Ride On Time

A rainy morning, and a mundane start by cleaning the crumbs out of the toaster. Then fed the crumbs to the ducks.

We had a lot of miles to cover today so did steady pace, though it was not very warm and we had light rain and smirring on and off all day.

I get the impression that garden birds hide in the rain. The advantage of canal living, if you like birds, is that the water birds are perfectly happy to get wet so there was no shortage of ducks ( might have seen a shoveller today, but not sure), coots, moorhens and moorchicks. We passed a moored boat that was called Moorehen and we wondered if the owners were called Moore, hence the spelling. Then we passed the Moore Post Office and thought that may be why – hadn’t noticed that we would be passing a place called Moore.

There were plenty swans and cygnets too. I watched a girl feeding them from the back of her boat and they were eagerly stretching their necks forward and making her perhaps a bit nervous as well as happy at how close they came to her hand.

The kingfisher would be unlikely to make an appearance, not being actually aquatic as such, I thought, so I was very surprised when Shane called out” kingfisher!” For the next few minutes, we were delighted by a few glimpses of a kingfisher flying forward to another tree, followed by a prolonged flight only just ahead of us, where we got an excellent view. 

There were lots of herons, especially in the afternoon, perhaps because it was less rainy, and I made several failed attempts to take a photo. This was my best effort, even this one was turning away.

 

Camera shy heron

As well as the water birds, we spotted a canal boat we almost bought. It had caught Shane’s interest earlier this year and we discussed it for a few weeks. On the day Shane contacted, we were told that they had just found a buyer that day. We were taken particularly by it being a hybrid and that the unusual name meant “retirement” (in Malay) and it looked lovely inside. But they said another one might become available soon that was similar. And that’s how we got to know of Bartimaeus. Last time we saw them together was when we came to view Bartimaeus. Bersera was in the marina, but her buyers were not on her yet but had kindly said we could go on and try out the tandem for size inside and have a drive in the marina, as she is the same dimensions as Bartimaeus. We couldn’t have tested these things out otherwise, as Bartimaeus was off the water and had to be entered by a ladder. Unfortunately the owners weren’t there  today, or we’d have certainly stopped to chat. Hybrids are rare second hand so we are lucky that one was available just as we were retiring. 

 

Bartimaeus meets Bersera briefly on the water. 

We were lucky with our timings for the tunnels that had fixed entry times today arriving at both at the right time and so no need to queue. Plus no waiting for our dinner, as I cooked while Shane drove and we looked for a mooring spot and the oven timer went off just as we finished tying up.

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