Documenting surprising sightings, fascinating findings, & exciting encounters, with birds, wildlife, & other nature,
around Hemel Hempstead...

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Regular visitors will have noticed a decrease in posts to the HEMEL NATURE
blog - this is because I have been living & working out of the area, & due to the job my time out
& about with nature in Hemel is limited. I am working on a new blog to come soon & hope that the work that has gone into HEMEL NATURE will prove useful & interesting to those still visiting it.

In the mean time you can follow me at my new accounts on the following social media platforms...

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Many thanks for your support,


Monday, 9 January 2012

'Peggy' the MOORHEN recovers & becomes cycle safety technician

A few weeks ago I noticed a Female Moorhen with an injured left leg severely hobbling about at the Water Gardens beside Moor End Road Car Park. It looked to be in serious discomfort & possibly in pain, avoiding moving about if it could, sometimes crouching down to rest & sheltering in the hedge. I didn't have very high hopes for the poor thing & expected the worst. I considered catching it but with just my hands & no net I didn't want to cause it any extra undue stress, & I thought anyway that at least where it was it had a free supply of food from the duck-feeders, it had shelter if it wanted it, it had some safety in numbers & the weather was mild, so at least if it was going to be its last days it could do what a Moorhen does with relative safety & Moorhen amenities.

Well, despite my fears, when passing that same spot this morning, I had the pleasant surprise of seeing this tough little MOORHEN running around, yes running around, all be it with a limp, grabbing breadcrumbs before its friends could. I was amazed to see that it had recovered so well in the short space of time, & apart from the limp, was very mobile & looking much more comfortable compared to the last time. I sat & watched it feed for a while until I found myself unconsciously call her Peggy, after her peg-leg walk. I decided to take a short video of Peggy on my compact camera & with that she decided to show off by flying up onto my bike beside me, giving it a safety inspection, then when it appeared not to meet her standards fluttered to the ground with a rather clumsy landing.

Now, I'm not saying it was a sign, but, after she jumped off I took a quick look over my bike now that much of the dried mud of recent had fallen off, & to my amazement all four chainring bolts that hold the front gears on had come loose, so loose in fact that I could unscrew & remove them with one turn of my fingers! If it wasn't for Peggy prompting me to look I would never have noticed & it could have caused a potentially nasty accident. Was Peggy looking out for me because I was looking out for her? Either way I'm highly grateful to her for making me take notice, thank you Peggy.

'Peggy' the injured Moorhen conducting a cycle safety check
at the Water Gardens beside Moor End Road Car Park, Town Centre.

The dangerously loose chainring bolts noticed by Peggy.


  1. Great job from Peggy, lol. Nice blog entry Veloraptor ;-). Made me smile. (Lucy)

  2. She did do a great job, & no labour charge! What more could I ask for? Thank you Lucy, I'm glad it made you smile :)


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