SD7706 : Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

taken 2 months ago, near to Radcliffe, Bury, Great Britain

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
The overgrown canal between Radcliffe and Little Lever is an ideal habitat for moorhens, providing still freshwater with reeds and bushy ground-cover; the canal here is well-populated with moorhens as well as their cousin, the coot, as well as mallards, geese and swans.

Unlike mallards, moorhens and coots are not ducks but are members of the rail family Rallidae. Coots and moorhens are similar in size and colour of plumage but, whereas the Coot is mostly black and has a distinctive white front face shield and beak, the Moorhen has dark brown back wings and a more bluish-black belly. They also have a red frontal face shield and beak with a yellow tip. Moorhens also have and long, green legs.

Moorhens take their common name, not from the moor as it suggests (they are seldom seen in a moorland habitat). In this case, moor is possibly a corruption of ‘mere’ (meaning water), hence the bird’s alternative common name of water hen (hen because the bird’s feet are like those of a hen).

LinkExternal link RSPB
LinkExternal link Wikipedia
Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal :: SD7506
The Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal is a disused canal, built to link Bolton and Bury with Manchester. The canal, when fully completed in 1796, was 15 miles long. It was connected with the River Irwell in Salford, in 1808.

From Salford the canal ran up the Irwell valley to reach Nob End, where it climbed the Prestolee Locks, and then split into two branches leading to Bolton and Bury. The canal was built principally to serve the many collieries in the area, as well as to transport other cargo such as stone and timber.

By 1846 a parallel railway had been built to Bury, and the canal went into decline. The Bolton arm went out of use in 1924, though with some minor use until 1947. The Bury arm was breached just above Nob End in 1936, but the then isolated Bury arm continued to be used until 1951, principally between the canalside Ladyshore Colliery and Bury. The final section of the canal was officially closed in 1961, and much of it was filled in.

LinkExternal link Exploring Greater Manchester, a fieldwork guide (web edition); edited by Paul Hindle, Manchester Geographical Society
LinkExternal link Wikipedia article
LinkExternal link Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society website
LinkExternal link Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, Pennine Waterways
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SD7706, 142 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 21 April, 2019   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 24 April, 2019
Geographical Context
Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms  Canals 
Canal (from Tags)
Manchester Bolton and Bury 
Camera (from Tags)
Panasonic DC-G9 
Image Buckets ?
Closeup  Life 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 776 068 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:33.4458N 2:20.3586W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 776 068
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Other Tags
Gallinula Chloropus  Water Hen  Moorhen  Aquatic Bird  Rail  Water Bird  MBBC  Canal 

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Image Type (about): close look 
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