Ducklings: Newbridge, Aldersley

Ducklings: Newbridge, Aldersley

More of this year’s new ducklings on the canal, another two broods, both looking recently hatched. One set at Newbridge, the other not far from Aldersley Junction.

Horse chestnut candelabrum, flower buds

Horse chestnut candelabrum, flower buds

A mass of horse chestnut flower buds arranged around the so-called candelabrum.

Horse chestnut candelabrum, flower buds

Heron and magpie

Heron and magpie

Heron and magpie, close together on canal path in countryside near Castlecroft.

Heron and magpie

Someone came along walking a dog. The heron was first to blink, taking off to retreat to the nearby Smestow Brook.

Speckled wood butterfly, well camouflaged

Speckled wood butterfly, well camouflaged

Speckled wood butterfly, its wings folded together, well camougflaged as it rests on the ground in a clearing in Old Nursery Wood.

Green veined white on dandelion clock

Green veined white on dandelion clock

Green veined white butterfly resting on a dandelion clock, by the canal opposite the Wildside Centre. Not sure why it chose that one. There were plenty of dandelions and other plants in flower nearby.

Cross goose, West Park

Cross goose, West Park

West Park goose, by its plumage a cross between a greylag and a domesticated variety.

Sitting on the fence – decisive

Sitting on the fence - decisive

West Park magpie sitting on a fence. Keeping one wary eye on me while it tells off another magpie out of shot.

Wild arum, flower about to open

Wild arum, flower about to open

Wild arums (cuckoo pint, lords and ladies), at the stage where the flower was just about to open. Most of these never did. Instead, they were eaten, probably by a badger.

Shared sunbathing – three on the log

Shared sunbathing - three on the log

The log which the West Park turtle uses for sunbathing, now getting even more crowded. Here also used by a juvenile black-headed gull, and a greylag goose.

Tortoiseshell, wings almost folded, Barley Field

Tortoiseshell, wings almost folded, Barley Field

Small tortoiseshell butterfly be a path in the Barley Field, resting with its wings almost folded, gently opening and closing them.

Duckling deluge: canal near Mopps Farm bridge

Duckling deluge: canal near Mopps farm bridge

There seems to have been a baby boom along the canal this year, with lots of mallard duclings hatching at once. This little lot are from two broods on the stretch near Mopps Farm bridge, in the countryside beyond Castlecroft

Lone cowslip, Barley Field

Lone cowslip, Barley Field

When I took this picture, I had wandered along all the footpaths crossing the Barley Field, and this was the olny cowslip I saw flowering. A few more have since appeared.