I opened the blinds to a lovely sunny day, so rather than heading onwards, we went for a walk in the park. Birds were out to enjoy the sun too and we got a closer than normal view of long tailed tits, a wren, a dunnock and several robins. Some people were leaving feed out for them, so no surprise. There are many accesses to the pond and what a change in the view.
Geese flew towards us, as we aproached perhaps hoping for food and swans were displaying. Some other swans were chased away. A few times on the walk we saw and heard geese flying overhead.
It was very pleasant in the sun. After lunch we made a move. I worked one lock, which has evidently been recently oiled, judging by the ease of turning when operating it and the oil on my fingers from lifting the ratchet. This is why I wear the shabby coat when locking. It didn’t make it any quicker to fill though and I struggled to open it. Shane helped me out and also closed a gate at the other end. There was a higher than usual gate crossing but there was a handy step beside it to make it all easier.
We continued to see lots of birds, large and small as we went along. One looked surprisingly like an owl but too distant to identify. Perhaps it was a model, it being broad daylight. We had seen two houses in Alrewas with rooftop owl decorations. We saw another bird of prey but also not a definite identification, but clearly not a model this time. One of the interesting sights was not a rare bird, but one we see often but in smaller numbers. The nursery rhymes don’t say what it means to see this many magpies.
Apart from the warm sun, there were other springlike signs in the budding trees. Yellow catkins , black ash buds and red beech buds in a short stretch just as we were on the outskirts of Burton upon Trent.
On mooring we had time for another nature walk, with yet more bird sightings and some pretty noisy twittering and a less cloudy sky meant we got some pretty pink clouds.