A Trip Along The Basinstoke Canal


I live very close to the Basingstoke Canal and go along it several times a week. Last week I went for a quick cycle ride with my camera on a bird hunt :o)

I must have become over familiar with the canal as I was quite surprised at the different types of bird I saw when I was paying attention.

I wasn’t surprised to see a pair of blackbirds on my way to the canal.

The male with worms in his mouth

And the female forraging in a ditch.

Neither was it a shock to see several ducks cruising the water.

Mallard ducks

I had to cycle a bit further before seeing moorhens, who were so very determined to steer clear of me and stick to the far side of the canal, but I hadn’t expected to see a great tit too.

Moorhen with a great tit on the bank above

For some reason, I had completely forgotten that I might see swans. I don’t know why as on a cycle ride last year we had to do a u-turn thanks to an angry young swan blocking the tow path.

A much happier swan

I also hadn’t expected to get a photo of a jay. Well, a jay’s tail anyway.

Glimpse of a jay

Next time I’ll hopefully get to photograph a heron. I see them quite often but always as they take off. They pirch, silent fishermen, in the tall grass on the banks and jump into flight when I get too near. I think I’ve only ever seen one stood on the bank.

Is there a heron in here?

And that is just the ones I managed to photo on my trip. Once I was paying attention there seemed to be countless birds darting across my path or into the undergrowth; too fast to see, let alone photograph. And so many calls from unseen birds in the trees!

All this on my doorstep – it’s amazing what’s there to see if you take the time to look!


19 May, 2010
jane said:

What a beautiful cycle trail Peter.Agree it is amazing what we can spot when we take the time to do so.Hope you manage to spot...and photograph...a heron one day !

19 May, 2010
bonkersbon said:

Aye Peter anad nearly always when you dont have your camera to hand.There was a small stream near where I worked and stopped for lunch when a few minutes later a Dipper landed opposite me just a few feet away.

Its 2 chicks emerged from the bank to be fed something I ll probably never see again and of course wasnt expecting to , so no camera but will never forget it.

19 May, 2010
aster said:

What a beautiful place to exercise,well in between all the stopping and starting :) You did well to capture so many birds,they may get used to seeing you pass by.

19 May, 2010
peter said:

It is really lovely, but easy to forget it is :o)

20 May, 2010
sixpence said:

Wonderful pictures you have captured, yes lots of wild life lives along the canals, I live right next to one, so I go to relax

21 May, 2010
peter said:

Thanks Sixpence. If I head one way I get to the main town but the other way just passes small villages; if I head away from town it can be miles before seeing anyone. Very relaxing :o)

25 May, 2010
terratoonie said:

Good pics.. the swan photo I like especially :o)

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