My Bonnie Moorhen

Here’s Miller’s Bridge No 34, where we’d moored up near Loughborough.

Miller's BridgeMiller's Bridge

Pleasant and peaceful enough for an overnight mooring, particularly as there were bollards provided, but otherwise unremarkable.

However, in the rushes on the other side lurked a family of moorhens: mum, dad and a couple of teenagers. Moorhens are normally pretty shy, but in the absence of any ducks, geese and swans this family decided that they really liked the (proper job) duck and swan food that SWMBO had cornered the market in.


So much so that, by the time we were ready to leave, this cheeky chappie was stealing the duck food straight out of my hand, while mum, dad and brother looked on approvingly, if  keeping their distance. Quite liked fingers too.

Swans and cygnets would do it at the drop of a hat, but they’re much more aggressive, their beaks are rather bigger, and we quite like having ten fingers each: it makes playing the guitar marginally easier. But a shy young moorhen? Quite remarkable.


Here’s the two youngsters together.

But we fear we may have created a monster. One rarely sees moorhens flying – they paddle despite not having webbed feet, or walk across the greenery, or run along the towpath. This chap, seeing me doing some washing up, helicoptered straight up the side of the boat and pecked on the window. We’re wondering just what’s in that duck food…

Maybe it was the reincarnation of Bonnie Prince Charlie, or a portent of another Jacobite Rebellion.

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