Yesterday on our cruise along the Severn, we didn’t meet any other boats but said hello to a couple of fishermen. I found turning the boat on electric drive into the Severn a bit nerve wracking but satisfying, once it was achieved.
On the way back I found closing one of the lock gates very hard and Shane got out to help. I suggested that at the other end I might only open the gate part way and then do the other side part way ( these are double locks) as the fully open door was hard to get started with little purchase on wet ground. In the end I didn’t do that but Shane thought he would do that for me as I switched to driving and opened two gates partially. Unfortunately the far side gate started closing while I was driving through and closed on to the boat so I was squeezing Bartimaeus between the gates in stead of driving through a gap that was a little wider than the boat.
It was an excellent place for bird spotting, with the highlight for me being seeing a kingfisher diving. The only downside was a shooting range that was audible for a while and in that section, there was hardly any bird life to be seen. I am assuming it was just target practice, though we have seen a few pheasants around in the last few days.
Still, the scenery was pretty all the way, whether or not there were any birds in sight. While we had a good view of many birds yesterday, none were close enought for me to get a photo. The only chance at a recognisable picture was the silhouette of a cormorant, at the top of a tree.
Today was not as sunny and started off quite wet. We still saw some cormorants flying overhead but we got some much closer views of some very little birds just after the rain stopped. There were blue tits, wrens, robins and goldfinches in the hawthorn bush opposite and a woodpecker visited the tree beside it. Some wagtails and a squirrel were briefly on the towpath. A robin came up very close to he boat and a wren even came right on to the gunwhale. We had a walk in the afternoon and again were pleased that when we stayed still and quiet we got a close view, from directly below, of a robin in a tree.
But the other close-up of a bird was not feathered. We seem to have had a resident ladybird inside the boat for a few days. We didn’t see it one day and then it (or a different one!) reappeared yesterday and it was having a good tour of the ceiling today.
It is just as well I enjoy the bird life, as there is a lot more of that than human life, at this spot and may often be the case as winter sets in. If I am patient I might get some photos, but for today, instead I can only share these pictures of the most colourful of the birds seen yesterday afternoon and this morning.
Goldfinches, king fisher and greater spotted woodpecker – all spotted.