I love watching wildlife along the Basingstoke Canal near where I live. Last week I had a delightful encounter with one of the grey wagtails that live alongside the canal. It’s the perfect habitat for them and they thrive here! I always see them on my short outings but this time I was able to get much closer than usual, getting to watch my little friend preening his feathers and singing joyfully. They’re fabulous little birds, full of character with such pretty plumage. The experience brought me so much joy, I decided that he would be the star of my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge!
This young swan still has a few of his adolescent plumage left and was making a real splash, preening in the River Wey, as the new adult feathers come through. What a joy to watch him! I loved this pose he struck and decided that he should be my star for Wex Mondays this week.
Sadly, Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor still has no internet access so we cannot share our Blue Monday posts as a group. I am still going to share these images, taken last week at the Basingstoke Canal, as part of the theme and to share my entry for Wex Mondays on Twitter. Included in the gallery is a particularly colourful blue houseboat that always makes me smile. There was a certain irony to its Hawaiian-styled design set against the frozen waters of the canal!Many of the resident ducks were gathered near the houseboats this week as the warmth emanating from them was keeping this one stretch of water free of the ice. I have to admit that the sight of the smoke coming from the stove chimney with streamers of sunlight cutting through the tree branches gave me a rather warm feeling inside! It’s a shame that warmth did not spread to my extremities. We’ve not had any snowfall here yet but reports are looking vaguely hopeful!
While it may not be quite as blue as the American Blue Jay, the Jay here in the UK is very colourful too with a lovely blue flash on its’ wings. I was treated to quite a display from this lovely pair who were collecting small bits of soft, nesting material. Usually such a shy bird, they were so wrapped up in their courtship that they barely noticed me!
The sapphire-jeweled kingfisher isn’t the only precious bird on the Basingstoke Canal! In the golden afternoon sunlight a gilt streak skims the water’s surface and lands on the lock gates, tail bobbing, head twisting, seeking out the insects along the shallows. The Grey Wagtail is a favourite bird of mine and I have been watching them along my local stretch of the canal for some years now. They’re very distinctive with a slate-grey back and bold yellow underside! They breed very successfully in this insect-rich environment and I hope to be watching them interacting with their fledglings again this year.