Black Country news and blogs Friday 22 March 2019
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Clayhanger Marsh Log

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My first Saturday away for months and what happens? 

22 Sep 18

Pale Morph Arctic Skua: Photo Moss Taylor Something good turns up at Chasewater! Never mind it was a Grey Phalarope , always a good tick but thankfully not one that I needed for Chasewater so missing it doesn’t really sting.

Just a quickie 

18 Sep 18

Had cause to go down the garden this evening at about 18.45 and was blessed to hear a sound that I was already missing as sixteen House Martin flew over the garden and away across the Marsh.

A Beery Blog Post for a change 

16 Sep 18

You know the rules by now, this particular posting is for those who share my other passion – Beer.

Never in a pickle when you go to Branston! 

13 Sep 18

OH come on! Eleven years done and on exit strategy! If I can’t be excused a Branston Pickle reference now when can I ( its like that last week in a job when nobody is sure if you are going to leave quietly or get all the stuff off your chest that has…

Quiet is not the word for it! 

9 Sep 18

It must be the doldrums – I’m even counting Tufties! A pleasant Sunday Morning, cooler and overcast so I thought there might be a chance of some passage migrants dropping in.

All good things (and a few naff ones too)… 

6 Sep 18

Firstly a bit of belated news from yesterday, I received a text ( origin unknown – I suspect its one of the regulars who has changed his/her Mobile number ?) two female or juvenile Wheatear were on the field by the concrete bridge demonstrating that …

A quiet Sunday morning, but summer lingers 

2 Sep 18

As promised I did a half circuit this morning and the overcast conditions seemed to have kept a number of passage summer migrants down.

Been a while! 

1 Sep 18

Not making excuses, the last two weeks have been really busy, first doing essential maintenance on the house in time for winter and then a few days in Derbyshire house-sitting for my eldest and his partner.

AT LAST! – A visit worth talking about. 

21 Aug 18

You lot and your bloody Sunshine! See, a bit of lingering drizzle, low pressure and what do you get? A decent fall of migrants ( when will you lot start to listen and stop buying sun screen )? OK – there was nothing found today that will set the …

Get ready to say farewell 

20 Aug 18

Walked up to swimming this morning and could not help noticing the flocks of House Martins massing over the Maybrook and O’Grady’s , getting as much food as possible ready for the first leg of their journey south.

I know you get fed up of me moaning about ‘Nice’ (!) Weather… 

16 Aug 18

But (and I quote*) : New research has revealed that some passerines occasionally migrate at heights of up to four kilometres on their way south to Africa.

The day after the party… 

15 Aug 18

That’s what it feels like today, all of the breeding activity seems to have finished and this high pressure seems to be preventing any observable migration.

The Court of Owls* 

7 Aug 18

I shouldn’t say that ‘ it never rains but it pours ‘ after the summer we have had but from a birding point of view that’s exactly what I experienced last night.

A Swift Farewell! 

6 Aug 18

Its now been over four days since I last saw or heard a Swift over the village so it seems that for that species at least, summer is almost over? I am still hopeful of seeing the occasional bird passing through until the end of the month but I am …

Garganey Update 

2 Aug 18

Thanks to Ray Fellows who has been over the Marsh and confirmed that the Garganey is still present this evening but elusive.

My autumn begins with a bang (all-beit muted)! 

2 Aug 18

Best bird of the summer was present today – and what was it? Yep, a Garganey ! Always a noteworthy and less than annual visitor on the Marsh and at any other time it might have brought in a few birders but given that three were at Stubbers a couple …

At last something local worth going for! 

31 Jul 18

Well it didn’t take dynamite to get me out of the house but a visit from Bernard Smith ! He was in the area and had a half hour to waste so dropped in for a cup of tea and for a change I got some local birding information before it was a week out of …

Invasion of giant Robins! 

27 Jul 18

During my youngest’s recent visit we paid a visit to Nottingham and found the town besieged by giant Robins! OK – the pun was obviously intended – Nottingham ( sheriff of ) – famous Robin? But following on from Owls and Bears in Birmingham, Horses in…

The Infamous five 

24 Jul 18

Just correcting a correction! ( yep – we are still talking Grebes ) there ARE two pairs of Great Crested Grebe and BOTH have successfully bred on the Mere.

And you thought your kids were confusing! 

23 Jul 18

Photo: Bob Kemp Right, it seems a bit sad to me that ( despite it still being wonderful news ) that all we have to talk about at the moment are baby grebes.

Go to Stand-by – Siesta almost over 

21 Jul 18

It seems to have been a long siesta this year but I currently have my son from Canada over so I am not yet ready to seriously recommence the blog but there are good numbers of Green Sandpiper and Godwit going through the midlands so it looks as if …

Noteworthy Species Report 

21 Jun 18

An adult Little Gull was present on Ryders Mere this evening, it may be a specimen previously recorded at Slimbridge and Upton Warren as it is distinctive in only having one leg.

Siesta Time! 

