Chasewater Chat - 2009




Send your photographs and sightings to




20th December
Message no.107


I live locally in Chase Terrace and came across the Chasewater Wildlife Group website a little while ago. I've found it really interesting and wondered if I could get involved in some way. I have a real love of nature and wildlife but realised I haven't learnt or experienced very much and would like to change that. I am trying to identify birds at the moment and have in the past attended some bat courses. Next year I will be more involved with the Staffs and South East Staffs Bat Group's and aim to learn even more.
I was wondering if someone could give me a little more information on what the group joining fees pay for and what kind of activities go on that I could be involved in?
Thanks for your time
Thanks for the email; its really pleasing to know that the website is attracting the attention and interest of local people. The cost of yearly membership is £5 and this goes mainly towards the cost of running the website and Feeding Station. We have monthly meetings (advertised on the website front page) where we discuss any issues regarding the conservation, protection and enhancement of the area's wildlife but in the summer months we tend to use the meetings to get out into the field and share our interests and knowledge. We also have additional moth trapping/bat detecting sessions and as you can see from the Diary, there is nearly always at least one of the Group onsite and willing to share their knowledge with anyone who's interested. I hope you feel a little more informed, please don't hesitate to ask if you need more information and you'd be very welcome at the next indoor meeting at 7:30 on Tuesday 19th January at the Chase Recreation Club in Chasetown High Street.
All the best, Graham Evans
16th December
Message no.106


Well, here I am just returned from the last meeting of the year of Chasewater Wildlife Group.   A different meeting in some ways, particularly the Xmas party celebrations which were excellent.  Many members brought along Xmas delicacies, even hot baked potatoes, as well as the seasonal mince pies.   We had coffee, tea and soft drinks on offer and the entertainment was brilliant a photographic show of the wildlife highlights of Chasewater in 2009 by our Chairman Neil Stych and member/photographer Phill Ward.  (It was good to see Phill back at our meetings again after his illness and he had obviously been very busy with his camera during the year).   It was a very good turnout too which shows how keen and committed all our members are.

But what wasn’t so good was to hear of the problems Chasewater is going through at the moment.   Lowering water levels, trees being felled, habitats destroyed, species threatened, disturbance increasing, and the future for some areas of the site and for some species looking a little bleak.   One begins to think that perhaps Lichfield District Council (who own and manage much of the site) don’t appear to consider the wildlife as important as some of the recreational activities that take place here, even though some of the habitats and species have legal protection by law. 

I got the impression tonight that the CWG has to embark on a much more proactive campaign if the wildlife of Chasewater is to survive.   The media and the politicians are all talking about Climate Change but I believe the threat to Chasewater’s habitats and wildlife is coming not from changes in the climate but from the direct action of man.  

I believe its time that we moved up a gear now.   We have years of knowledge of Chasewater, the species that live here - the birds, animals, plants, insects, etc.   We believe we know what keeps them here and what makes them leave, decline in numbers or even become extinct.    We need to make sure that those who have control of the management of the site and those who have the responsibility for seeing the important habitats and species are protected, actually demonstrate to us that they are committed to conserving and protecting those assets that the Chasewater site contains. 

The year 2010 has to be a year of ACTION by all of us.   Our children will not forgive us if we fail.  

Grandfather B  – who has been visiting the site for over 50 years.

25th November
Message no.105


The photos of the small and dainty looking Yellow legged Gull had me dashing to the literature. What a pity this bird does not have a black band on the bill for that would clinch it as an adult Armenian Gull. I note however in Olsen and Larsson Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America the summer plumaged Armenian Gull description states:
         (from March) 'head white and bill bright yellow with prominent gonys spot, dark markings (SOMETIMES LACKING) ..................
    The same book describes Armenian Gull as a weak semi-species with Yellow legged Gull (Liebers et al 2001) whatever that means!
     I would therefore suggest the the bird is probably an intergrade between a Y.L Gull and a true Armenian which is only a tentative species requiring further genetic analysis.
   There must be someone out there looking for a Phd. Maybe this could be considered!  (R B)
Thanks Roger,
Yes, I too read the same text and it certainly makes one think! The text also says that Armenian Gull is darker than Yellow-legged Gull but the illustration on p303 shows a tone of grey identical to the Chasewater bird. It was a striking bird in flight with very extensive black primaries but I didn't see the exact pattern. I hope to have an opportunity to photograph it again this weekend. Graham
18th October
Message no.104


