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Friday, 18 May 2018

Hooray - now I can really celebrate...

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).

However, the term 'in the nick of time' has never seemed more relevant as this afternoon, just a matter of hours before the event, my good mate from Swimming (Nick) rolled up at our house with a bottle of 'Windsor Knot' - as far as I can tell the only beer being produced to commemorate the event.

I had been searching everywhere to find somewhere this far north with the foresight to stock some bottles but to no avail. However, Nick had read my appeal on the blog back on the 9th of May and had gone to the trouble of ordering a six-pack off the internet.

Honestly the thoughtfulness of people always humbles and astonishes me (I sometimes wish I wasn't such a grumpy git - but I'm afraid I'm probably beyond redemption).

Anyway - a big thank you Nick, (that's a pint I owe you when we get the chance) and I shall now sit on my thrown and toast the royal couple in the appropriate style (actually I will probably be toasting the brewers - and Nick, but its the thought that counts).

Have a happy and literally eventful Saturday (if that's your sort of thing)?

Chaz W.K.B.A.

I suppose I had better write something! (Updated)

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. In fact today is my third visit since I last did a personal update and to be on honest even today doesn't really merit a blog posting but I didn't want you to think I had dropped off the perch yet.

I have to admit that things seem to have settled down post-migration really quickly this year with a lot of the usual suspects apparently nesting quite quickly (perhaps because of the delay to migration caused by our wet weather in March and April)?

Today though I did note an increase in singing suggesting that some failed nesting had merited a second attempt by some birds, but having said that I was aware of some already fledged young along the mineral line today.

Anyway, it is lovely over there at the moment and there may yet be a late spring surprise or two before I put the blog into hiatus for the summer?

Clayhanger Marsh

Greylag (3 Adult and four chicks) - Sedge Warbler (1 singing male) - Reed Warbler (1 Singing) - Lapwing (Star bird with a displaying male looking gorgeous).

Ryders Mere

Common Tern (1) - Oystercatcher (1 Heard) but on the afternoon Ray Fellows reported the presence of an Oystercatcher chick, confirming succesful breeding again by our most special site species.

Anyroad-up time to start putting my mind to how I will dodge tomorrows big events? The Black Country Arms has now reopened after refurbishment so I may well be located there for an hour. Have a good weekend all - Chaz

Sunday, 13 May 2018

A Cigar is in order for our Greylags (again)

Thank you to Ray Fellows who has confirmed that for the second year running, our Greylags have once again bred successfully. Yesterday he had three mature birds with five recently hatched chicks. Also  four Common Tern present on the Mere. - Chaz

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Come on guys! Where are they

We are now just over a week away from being bombarded with the biggest non-event of the year. I am not anti Royal but on a day which  involves both a Royal Wedding and an F.A. Cup Final I am sorely tempted to take an overdose of sleeping pills and miss that Saturday out all together.

There is usually one saving grace with a Royal Wedding - loads of Royal Wedding Beers but this year it appears that apathy would rule if it could only be bothered!

One Royal Wedding Beer - JUST ONE, has come to my attention and that is from a distant brewery 'Darn Sarf' - (Windsor and Eaton). Have our niche brewers really become so dim as to miss out on engaging the patriotism of the event in the hopes of a brief upsurge in sales for the day.

If you were taking advantage of the extended hours I am sure that the presence of a special beer would at least tempt you but it appears that nobody can be bothered to give you the opportunity?

If anyone comes across any bottles for the event (or anyone doing draught) I would appreciate it if you could let me know - Chaz (W.K.B.A.)


Friday, 4 May 2018

Getting ahead of the sunshine!

Yep, its getting around to that time of year, Chaz draws the curtains and hides from the summer. Today was pleasantly warm and slightly overcast so I was content enough.

Not too much happening, most migrants seem to have already settled into full breeding mode. Two male Reed Warbler were singing on the main swag and the star bird was probably the very obliging Sedge Warbler along the mineral line (although one possible distant call from a probable Redstart along the Ford Brook couldn't be confirmed).

Our regular family of Linnets have moved into their usual territory and the two Greylag were on the Mere (but nothing else of note).

Hirundine numbers have dropped significantly with only three Swallow seen today. But that was it, very pleasant over there but nowt happening really. Still Spring ain't over yet and I am still hoping we might get a seasonal treat or two.

Anyway, enjoy your sunny weekend, think of those poor people who don't though! - Chaz

Thursday, 3 May 2018

You may want to revisit?

Sundays posting about the Cettie's at Chasewater.

Excellent wildlife photographer Derek Lees has been kind enough to let me have some of the shots he has taken of the Chasewater birds. if these don't underline how approachable the birds were I don't know what will!

Derek also had views of two birds still present:

First time I’ve managed to get a shot of one, so very pleased.
Two were flying around along with Blackcaps and Whitethroats

A big thank  you as always to Derek for his generosity in letting me have those shots. You will be hard pressed to find more obliging specimens. - Chaz

Sunday, 29 April 2018

One step closer

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 all but one, and that is to see 200 species at Chasewater.

The Cettie's Warbler today puts me on 196 which makes this ambition seem easily achievable but the truth is that over the last ten years or so I have been averaging one new species a year for the site!

This would not be so bad were it not for the fact that there are some regular occurring and annual species (Red Kite - Whimbrel ) - some probably under-recorded species (Pied Flycatcher - Wood Warbler - Marsh Tit - Pink Footed Goose ) that I need to get to grips with and even one resident species (Tawny Owl) which  I have been up for twice so far this year based on good intelligence gratefully received from Ian Ward and still without success!

I have already given an overview of today's events, (See last posting) but what I didn't mention was that I actually walked to and from Chasewater today and as far as I can remember, that's the first time I have managed that in three or four years!

This has principally been made possible by the new medication that I am taking, and although I was still knackered when I got home it at least holds out the hope that I may be able  to get up to the pool a bit more regularly than I have been recently.

So if you see any of the above species, please let me know - I have even been known to hire a Taxi to get a good tick up at the pool (that was last years Brent Goose - a real grudge match)!.

Anyway - that's a final thought for a Sunday night, so have a good week all, weather improves after Tuesday. - Chaz