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My Wild Runs - Returning to Moseley Bog

Posted: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by Joe.P

Volunteers clearing pathsMy Wild Runs

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

After a brief hiatus due to factors out of my control I decided a tentative return to running was needed and headed back to my old favourite Moseley Bog for a short run. I did not have my jogging watch with me (so no route this time) and I decided to run around the nature reserve properly exploring the area.

My return to Moseley Bog was something of a revelation for me on two counts; firstly, I was going for an early morning run (not my natural state) and secondly, it was glorious. Whereas the last time I had been here the trees were just starting to show shoots and leaves were emerging, now Moseley Bog was luscious and trying its best to reclaim the hard won footpaths.

The volunteers had clearly been busy cutting back the encroaching vegetation as all the paths were easy to move along. There were no longer sections of the nature reserve which would be better traversed in Wellington boots instead of running shoes. In fact if this current dry spell continues they are going to have to stop calling it a bog and rename it Moseley Woods.

As I stated I am not inclined to rising at an early hour but going for a run at six in the morning meant that I did not see anyone else until I was about to leave. The seclusion afforded by the lack of fellow pedestrians allowed me to really lose myself amongst the trees and I found myself in sections of the Nature Reserve I had never been to before.

The volunteers had clearly been busy adding sections to the paths round the reserve expanding the already superb areas that are easy to access whilst still maintaining the areas of wilderness. A new gate had been added to the back entrance of the reserve; an intricate wrought iron affair which matched the front gate. One crafty person had carved a large eye in a fallen tree, possibly as a nod, or is that a wink, to Tolkien.

A little further on I found an eviscerated body of a large rat, after a brief inspection I concluded it was the victim of a bird of prey. The odd location, in the middle of the path, meant it was probably dropped from a tree branch after the bird had finished with it; the fact it had been so neatly gutted, it looked like it had been dissected, ruled out a fox or cat.

The sheer variety of bird life flying in the woods was delightful. Earlier in the year I could only hear the birds; now I could see them. Although I wasn't really paying much attention, as I was enjoying myself too much, I did see the usual characters, but this time as an added bonus were a pair of thrushes and a pair of male robins having a disagreement. The truculent winner was typically fearless and grudgingly gave me the right of way, keeping a beady eye on me as I passed by.

Neil Hatton

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