Tag: quack

The weekend’s big sporting event

The quack 8000. © komadori.For those either disappointed or just not interested in 22 men kicking a ball around, today had the highlight event of Swindon’s sporting calendar — the duck race. On an overcast day, attendance was good (the event was washed-out a couple of years ago). It was even graced with the presence of a councillor, the cabinet member for children’s services, Mr Renard, seemingly trying to go incognito by donning a pair of sunglasses.

Duckwise, it was, apparently, a bumper year, with over 8000 entries, all of which were plucked from the water once the race was over. Despite there being two clear front runners at the halfway mark, they tired towards the end, with the race being an almost dead-heat between several hundred ducks.

’Tis cold

The ducks on the canal near Kingshill are running short of places to swim, with most of the canal frozen over. They seem unaware of the freely flowing Swinbourne and River Ray just a few flaps away nearby.
Brr… quack

The river runs slowly

It’s nice to see that the BBC can still be quick off the mark and first with the news. Over a month after it was reported in the Adver and commented on here, the Beeb has finally caught up on the work being done by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to improve access to the River Ray and modify the local environment for the benefit of riverside wildlife. The work started yesterday, but the news release from a month ago is unchanged. Some of Jo Sayers’ comments from that news release which the Beeb quotes now have a certain irony to them now that they didn’t have a month ago when quoted by the Adver.

At the moment, in some places the river is so overgrown that people can’t even see it.

Recently, some would say we’ve been seeing rather too much of the river.

Sunny Swindon by the Sea

So I exaggerate a little: Swindon is neither sunny (as I write, ’tis raining outside) nor by the sea; but my exaggeration is only slightly more than that of Anna Mansell of The Adver.

SWINDON may be a somewhat land-locked town, but residents will soon be able to bask on a beautiful beach…. A sweeping bend will be created on the river at Rivermead, and the beach will be installed giving visitors a place to sit and enjoy the scene and animal life sights.

I don’t think ‘basking’ is quite what the Swindon Water for Wildlife River Ray restoration project has in mind, as becomes clear later in the article.

This big sweeping bend will provide a shallow, graded gravel beach which will provide a community focus in the area where people can come and enjoy the river, sit and contemplate, or dip their dogs.

No hint of basking there. More a case of taking cover as a flotilla of soggy dogs shake themselves dry.

High and dry

There’s been so much rain over the last two days that even the local duck race was cancelled. Typical bank holiday weather. So in the absence of a duck race to watch, there was little else to do but go and look at some real ducks (coots, to be precise).