The cat (the little ginger bastard) knocked my hard drive (one of, anyhoo) off the top* of my desk. It buggered up!

So I’ve lost most of 2015 & 2016’s pics although up to 2014 are on another drive.

*Cats, in case you didn’t know, have a major directive, presumably from their leader, that “if two things exist such that one is on top of the other, then the uppermost shall be hurled to the floor without consideration for any consequences”.

So I’ll start 2017 from the beginning:
Please remember that you can click the pictures to see ’em bigger.

Sunday First Jan 2017

The first was a horrid day: cold and wet. I had every intention of having a decent walk but once round the pond was enough.
If you bigify the raindrop you’ll see the branches beyond it.
The ‘ducks’ are goosanders which seem to overnight here on their way elsewhere. They’ll occasionally stay for the day but usually leave in the late morning. They do co-operative fishing: they’ll form a semicircle and all dive at once, presumably to shepherd fish into a tighter shoal.
The swan’s been on the pond for about a week now.


Monday 2nd

You wouldn’t think it was the same continent – the weather was superb: blue sky and little or no wind.



As I mentioned above, goosanders usually do the buggerin’ off after an overnight stay. That’s what this small flock’s doing.
The canal was so smooth that it was reflecting like glass. The trees reflected are ‘shopped’ by combining two pictures, one of the trees and one of the reflection.
Rabbits live in the brambles surrounding the rugby field.
Once through Shireoaks the canal comes into its own.
The upper reaches of the canal, starting at Duke’s Bridge, Cinderhill are really photogenic. This picture shows most of the Turnerwood Flight.

There’s a signposted footpath off to the north of the canal from Duke’s bridge at Cinderhill.

The path passes under the railway (Lincoln→Sheffield line) via one of many beautifully constructed bridges. The line was opened in 1849 and bridges like this were merely to provide farm access.
Round the field which two or so years ago was home to a load of lapwings. The western edge has a hedge which is a mass of red berries – the toxic fruit of woody nightshade. Tomatoes, aubergines and potatoes are members of the nightshade family.
Up to Brancliffe Farm the horse chestnut (conker) trees are bare but the buds are showing.
The pheasant weathercock was showing a slight breeze from the north. (I always have a feeling that the cardinal points [NSEW] should be capitalised – should they?)
The hedge and shrubs around the houses at the farm are full of sparrows.


Moses Seat I have previously mentioned as the name of the small wood above the farm. The cyclist was on the bike at the foot of the hill but got off as he approached the top.
A couple of things that caught my eye: a puddle that had frozen in sections and an empty wild parsley seed head.

 Back at the canal at Thorpe Locks Bridge.
Walking down there’s a family of mallards on a bywash weir.
The benefits of feeding wild birds: plenty of sparrows at Turnerwood.

I walked back round the fishing ponds and Manor house.
The path down to the road is bordered with ivy clad walls. Ivy is fruiting – it’s notable that not all is at the same stage of ripeness at the same time. All sorts of birds from sparrows to pigeons feed on ivy seeds in the coldest months of the year.
There’s also a few buddleja seed heads. (it is spelled with a ‘j’ not an ‘i’ according to wiki)
On the canal once more at Doefield Dun Lock and then home.


Back soon …

6 thoughts on “2017

  1. Sitting in Spain as the sun goes down, thinking of a glassy canal, winter berries and birds taking flight. And a cat who is probably not too popular at the moment.


  2. Sitting at the kitchen table in Bowdon musing upon the fact that I don’t see sparrows or starlings anymore. My gardens (front and back) are full of blackbirds, magpies and wood pigeons eating up what’s left of the windfall apples.


    • There’s certainly a load of all three around here but we’ve a fair number of both sparrows and starlings too. The commonest other birds, apart from gulls, mallards, tufties and coots, are probably robins, goldfinches and various tits.

      (still sitting in front of my monitor)


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