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Friday, April 03, 2009

Cruise to Welford

As you may have read on my main blog we've arrived safely in dry dock at Welford Boat Station. From a birding perspective the cruise was slightly rushed due to the time factor, trying to navigate and bird at the same time has it's limitations at the best of times, as you can imagine!
Nevertheless, it was great to be out and about once more on the system, camera and binoculars at the ready. I'd forgotten how many Grey Wagtails there are on a canal, as they are more often associated with fast flowing rivers. We came across at least 6, mostly around the lock gates or under the bridge eaves, where they love to nest.
Wednesday's weather was lovely with clear blue sky's, and I must have picked out at least 10 Buzzard, abundant Chaffinch, a few Siskin, and a good number of Yellowhammer, which always appeared to be calling at every turn. On the section out of the Braunston Tunnel we had a Kingfisher fly past too, a trip just wouldn't be normal without one! We moored for the day around 3.30pm at bridge 27 of the Leicester Section - Grand Union Canal, luckily enough quite close to a local copse, so I had the opportunity for a good walk before dinner. The small wood was disappointingly quiet, but I picked up ChiffChaff and Great Spotted Woodpecker before arriving back for a well earned cuppa!
Thursdays 3 hour short cruise to our destination was a major contrast weatherise, from the previous day, with low cloud and a slight drizzle. However, we did pick up on a number of Golden Plover feeding on one of the farm paths, and a little later I had my first Red Legged Partridge (pictured) of the year, once again feeding, but in the open fields. Another slight surprise as we rounded a turn was the sight of a Cormorant having a fish in the canal a slight distance ahead, Dee also spotted a female Muntjac from within the undergrowth, which watched us with great interest as we cruised past.
Our return cruise, beginning Sunday evening, will be at a more leisurely pace, so lets see what turns up!

My species list for my current or last cruise can be found HERE