After some lovely weather and lots of photos yesterday (see a later posting) I didn’t bother with a camera for today’s stroll along the canal towpath in the rain.
There’s quite a variety of wildlife in evidence along the canal between Timperley and Sale. There are always lots of Mallard and Canada Geese, with Black-headed Gulls in the winter. Swans live here – today just two adults and a juvenile were in evidence. Moorhens, the occasional Coot, a Cormorant, a Heron and Grey Wagtails are also commonly seen. The hedgerows sport an active colony of Sparrows, lots of Pigeons and Blackbirds, and passing swarms of Goldfinches as well as mixed flocks of Tits – Long-tailed, Blue and Great in the main. Dusk brings sightings of our local foxes, so the grey squirrels make themselves scarce then, whilst the water rats and the canal’s stock of large fish are less frequently spotted.
However, today I spotted a duck I’d not seen before on the canal. It seemed quite happy in the company of a group of Mallards. I returned home for a camera. The top picture didn’t match anything in the first two bird books I checked, but my Collins Pocket Guide came to the rescue - the bird is clearly a female Mandarin Duck.
The images below show the Mandarin next to a Mallard, and a typical autumnal view of the Bridgewater Canal in the rain near Marsland Bridge. The duck was on the Sale side of that bridge if anyone is interested.