We paid our first visit of the year today, doing a full circuit from Pelsall Road, the Mere, Grange Wood, Sewage Works and back to Pelsall Road - about 3 hours in total. Since our previous visit, we were surprised to see how churned up by the horses the Pelsall Road pit mounds were. There was lots of straw around the pit mounds and down to the mere. We also noticed vehicle tracks along the main path from the riding stables to the gate at the entrance to the Mere. Whilst we were on the pit mounds, a maroon Terrano vehicle, with rear window missing, went down to that gate. People got out and gave the horses some straw. The vehicle has created ruts which are going to fill up when it rains. On our way out, we noticed the vehicle parked at the stables. Should they be using a vehicle along that track? What rights does the stables have with regard to the marsh?
On a more positive note, the more noteworthy birds were:
Pit Mounds & surroundings
Male Stonechat in trees between the pit mounds and the houses at Clayhanger
Male Goosander, 18 Wigeon
Mere & surroundings
2 Greylag Geese
5 Skylark at least
6 Tufted Duck
1 Oystercatcher on the island
3 pair Teal
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Also a group of Carder bees (we think) that appeared to be emerging from hibernation in a mound of sandy earth.
3 Stock Dove
40ish Fieldfare & Redwing in trees leading to works.
No migrants though, sorry.
What a brilliant list and including the now noteworthy Stonechat too! No need to apologise about the migrants either, if they aint here...
Chris and Graham are good friends to the Marsh and its good to know they are out birding again. Thanks to both for their records and hopefully we will be well-met on the Marsh in the Spring to come. - Chaz