Shake Ya Tail Feather

We were pleased to have got to a place where the waste tank could be emptied and I had a pleasant chat with the lady in charge at the marina office. The waste was self service but I needed a token from the office. It is a while since I have used the machine and it was hard to see any lit up buttons. That turned out to be because there weren’t any. We ejected the token and it was still too far in to recover. I found a twig and wiggled it into place and we tried again. It was just that she hadn’t had time to switch the machine on it seemed and the second go worked. There was a big sign saying the diesel was attendant only and she had said she would pop down. When she arrived it turned out she meant it was also self serviced and she only needed to come to read the amount off the pump. So we got on with it ourselves. I took a picture of the pump and went to the office. She had been about to come down but she was happy to trust my photo.

Mission accomplished with just a little more fiddling than usual, especially since this river marina was more set up for cruiser boats so the jetty was a bit short for us and we had to shuffle to do the two jobs. We enjoyed a little walk later walking over the elegant bridge at its entrance.

View across to the marina entrance from our mooring

On Thursday morning I was very pleased to get a close up of a grey wagtail. It was immediately outside the kitchen window on the jetty. These are very skittish and don’t stay still. It isn’t just their tails that move constantly. I have never been so close, but by the time I had picked up the camera, it was over on the other side of the jetty, and heading away fast. It was election day and he was voting with his feet.

Grey wagtail voting with its feet

The river being wide we meet some different birds but often a bit far away to see close up. We have seen a good many cormorants, briefly. Herons are further away since they are in the bank and we are avoiding being near the edge where it may be shallow. We had watched a heron feeding in Nottingham, in the stream beside the towpath, close enough to watch it catch lots of little fish and swallowing a bit of water after gulping.

No such close ups on the river. There are plenty birds though, but they mostly are distant or fast moving. There have been great and little egrets most days recently a grebe or two. I think we saw mergansers but again too far away

There was no shortage of them though. I was pleased to see so many egrets, normally a rare sighting. They often took flight as we passed even though we were not that near.

Swans are less shy. These ones didn’t approach seeking food though and I am quite glad as we were more outnumbered than usual. We are more accustomed to a couple or a family, rather than a flock.

There were patches with sand martins swooping over us and we saw there were good banks for them to nest in and watched them going in and out. Fluttering at the edge sometimes and other times swooping straight in.The cows didn’t pay them any attention.

Sand bank for sand martin nesting below lying cows

Meanwhile the geese, as usual in large groups were sharing happily with horses in the field. We have seen groups of thirty but certainly didn’t have time to count them this time, with large groups on land and on water. Some of them were having a wash, ducking and shaking.

Horses and geese grazing in a field of buttercups. More geese splashing and swimming in the river.

We reached Newark Town Lock, but unlike many towns the area did not look industrial and the lock was beside a park. The usual facilities advertised are mooring, water or rubbish disposal but this one advertised the availability of a castle and pubs and restaurants.

View from inside the Newark Town Lock

They were right so it was a spectacular arrival to our mooring and water point, which were, unusually, all the same space. Newark is no stranger to government change. Their history was steeped in it. Primarily a Royalist stronghold, where the cavaliers shook the tail feathers in their plumed hats.