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Wildlife on the Montgomery Canal

 

All waterways are important for wildlife and part of the canal restoration will include several areas reserved to provide a special habitat for plants and animals. Already established is the Aston Nature Reserve adjacent to the Aston Locks at Queen’s Head where otters are often seen.

 

Yellow iris

In spring, yellow iris can be found in profusion along the Montgomery Canal especially between Rednal and Frankton

Yellow iris flower

Damselflies

Blue damselflies are a common sight along the Montgomery Canal.

Blue damselfly

Dragonflies

There are two main types of dragonfly to look out for. The broad-bodied chaser. The male is blue and the female brown. Not quite so common is the larger and slimmer hawker.

Male broad-bodied chaser dragonfly Hawker dragonfly

Grass snakes

Harmless grass snakes may be found in the long grass at the towpath edge. They are also at home in the water.

Grass snake swimming in canal

Grey wagtails

There are of course many different kinds of birds to look out for. A particular favourite is the grey wagtail. These nest in canal side structures such as lock gates and can often be seen hovering over the water catching insects.

Grey wagtail on nestGrey wagtail hovering over canal

Fresh water mussels

Small freshwater mussels are sometimes found growing on the walls of locks.

Grass snake swimming in canal

Swan mussels

The much larger swan mussel lives in the canal bed. They are food for herons and the discarded shells are often found canalside.

Swan mussel shell on grass
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