Before setting off I put some compostable things in the hedge beside us but sprinkled some breadcrumbs on the path for a robin and blackbird I had seen beside us, though they retreated when I came out. Yesterday we saw a few animals and some more unusual, mainly flightless, birds. We did also see a motorised hang-glider and a very small plane. On the map Shane found we are near a small airfield. This morning we saw a light aircraft three times. I don’t know if it was the same one three times or more than one. They were low but hard to get detail in a picture but I could see the cockpit, the pilot and struts on the plane.
We are making deliberately slow progress towards Burton upon Trent, just enough to keep the batteries up, but not be cold and not be there so early we need to hang about (like a hang-glider). I like when I see milestones but often they are one end to another of a long canal. This was more localised and around the distances we might do, but not very helpful as there were no place names. It’s 3 miles to somewhere and 2 and a half to somewhere else, possibly the junction to which we were heading.
On the way we are passing through places we we have recently been and some of the boats moored at the side are the same, so we saw again the “bearded” boat, as it’s occupant called it.
We are now moored up just before the junction and shortly after we arrived we saw another boat coming in to moor and having difficulty steering. It was exactly the same spot where Shane had struggled to control the boat and steering went haywire, last time we moored here. The prop seems to end up in shallow water as you try to turn in to moor and then it is very hard to steer. He had a cheery chat with them. The man joked that he might unmoor and try again to get some practice. He had filled the space between us and another boat we had noticed with more chimneys than expected. When we went for a walk I was surprised at the name. Water birds are common but not eagles and I had just been thinking about flying eagles when I watched the small quiet planes.
Another boat nearby was called The Whistling Swan. A swan is a much more likely narrowboat or canal side pub name and indeed that is what the one at the junction is called. It was recommended by our neighbour. There were of course lots of other water birds as well as swans, nearby.
We found there was a reservoir nearby with lots of water birds and play space for children, with another large winged creature.
While we were out we saw a man on his own working a lock and helped him a little by closing and opening a couple of gates. He was trying to get moored before nightfall and asked about moorings. He had two more locks to get done. We will be tackling the same locks tomorrow in the other direction so our walk let us check out their idiosyncrasies ahead of time but now it was time to head back as this swan near the junction was hinting that it was nearly sunset.