Hi Graham, just e-mailing to say that myself, Dave Collins and Ken Ball saw the Black-throated Diver today lift off and circle round gaining height at 12.00 until it was a speck and then heading high northwards at 12.15. During the time it was circling it was attacked by first a common buzzard briefly, and then a more prolonged one by a large peregrine, the diver actually had to dive quite steeply to avoid it.  Cheers Simon Edwards
Thanks Simon,
Neil Stych and I also saw the diver take flight. We were at the south end of the dam and initially it headed east, high above the canal, only to return and head off to the north (over the Slurry Pool area) but again it turned back, came right over us and headed north towards Chasetown and I lost it as it seemed to be turning east! As you say, it was a good 15 minutes and as we followed it through bins 1-2 Buzzards came into view but I missed the Peregrine encounter; I imagine that was when it was over towards Cuckoo Bank and we lost it for a moment.
All the best, Graham.
26th August
Message no.103
I would like to say I have just found this website through Facebook and it really is fascinating. I live in Norton East so Chasewater is my next door neighbour and my back garden; it makes me so proud to live here.
About 4 - 5 Sundays ago me and my boyfriend were taking our usual daily walk, we decided to walk around Chasewater as  it was a nice day, thankfully I thought best to take my binoculars. You couldn't contain our surprise and delight as we spotted two deer feeding off the bushes. This was right by the Norton East Road and the pool on Norton East Road. There was a gentleman with a camera taking plenty of pictures, maybe he was a man off this site? If so I really would love to see the pictures.
Also a couple of weeks ago I was getting ready for work, it must have been about 7:30am, I looked out my bedroom window and on my washing line, feeding off my fatball holder was a Great Spotted Woodpecker! I even got my dad out of bed (also a wildlife fan) and he confirmed that yes it was a Great Spotted woodpecker (I thought it was too good to
be true). Anyway the woodpecker stayed picking at fatballs for going on 5minutes. I thought you may appreciate my sightings. Also if you have any volunteers opportunities, cleaning rubbish up or anything else I would love to help you. Especially the pool on the Norton East Road, which I feel people really disrespect daily with rubbish and so on. Sorry for the essay, I'm just really passionate about this subject.
Best wishes and hope to hear from you soon.
Miss Kerry Seery
Thanks Kerry for your kind words of encouragement. Its great to find yet another person from Norton who realises just what a jewel they have on their doorstep. Keep your eye on the website for any events or meetings to which you would be most welcome and carry on being watchful for any disrespectful activities that need to be reported to the police or the Chasewater Rangers and which we will highlight on this website.
3rd-6th August
Message no.102


Ref: Message no. 93

I've just picked up the story after I visited Chasewater yesterday and saw a man with two husky type dogs yanking them along. Is this the owner concerned? If so he is clearly a regular.

