Walking along the canal from Broad Street basin in Wolverhampton city centre, the flight of locks down to the meeting with the Staffs and Worc canal at Aldersley Junction heads out towards the countryside.

Heading in the other direction, the Birmingham Main Line canal provides a green corridor right across the industrial and post-industrial desolation of the Black Country.

Much of this stretch of canal is lined by reed beds, here of bullrush or reedmace, which provide the shelter for the nests of coots and moorhens.

Red admiral

Red admiral butterfly

Pollen-loving insects seem to have been particularly attracted to sedums this year.

Here, a red admiral takes some nectar as it warms up in the morning sun.

Little Japanese umbrella


A brief shower yesterday evening was enough to encourage some mushrooms to come up after the recent dry spell.

This Coprinus plicatilis was peeping up through the grass of a somewhat overgrown lawn.
The Little Japanese umbrella is a common mushroom, but easily overlooked because it is so small and delicate.



This grey heron is a youngster: the black feathers on the head are just beginning to show signs of becoming the adult crest. Recently, it has seemed to prefer to fish just downstream of the Wightwick Mill lock on the Staffs and Worcs canal.

Lots of activity from dog-walkers, joggers, walkers and a steady stream of narrowboats, but the bird was still fishing from the towpath bank until someone came that little bit too close.



By the side of the Staffs and Worcs canal, on a stretch where the bush by the towpath is a mass of ivy. A crowd of different species of hoverflies and bees were practically queuing up to get on the sun-warmed flowers. This helophilus pendulus individual lingered longer on the flowers, giving a chance to grab a clear picture when the breeze dropped.