Westport lake visit

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Late visit to the lake for coffee and oatcakes. Then took half a bag of Swan, duck and goose food for a short stroll round the small lake. We were mobbed by¬† Canada geese who got a bit aggressive, and one bold Swan who stepped onto the bank in front of me. I threw a handful of food onto the ground and it pecked at it before the other birds got a chance. The pigeons were not as lucky as the food was in large pellets. I tried to break them up a bit but they were to hard to split. I probably should have thrown more in the water but when you are being mobbed it’s hard not to give in and throw it down quickly.

As we walked round the lake I noticed the path was muddy and it looked like it has washed over the pathway at some stage recently. In the field by the children’s playground a large pool of water stood waiting to drain away. Buds were starting to burst on the smaller scrubby trees, bright green against the black and grey twigs. I also spotted something like dandelion (coltsfoot?) yellow ragged flowers, just a cluster of three below a group of trees. Coots and moorhens were also on the lake together with mallard ducks. The sun that had been shining all day had gone behind the clouds and only peeked out as we walked back to the car. Low and bright, dazzling us as we drove away.

Westport today

A cold sunny day until the breeze blew clouds across the landscape. Ducks, geese, pigeons, moorhens and swans looking out for food, so we got two bags full to grain to feed them. I thought we would just go round the small lake which is a quarter of a mile, but instead we did the mile walk round the large lake. We’ll it was more of a slow dawdle. My hip is not right yet after pulling a muscle, but we did extend the walk into the maze that Staffordshire wildlife Trust have made on the area of hedging at the far end of the lake. The paths were muddy and difficult to get out of when we tried to regain the main path.

When the sun went behind the clouds it made a fantastic and dramatic picture. I took numerous pictures of the birds and trees and landscape around the lake. I feel much better for the walk, though I was very chilly when we finished. I need to be able to walk much further than this, but it’s a start.

Swans and ducks

What better on a crisp winters day than to take photos of a Swan and a couple of ducks. Interesting how the sky is reflected in the first one and not so much in the second. They were taken last year out at a place called the plume of feathers, at Barlaston, Staffordshire. The pub sits alongside the Trent and Mersey canal. Much more picturesque than where it runs through the city, the canal offers an opportunity to glide along in narrow boats on self catering holidays. The boats are beautiful to look at, but they can be quite expensive to rent for a week, so I prefer to walk for free by the water and allow the Swans and Ducks to do the gliding….

Canal views

Seeing a family of swans preceding a canal boat this afternoon had me feeling so happy this afternoon. They were a bit like some sort of honour guard flotilla.

Then seeing the shadows on the bridge, it’s a really nice shape. I also admired the sign writing on Echo, so we’ll done.

The willow tree on the bank is still green, not tinged by cold air yet. In fact today was as warm as mid summer.

I must take a sketch book with me tomorrow.

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Feed the birds

We went out for lunch today at Barlaston in Staffordshire. We stopped at a lovely pub next to the canal. There were lots of hungry ducks on it as we pulled up. I decided to have a meal that would include bread so I could feed them when we came out. I got a crusty bread roll with my starter and put it in a napkin for use later on. After a delicious lunch we came out and went back to the canal. Now a couple of Swans had joined the ducks and moorhens.

Out came the bread roll. I broke it into tiny bits and tried to share it between all the birds. My hubby went off to buy a loaf of bread (by now the gaggle of birds had grown to around 20). When he came back we started feeding them. There were birds flapping and chasing each other everywhere. We kept breaking the bread up into small pieces so that it would get wet and not swell up when they swallowed it. Some of the moorhens skidded across the frozen ice on the canal when they tried to catch the bread. We finally managed to get rid of a whole loaf!

Recently signs were put up telling people not to feed birds with bread to stop them choking… Now there is news that birds are starving to death…..

I’m glad we fed the birds, even if it wasn’t the correct stuff. It was at least brown bread and they seemed healthy.