As we travel around the rivers and canals of the southern waterways we see abundant wildlife. We have guests who are happy relaxing on the bow deck and watch the wildlife as we cruise along. Guests who are keen bird watchers or photographers are often seen enjoying the sights as we cruise along or get good views as they take the towpath and walk a little ahead of the boat.
We see plenty of swans and cygnets in spring and early summer as well as thousands of Canada Geese. Five years ago when we first began on Kailani we would see a couple of Egyptian Geese at any one time, but they are now plentiful and we see plenty of them. They are smaller than the more common Canada or Brent Goose, and are a variety of browns in colour. On the River Thames we see many Brent geese and of course plenty of Heron can been seen on both the canals and rivers. If you are lucky you can see them catching fish.
Our guests are always thrilled when spotting Kingfishers, quite often it is a quick flash of colour as they swoop along the water at a low level. If they are lucky they will see them sat on a branch close to the boat. Gordon is extremely good at seeing them from the stern as he steers and lets guests know if they are around. Last year we saw more on the upper Thames than anywhere else.
There are plenty of ducks to see as we cruise along but the Mandarin must be the most colourful. We don’t see too many, but we have seen a few around London on the Regents Canal.
There are also foxes, badgers and otters around, and we have even seen a seal and a porpoise on the tidal stretch of the River Thames. Also more common these days are red kites, buzzards, eagles and parakeets, which are seen along most of our routes.
Let’s hope to see plenty this season and manage to take some good photos.