to see herons but sometimes I feel slightly perturbed by them as they are quite prehistoric looking like cranes and pelicans. I think it might be the size of them too:)

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks Simon. I must try and get back to Marsh Lane NR as they have Red-eyed and Small Red-eyed there although I am not convinced I could tell them apart!!

Margaret Adamson - Thanks Margaret. The pools at Park Lime Pits would be worth a look - possibility of water voles there?

Rosie - Thanks Rosie. I know what you mean about herons - they are so primeval. This one finally stalked off when I stood on the bank right opposite him/her and it decided it had had enough!

Toffeeapple said...

What a privilege to be so close to the Heron, marvellous images. I always think of Moorhens as having comedy feet and legs.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Thanks so much. I think it is the closest I have ever been to a Heron :) I totally agree re: Moorhens and their feet - always make me smile :)

David said...

It looks like it was a wonderful day for walking along the canal with lots of wildflowers, water birds and insects to enjoy. Good to see the Red-eyed Damselfly, a species I rarely encounter up here.

Wendy said...

I agree that walking by canals in the countryside is always so relaxing. Life seems to slow down there. Lovely to see all the wildlife in your photos (although sadly no water voles) and the beautiful scenery. Interesting to see all the wildflowers along the route, too.

Ragged Robin said...

David - Thanks so much - yes, it was a lovely sunny day :) As I mentioned in another comment I must try and visit Marsh Lane NR more often as they have Red-eyed and Small Red-Eyed there.

Wendy - Thanks very much. It is a lovely canal - and it was lovely to see so many wildflowers. It is I understand a historic site for water voles although perhaps that was before the bank reinforcements? I really must go back and visit the Park Lime Pits place in case they have any on the pools there. The canal is actually on the outskirts of Walsall and when I googled it all to do some research Walsall does seem to have quite a few water vole populations.

Pam said...

What a gorgeous place to walk and with one of my favourite birds too - the Heron!

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Many thanks :) Closest view of a Heron I think I have ever had :)

Millymollymandy said...

What a lovely tranquil place to walk. I've never seen that damselfly before so I'm envious! Also envious of the 'tame' moorhens. :-) Lovely pictures and you really should visit the nature reserve as well as it sounds really interesting with all those bird species. :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks Mandy. I think it is the first time I have seen that damselfly species too (or at least identified it). The Canon is very good for taking record shots allowing id at home from photos :)

Will try and persuade OH to revisit and go to the nature reserve - although traffic wise its a horrid route :( Might ask D if he fancies a weekend visit - he always likes to go to new places :)