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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

No Kingfishers! - A Day On Our Boat - 27th April, 2010

Today we had our first day of the year out on our boat. We took a short run down the River Trent, and then up the River Soar, before returning to base again. Previously it's been a rare day that we've not seen Kingfishers - but none seen today. I am already concerned that the hard winter has taken its toll.

Just down from from our marina is Sawley lock. On the lower side of the lock, Sand Martins nest in the masonry. It's great to see them, but almost impossible to photograph them as you can't really hang around in the water by the lock. As we passed, the Martins were busy, and this one popped its head out of the crevice just at the right moment!

Sand Martin

We did not see any birds of note during our cruising this day, but I find that I see birds from a different perspective when on the water, and they seem more confiding too. It's a bit like the way that birds do not seem so worried when you drive past in your car, but with a car people tend to get upset if you pootle along at 20 MPH, whereas no one gets upset if you dawdle along in your boat at 2 MPH! - or even stop!

Mute Swan

Grey Heron
(I confess to digitally removing a Red Bull can from beside the feet of the bird in the above image!)

Pied Wagtail (male)

Speckled Wood

Greylag Goose

Canada Goose

In 2009, on a couple of occasions, we saw a large Red-eared Terrapin in the River Soar, south of Ratcliffe lock. This day we had another sighting in the same general area. This beastie was at least 20 cm (8 inches) across! I'm not sure if it's the same one we are seeing each time. Today's sighting looks somewhat different to last year's (see images below). If these are different terrapins, and there's male and female, there could be trouble ahead!

Red-eared Terrapin - on 27th April, 2010

Red-eared Terrapin - seen on 1st June, 2009

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