Incidentally I saw two red deer stags ( not roe deer as has been suggested)
Hi John, Thanks for your observations. I think that the husky owner you refer to is not the person responsible for the Swan death in April. He regularly walks his two dogs along the Sailing Shore to Pimpernel Point on the North Shore and seems to have reasonable off lead control although that hardly helps the 'protected' Little Ringed Plovers and their two chicks that are frequently disturbed by such dog owners along this stretch of shoreline.
Thanks for that Graham...two and two don't always make four of course. I was nevertheless unimpressed with his attitude towards his dogs which led to my speculation. Perhaps a few signs might help.
Thanks John, I was told that LDC were going to put signs up encouraging dog owners to keep their dogs on the lead on the North Shore but clearly they never got round to it. The dog situation doesn't get any better; just tonight as we were leaving, having looked at the gull roost, there were 7 uncontrolled dogs on the small area of shoreline (resulting in no birds) north of the Waterski Centre and typically the owners paid no attention when one one of the dogs defecated on the adjacent path.
Thanks Graham..........Is it worth another go re signs? I've spent many happy hours being 'appalled', 'amazed' and 'utterly disgusted' with some degree of success. My pal and I live in Birmingham and I could use the 'occasional visitor'.......'fall in standards of behaviour' angles. Who should I contact? Is there a local paper?
You needn't be concerned that I'm some campaigning nutter...I'm not. Like you I love the outdoors and most of what goes with it.
Thanks John,
I am emailing the LDC Countryside Officer, a real friend of the CWG, about the failed appearance of the North Shore dogs on leads signs and other issues so I hope to soon have more information. The local press always like a story, examples of which are still on our front page.
30th July - 4th August
Message no.101


I am currently designing a website for local businesses in the Norton Canes area, the bulk of the advertising space will be free and only the featured business will have to pay a small fee to cover web site costs.
I was wondering if I could use some of your fine images to enhance this new venture because most come from the local area to Norton Canes and I feel they are of excellent quality.
The web site has not been optimised but I shall do this within the next two weeks, the website can be found if you type directly into your browsers address box
I look forward to hearing from you; I could put a link on the new site for your organisation. 
Regards, Keith
Hi Keith,
Thanks for your kind comments regarding the photographs on our site. The copyright for each photo remains with the individual photographers so it depends on which photos you wish to use. I can see that your site is a genuine venture and appreciate that it could be enhanced by appropriate photos. Please get back to us with more detail as to your needs and we may be able to sort something out. Thanks for asking.
All the best, Graham
The images I would presently like permission for are:
Slurry Pool - April 4th 2009  © G Evans (present page)
April skies (© J Spencer) (present page)
Slurry Pool - March 2009 © G Evans (present page)
Red Deer on October 14th © P. Ward (present page)
Image of Swans (right) Plant Swag is usually a good nest site for Mute Swans but will they try to walk their brood across the by-pass to the main lake? (GE) (May 2009)
Also if you have any images of the village of Norton Canes which would be suitable I would be very grateful.
Regards, Keith
Hi Keith,
I will send you higher resolution copies of my three photos that you wish to use and all I ask is for a copyright and name credit and a link to our website. As for the other photos I will try to contact the owners.
All the best, Graham
26th July
Message no.100


Hi Graham,
Could you possibly identify a caterpillar I have seen over Chasewater? It was 2 inches long, lime green, 6 or 7 black stripes, each stripe has 3 or 4 yellow dots.
Regards, Geoff Thompson
Hi Geoff,
Your caterpillar sounds like it may have been that of an Emperor Moth. If you do a Google image search you should be able to find a picture to see if it matches what you saw. They feed on heather and bramble and have occasionally been seen at Chasewater.
All the best, Graham
7th July
Message no.99


Thought you might be interested to see this

Glad to see the site back, was quite missing you at the weekend!
Best wishes, Bob

29th May
Message no.98
I notice on your sightings report that four Roe Deer have been seen on Cuckoo Bank. I'm a member of Staffordshire Mammal Group and am really excited about this as we have very few records of Roe Deer within the county. I've made the County Recorder for Mammals (Derek Crawley) aware of the sighting too. He's also very interested. Do you have any extra
information? For instance were the deer seen individually or in a group (this time of year the Does should be on their own having their Fawns and the Bucks should be feeding up for the rut in July/August). Have the deer been seen there before or is this the first known sighting? Both Derek and I would be grateful for any extra information you can provide.
Best wishes, Paul Thomas.
Thanks Paul, I too have been in touch with Derek and have given him the information I received and the email address of the person who reported the deer. I hope he can get confirmation of the record, since there has never been any confirmed sightings of Roe Deer in the Chasewater area. All the best, Graham.
24th-30th May
Message no.97

Hi Guys

 Around midday today, Sunday 24th May 09, we saw a Buzzard gracefully riding the thermals over Chase Terrace, a truly inspiring and fascinating sight lasting for several minutes. Some distance below it was a smaller bird, because of the height and my limited knowledge I can’t be sure of the smaller bird, it looked like a Blackbird in size and shape, so for now I will call it a Blackbird.

