Sunday, 21 December 2014
Its a good time to contemplate how being a birder effects your perception of time. I should be thinking of the impending Christmas celebrations but for some reason this event is symbolised for me by (of all things) the Common Swift. You see by this point, believe it or not we are already past the half way mark in their African sojourn and in fact are closer to the arrival of 2015s birds than the departure of 2014s! Yep, we are about sixteen weeks away from the end of the spring migration and the arrival of the first black screamers over the village. Is it just me being weird or does anyone else think like that - perhaps its best that remains unanswered eh?
Back to the shortest day, at 12.40 I received a call from Phil Ward to say that the Diver was still present and showing well (I have developed that awful chest infection that is going around so am contemplating a quiet day feeling sorry for myself).
As always - will keep you updated as I get news - Chaz
Saturday, 20 December 2014
|Photo courtesy of Derek Lees|
--Many thanks to Hughie King who texted me to say that the Great Northern Diver was still present on Ryders Mere this morning, giving the full-time workers amongst you the opportunity to enjoy our avian Christmas bonus. As usual, I will keep you posted - Chaz
Friday, 19 December 2014
|Yes it is the bird, on the one occasion that it flew out|
Now the question is, was that report from someone who does not understand the slight differentiation between the sites or, was it actually on the marsh? That would be a sight to see.
Anyway another chance to showcase some of the excellent photographs - todays is another by Phil Ward - Chaz
Thursday, 18 December 2014
A report on the National Birdline at 12.28 states that the Diver was still present at Ryders Mere. Someone obviously decided to pay a lunchtime visit so I decided to do the same. Arriving at about 13.15 I scoured the usual sites without any luck and had almost decided that our star attraction had deserted us when I relocated the Diver in the shallowest part of the pool at the west end.
While I enjoyed a bit of solitude I noticed a birder coming toward me with a push-bike over his shoulder and Eric Phillips appeared having cycled over from the far side of the Black Country. The bird performed wonderfully well for him at one point popping up no more than twenty feet away.
Eric and I followed it as it slowly crossed the pool toward its favoured feeding area in the dog-leg and was lost to sight. Unfortunately we then encountered Mike from Walsall R.S.P.B. who had come over for a look at the bird. As I type this I can only hope that he was able to relocate it, we certainly didn't see it fly out.
Other birds seen today were as follows:
Teal (21) - Wigeon (13) - Shoveler (2M) - Goldcrest (1) and an impressive catch for a male Sparrowhawk which was seen flying across with a recently caught Fieldfare.
Goosander (10) - Great Crested Grebe (11) - Pochard (14) - Gadwall (7) - Wigeon (5) - Linnet (7) - Redwing (1) - Fieldfare (11) and of course, the bird of the moment.- Chaz
Photos: (C) Crapshots of Clayhanger unlimited