Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Wildlife galore.

7 locks, 12 miles, Now moored below the Church at Wadenhoe on the River Nene

We were up bright and early this morning so that we could reverse back to the water point and pump out facilities before heading off in glorious sunshine. As the weather forecast was for rain from this afternoon until Friday we thought that we would get some mileage under our belts today and then we can lay up if the weather turns nasty.

Along the way we passed narrow boat's No Problem and Moore 2 Life and told them we would catch up with them again later. We stopped below Titchmarsh lock where we had some lunch which was fortuitous as it started to rain albeit for only a few minutes. By the time lunch was over the sun had returned so we decided to head off again, mainly due to the noise of the water pouring over the lock gates like Niagara falls.

The wildlife in this area really came out in abundance today with sightings of a Red Kite, a Buzzard, a pair of Sparrow hawks, a Shelduck who was chasing away 2 mallard ducks and a lone male Mandarin duck. After mooring up at Wadenhoe we went for a walk through this charming Olde English village and at one point heard a Cuckoo. We found the old village mill and where the river ran past the building before rejoining the main river course we saw a huge white Koi Carp which must have been at least a foot long. In New Zealand, Koi are an introduced species and are classified as a noxious pest as they damage the breeding grounds of Trout and Salmon. I would assume that the same applies here.

Another rare find in the village was a huge Dovecote (building) which was built around 1800. It originally housed 650 pigeons and their young in individual nesting boxes around the inside wall. It was maintained to feed the Squire of the manor and his staff during lean times. The way in which eggs or fat fledglings were gathered was by climbing a ladder mounted on a frame that revolved around a central pole, very clever yet very simple. The pigeons were also raised for the annual pigeon shoot, a bit like the way pheasant's are raised for the annual shoot today.

Wadanhoe Dovecote

Interior of dovecote showing hundreds of pigeon holes

1113 locks, 1434 miles, 41 Tunnels, 41 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006


eeyore said...

Lovely photo of the carp.

We don't have koi in our rivers.

They are very ornamental.

What you saw there is a "Ghost carp", a variant of the mirror.

Nice to catch!

I enjoy your blog


Derek and Dot said...

Thanks eeyore for the info on the Carp. I am surprised to see a carp in such fast flowing water.I hope the work on Sonflower is going OK.