Kennet and Avon Canal
Anas platyrhynchos, 23ins. Male - glossy green head, narrow white collar, purple brown breast. Female - mottled brown. Both have a broad purple speculum between white bars.
Cygnus olor, 60ins. Orange bill with black knob, the cob's larger than the pen's.
Gallinula gallinula, 13ins. White under tail coverts, red and yellow bill; dull slate breast. Listen for 'kr-r-rk', 'kittick'.
Fulica atra, 15ins. Black, white bill. Listen for 'tewk', 'kt-kowk'.
Phasianus colchicus. Listen for the 'korrk-kok' and ruffle of wing feathers.
Vanellus vanellus. Listen for 'peese-weet', 'pee-r-weet'.
Troglodytes troglodytes, 3 3/4ins. Tiny, plumb, brown, with upcocked tail. Listen for a long pretty song of trills without the sadness of the robin.
Alcedo atthis, 6 1/2ins. Brilliant blue flash, if you see it you can't mistake it.
damselfly, Calopterix splendens. Slim looking version of a dragon fly with dark blue bands on wings.
butterfly, Anthocaris cardamines. White with orange wingtips, mostly seen May and June.
butterfly, Aglais urticae. Commonly around thistles and nettles, active through the summer.
butterfly, Gonepteryx rhamni. Butter coloured butterfly, common from February to November around buckthorn and alder buckthorn.
which you might find on the bank, especially if there has been recent dredging.
Anodonta cygnea, up to 20cm. Large dull mussel shell.
You wont see small water life from a big smelly boat; walk the towpath, quietly.
Kennet and Avon Scrapbook 2000