Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Big One (11-1)

Sunday 10th June 2012

Whittington Bridge 80 to Peels Wharf, Fazeley Junction.

The sun was in good fettle today. I took the Dogs for a walk bright and early. A hot Bacon, Egg and Tomato sandwich for breakfast washed down with a hot cup of tea. All is well in the world.

We set off early intending to meander our way along the Coventry canal to Fazley Junction. For some reason, every bridge hole contained a boat going the other way. We also came across two trees that had blown over and blocked the canal. Someone had beaten BW to the first one (Ash) and cut a break that a boat could just squeeze through. 

The second tree (Silver Birch) had fallen across the canal and tangled into a tree on the opposite bank. Again someone had beaten BW and started to clear it away. It was also anchored by ropes onto other trees and again we could just squeeze under the trunk.

At Hopwas Hill the canal follows the course of the River Tame. This is the river that daughter Dr Steph did her research upon for her Phd. We will be meeting up with Steph next weekend somewhere around Sutton Stop (Hawkesbury junction) 
After two hours we arrived at Fazeley Junction and moored up opposite Peel's Wharf. The dogs enjoyed travelling on the boat roof. We met up with some boating friends we had last seen at Cromwell Lock. So we decided to stay for the for a couple of days.

WildlifeAt this point is a heavily wooded stretch of canal that borders a firing range. It is forbidden to enter the woods. Being an area with little disturbance the wildlife here is abundant. Rabbits, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Robin, Chaffinch, Green Woodpecker, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Blackbird, sparrow, Starling. Buzzard was the best birding spot of the day. Our first Grasshopper Warbler of the year was heard "reeling" but remained elusive to spot. Common Blue Damselfly and Banded Demoiselle were  out in the sunshine as were a few Meadow Brown Butterfly.

The sound of a Grasshopper Warbler has been compared to the sound of a fishing reel being turned with the ratchet on. A very distinctive sound that goes on and on as the bird seems not to need to pause for breath. Hence the description  reeling!

Daily Total

Miles: 5.7

Locks: 0

Swing / Lift Bridges: 0

Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 2.1

Accumulated Totals
Miles: 838.0
Locks: 682
Swing / Lift Bridges: 116
Tunnels: 6
Pump Outs: 10
Engine Hours: 2186.6


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