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My Wild Runs - Swanshurst Park and the Shire Country Park

Posted: Monday 16th March 2015 by Joe.P

Moseley BogMy Wild Runs

Neil Hatton's second blog post in his series linking his running training with taking a look at urban wildlife sites.

My run at Moseley Bog was a bit of a non-starter this Saturday; arriving at my usual starting point I realised I had left my jogging shoes and jogging watch behind. At least I had remembered my water, unfortunately my fiancée had not, so I gave her mine. Realising that jogging in Moseley Bog in light indoor shoes was out of the question I decided to jog around the outside.

Fortunately, the weather had been good for the past few days so the pavements were nice and dry. As I headed up Wake Green Road I reflected that this was the same road that J.R.R. Tolkien lived on. Although much has changed since then, Moseley still topped The Sunday Times 'Best Places to Live in Britain's Cities' this weekend.

Having enough of running alongside the busy road I turned left onto Windermere Road which lead me past the playing fields and a small car park which is useful when visiting Moseley Bog. So far I had yet to see much in the way of wildlife except for the ubiquitous Magpies, Carrion Crows and seagulls.

Although running along the pavement does have the benefit of a firm surface I was missing the relative solitude afforded by Mosley Bog. As I turned left onto Yardley Wood Road I glanced forlornly through the fantastic wrought gates that frame the entrance. Compared to the street, Tolkien's childhood playground is an oasis of peace.

Crossing Swanshurst Road I entered Swanshurst Park and began running amongst the beautiful old Beeches there. Alongside them were a colourful display of Crocus flowers and Daffodils although the latter had yet to bloom. I could see some Mallards amongst the branches at the side of one of the two pools in the park but otherwise there was very little in the way of wildlife.

Jay photo by Neil PhillipsLeaving the park I ran down the A4040 and finally had my first new animal sighting; this was another member of the crow family, a colourful Jay perched in the top of a Popular tree and letting out its raucous call. I was finally able to leave the road when I reached the Shire Country Park, this runs alongside the River Cole and provides an accessible area of wilderness with a good solid pathway amongst the variety of trees.

As I jogged along I became aware of an echoing song, I stopped and was able to spot a single Blue Tit who was marking his territory by singing. Other Blue Tits near by were singing in turn all trying to attract a mate whilst letting other birds know this patch was taken. Further up I saw a Magpie collecting nesting material from amongst the undergrowth. Reaching Sarehole Mill I realised I had been jogging for over forty minutes and had yet to run around the entire of the green areas set up in this enchanting part of Birmingham.

More wild runs to come soon, but please do leave any comments on the blog so far.

Neil Hatton

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