Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Possible Rarity Alert

I have had a report that a probable female American wigeon was present at Stubbers green this morning (seen by Kev Clements). Female Yankee Wigeon can be a tough bird to call but Kev has seen the birds axilliaries (armpits) which appear to be white, suggesting that this may well be a nearctic visitor.

Not very likely to get down there myself but will keep you posted - Chaz

Saturday, 24 September 2016

A promise kept

 I said I would do my best to pay a visit this weekend and given the prognosis for rain tomorrow , I thought I would bite the bullet and do it today. I was supposed to be at Spurn today with Martyn and Joseph but to be honest, its a good job I didn't. Just doing the mineral line and the edge of the Mere has left me exhausted and drenched in sweat so I suspect that I would have been less than useless chasing around at Spurn. Not sure if these problems are the result of the medication or a reluctance for the infection to give up its hold, either way, I am not yet out of the woods apparently?

Some significant increases in activity. On arrival the Marsh held five Gadwall, two Shoveler and a minimum of seven Teal although the Gadwall and Shoveler quickly nipped over the boundary zone and onto the Mere. The only other bird of note was a single Chiffchaff on the mineral line hedgerow.

The Mere held at least five hawking House Martins and possibly (?) a Single Sand Martin? I only glimpsed the bird briefly as it flew through my field of view and I was unable to relocate it, but the glimpse I had seemed to show a slight chest band. If confirmed this would have constituted a good late record for the site, particularly as they have been few and far between this year.

Thirteen Lapwing were present on the island and I was genuinely pleased to see my first Wigeon of the winter (an immature male) hiding amongst the Mallard along the fringe of the island.

That will do for me today, hopefully my next visit wont be so taxing?

Have a good weekend all - Chaz

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Heading into darkness

Today is the day! The sun is exactly on the equator and we celebrate the Autumn Equinox. After today each day will be a little bit shorter and nights a little longer until the winter solstice just a few days before Christmas. No matter what your views on the official start of Autumn I'm afraid you have to concede that summer 2016 is now confined to history.

Lots of nocturnal activity this week - not by me! By the Tawny Owls. Every night this week the Male Tawny has been calling regularly from various points around the village, in particular the recreation ground, audible from around 23.00 until 04.30+ if you are interested? A Migrant Hawker dragonfly in our garden this afternoon was also noteworthy!

I am still in the wars a bit health-wise but the doctor was pleased with my progress this week and I have another week of anti-biotics to get through before I see the Doctor again. I have managed to go swimming once so far and am trying a day out tomorrow and depending how that goes, I may well attempt a visit to the Marsh over the weekend (even if it’s only half a circuit).

Watch this space and apologise again for the lack of information over the last few weeks - Chaz

Friday, 16 September 2016

One of our special species is back for winter

You may recall that last winter we had an exceptional showing by wintering Pochard? perhaps today is an indication that we may be in for another one as Ray Fellows found the first two specimens of the season on the Mere. Ray also found a very grey-toned juvenile Cormorant, a single Snipe and a Little Grebe during his visit.

My walk back from the Doctors this morning across Clayhanger Common also presented the first encounter for me this season with a Kingfisher on the Black Track pool so hopefully that will be turning up on the Marsh now and again if the weather holds.

Big thanks to Ray for keeping me in the loop, have a good weekend all - Chaz

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Thank You

Just a quick word in appreciation for the get well messages I have received from a number of you, it is lovely of you to take the trouble.

The doctor has been keeping contact on a daily basis and I have so far managed to dodge the Hospital-Bullet but I am still a good way from 'in the clear'. Another physical exam tomorrow and that may prove decicive.

Never thought I would miss being able to count the same ducks as last week so much! You don't appreciate mobility enough until you have it taken from you - aint that the way of all things?

While I am on, you may be surprised to know that, as a practising technological imbecile I have saved a number of your telephone numbers (those of you who like me to text you when something good turns up) to my Mobile Phone rather than my sim-card. Unfortunately the said-telephone inevitably underwent catastrophic failure last week and has had to be replaced with a new imbecile proof telephone (which asks if you want to save to the sim or phone).

What this means is that some of you will need to re-e-mail me your mobile numbers if you still want me to keep you in the loop. THERE IS NO URGENCY. I doubt I will be across the Marsh in the near future for anything short of a lost Dalmation Pelican or a wandering Yank Tick (In which case  I will pay someone to carry me if necessary)!

Stay safe you lot - and thanks again to all for the get well wishes - Chaz

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

A word of explanation

Some of you will no doubt be cursing me as an idle git for not doing any recent updates so I thought I had better give some information to clarify what is going on.

After a brief weekend away with Mrs Chaz since coming home I have somehow managed to contract a very nasty leg infection and some very painful cellulitus. I am currently on some high powered anti-biotics which are knocking me about and  even walking to the bathroom feels like an act of martyrdom. The possibility of hospitalisation is still very definitely on the cards unless I get some positive results in the next 24 hours, so the chances of me doing my Marsh and Mere duties is completely out of the question.

If I do get any reports from any of the regulars I will do my best to get them out as quickly as I can but otherwise I'm afraid its a case of watch this space until something changes.

Sorry and all that - Chaz

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Sunday morning and some advice for dog walkers

After a dissapointing Summer - a dissapointing Autumn. I can only imagine that most of the passerine movement has taken place during the hot weather or has missed us out all together? The only migrants today were a handful of Chiffchaff, a singing Blackcap, one (Yes One!) House Martin and a mystery bird that I confess defied my skills of identification.

A pale tan-brown warbler that I would normally have called as a juvenile/female Whitethroat except for the fact that it didn't appear to have a white throat! to be fair I saw it perched for a couple of seconds before it flew into cover on the buffer zone, probably never to be seen again? (If you want to have a look for yourself it was in the area where the tyres are all over the ground).  I'm not going to make any kind of case for it, sometimes you just get things that defy identification and it was most likely to have been something common anyway.

The Goldcrest is still calling along the Ford Brook (today by the tin-bridge) and on the Marsh there were three Shoveler and three Gadwall - so you can see what an exciting morning I had.

Photo courtesy of miniatureyorkshireterrior.blogspot.com
Dog Walkers - A word to the wise.

We are now into September and I am confident the the local deer stags already have elevated levels of Testosterone in preparation for the coming Rut. If you are walking your dog on the Marsh or Mere between now and the end of November, and you encounter any deer PLEASE put your dog back on its leash and do not let it run free.

I am not trying to impose on your human rights - as dog owners I assume you are also dog-lovers and I promise that in any encounter between your Dog and a male stag, the best outcome you can hope for is an expensive vets bill, the worse case scenario I will leave to your imagination.

People who know me know that I am very fond of dogs and time-share anyone's dog that I get the chance to fuss. I wont have a dog firstly because, although she has come a long way, Mrs Chaz is still very nervous of dogs and secondly, because my pervading health problems mean that I would not be able to make the necessary commitment to taking it for walks etc.

For the record I have no bad feelings for dogs and would hate to see one harmed in a confrontation with the deer (something that has happened several times over the last few years - so far without fatality).

What I do have an issue with are the BLOODY IMBECILES who continue to collect their dogs mess in a little plastic bag and then throw it into the bushes to hang like some sick perversion of a Christmas decoration.

YOU ARE IDLE ANTI-SOCIAL IDIOTS! There are three bins now between the Marsh and the Village USE THEM (or better still - take the dog mess home and put it in your own bin) - See, no problem with dogs, just very little patience for people with brown brains!

Enjoy your first full week of Autumn all! - Chaz