Towpath Birds

Each bird has it’s distinctive way of getting across the canal;

The Moorhen has the most amphibious method, combining land, air and water for the short journey. As it sees us approach, it pauses on the towpath, stalks a few tentative steps to the bank, launches itself into the air with limited effect then staggers along the water surface for a few paces – with the out of control momentum of someone jumping onto the platform before the train has stopped – before settling to swim the last yard or so to the seclusion of the bankside vegetation.

The Wren zooms along, wings a-whir, from the undergrowth on the towpath side to the hedge on the far bank.

A small group of Long-tailed Tits take a roller-coaster flightpath from the tops branches at one side to those on the other. Repeated wing-beats interspersed with short rests result in their bouncing flight.

A pair of Mallards swim across with a surreptitious air. The drake might be trying to avoid the attention of rival males. Later we see a duck closely pursued by two drakes flying up river.