10 Jun 18

HI Folks – if you have logged on to see what the old git is moaning about, or even to use the site for its designed purpose ( news about the local wildlife ) I’m afraid I have to disappoint you.

At last – at least something to report! 

7 Jun 18

There are lots of books on wildlife that are recommended reading.

Thank You! 

4 Jun 18

I don’t intend to make a habit of doing serious stuff on the blog ( most people only check it out to see what rubbish I am talking this week ) but I do want to say a big thank you to: Kathleen, Denis, Andrew, Gareth and Rob ( you know who you are ).

If you agree? Would you sign my petition please? 

3 Jun 18

OK – this is not political but something that has been annoying me for a couple of years.

Something not to be snuffled at! 

3 Jun 18

I may have embraced the title bestowed on me by that well known blogger Brownhills Bob, (who considers me to be a ‘Well known Beer Arse’) but just to prove that there are no limitations when it comes to the enjoyment of beer, may I introduce you all …

Almost time to hibernate 

1 Jun 18

First day of meteorological summer today ( and for those of us to whom summer is the nadir of the year – cheer-up, only three weeks until the nights commence drawing in ) .

Changing Times 

28 May 18

Welcome to a British bank Holiday! Apparently meteorologists are calling yesterdays three hour+ downfall ” The Mother of all storms ” – I’m not surprised, almost every rumble made our double glazing vibrate.

Some good news 

25 May 18

In response to my last posting I have received some good news from blog regular Wendy Hanby.

Getting ahead of the rain brings some surprise observations 

24 May 18

Sedge Warbler I was going to do the Marsh tomorrow but as it looks like I will need a lightening rod and an inflatable dinghy to get around I thought that today would be a better option.

Hooray – now I can really celebrate… 

18 May 18

The Royal Wedding! I had reached the point of despair and had given up hope of being able to enjoy a bottle of celebratory beer with the Royal couple ( as some of you will know, the only interest that I have in royal events ).

I suppose I had better write something! 

18 May 18

You may have noticed a lack of reports from me recently? Well for a change it hasn’t been because we have snuck away for a few days.

A Cigar is in order for our Greylags (again) 

13 May 18

Thank you to Ray Fellows who has confirmed that for the second year running, our Greylags have once again bred successfully.

Come on guys! Where are they 

9 May 18

We are now just over a week away from being bombarded with the biggest non-event of the year.

Getting ahead of the sunshine! 

4 May 18

Yep, its getting around to that time of year, Chaz draws the curtains and hides from the summer.

You may want to revisit? 

3 May 18

Sundays posting about the Cettie’s at Chasewater.

One step closer 

29 Apr 18

Anyone who has been bored enough to read my life story ( See ‘Clayhanger Birdman’ if you really have nothing better to do ) will know that throughout the time I have been birding I have set myself various challenges and that I have so far achieved …

Birding: sometimes there are good days, sometimes there are bad day, but sometimes! 

29 Apr 18

It was not an auspicious beginning.

One Swallow may not make a summer, but sometimes… 

28 Apr 18

One bird makes the day! One species arrived today that made the walk across the marsh and Mere worthwhile, a lovely Common Sandpiper calling regularly as it flew across to the island and along the north shore of the Mere.

I may not like summer! 

27 Apr 18

An overdue arrival on Chasewater’s Species list! But even I have had enough of this bloody weather, god alone knows what sort of a struggle the insectivorous birds that have just arrived are having? At least there is still one heroic figure visible …

Gropper below the radar. 

24 Apr 18

My son gets really annoyed because I have a beep tone on my phone when I text anyone.

For those who missed it! 

21 Apr 18

Huge thank you to Steven Bailey who has given me his permission to use his photograph of Thursdays Whimbrel on the Marsh.

Mega Migrant Bonanza! 

19 Apr 18

That’s a heading I don’t get to use very often about the Marsh and Mere but today its true! Its as if the floodgates have opened on the continent and all of the migrants that have been held back are now pouring through.

It went very quiet for a while! 

19 Apr 18

And that usually means…

Not so bizarre after all! 

11 Apr 18

John Holian was kind enough to call to say that at Belvide today was there earliest ever Reed Warbler singing in Gazebo Bay.

A day for weird surprises! 

10 Apr 18

Seventeen minutes passed five – a Ring Necked Parakeet over the garden calling and flying toward the east end of the village ( lost to sight behind old George and Dragon pub ).

A grim day but a record breaking walk! 

10 Apr 18

Photo courtesy Keith Whitehouse To use the vernacular American term, every now and then, birding throws you a ‘ curve ball ‘! And today was such a day.

They are playing my song (a day early)! 

9 Apr 18

Chasewater apparently had a good fall of common migrants yesterday and I was hoping to try and do the Marsh ahead of the predicted rain today in case we had also benefited from the fall, however I wasn’t expecting heavy fog with visibility down to …

Friday Update – action at last! 

6 Apr 18

Hooray! The first local hirundine of the year.

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