Slowly the Blackbird rose up towards the Buzzard until there was a confrontation, it appeared that the Buzzard was attacking the blackbird. As it turned out, it was the other way round, and after some diving and attacking from the blackbird, the Buzzard turned and flew off, chased closely by the Blackbird. When it was almost out of sight, the Blackbird returned leaving the Buzzard to go on his way in the direction of Gentleshaw Common. I have witnessed a Buzzard in the Gentleshaw Common area on a few occasions so it seems likely that it was the same one.

Sadly all this happened too high to get any photographs that would look more than a couple of dots in the sky.

Trevor Stevenson

Birds of prey are very frequently 'mobbed' by smaller birds that appear to bravely assert themselves against a potential predator. It's always worth looking for a raptor if you see or hear unusual behaviour from smaller bird. The 'chink chink' call of a Starling almost always indicates the presence of a Sparrowhawk, a tight concentration of hirundines points to the likelihood of a hunting Hobby and a sudden bout of crow 'cawing' frequently produces a Raven or Buzzard. Graham

Hi Graham

Thank you for your interesting reply, it makes sense....

I have seen that sort of behaviour on TV documentaries, but never in real life, it was fascination to see even though I thought at one time that we were about to witness the demise of a small bird, but no....
May I mention that I was originally told about you by a mutual friend and it was during a chat that he told me about your site. I am interested in photography and have been for most of my life, something I inherited from my father I think. As the time for retirement is close, I have refreshed my interest and am enjoying what I am doing. Natural history is my main interest, but I didn’t know that until I started it, and I have taken some pictures around Chase Water and the Chase. If you’re interested, I have a few of my pictures up Flickr. The address is:

You are very welcome to take a look and if you feel inclined I welcome comments especially constructive ones. My downfall is my lack of knowledge regarding wildlife and identifying species, some knowledge yes, but not a deep enough one, so I am trying to learn that as well as take pictures, looks like my retirement is going to be busy.

I have taken up enough of your time, and thanks again for the posting on your site.

Kindest regards


Thanks Trevor and good luck with your wildlife photography. A word of warning .....its wonderfully obsessive! You've taken some great photos; the terrapin photo has certainly impressed and amused many people. All the best, Graham.
18th May
Message no.96


Hi guys
Thought you might be interested in the latest article on my blog, a rant and some pictures of illegal motorbikes at Chasewater.
What's the best way to handle these situations - call the Rangers Office, or the boys in blue?
I've taken the liberty of linking to your site - it provides so much useful and interesting info that it's invaluable.
Best wishes, Bob
Thanks Bob, We have been advised to contact the local police whenever we see an illegal activity taking place rather than taking the law in our own hands. Only tonight there were two lads racing around the 'Island' on a clapped out scrambler pouring out plumes of smoke!
All the best, Graham 
2nd -4th May
Message no.95


Hi Graham
Brian and I saw two cranes this morning at 9.15 am.  We were in the car traveling on the Brownhills Road from Norton Canes towards Brownhills and they were flying towards Chasewater.  Later this afternoon we went a walk to Chasewater and  saw three cranes at 4.26 pm by the power boat club.  They flew from the south and appeared to pick up thermals and soar upwards eventually flying off north. Have there been any other sightings please?
best wishes
Jackie Jones  
Thanks Jackie, I was too tired to turn on the computer last night and look at what I missed! I was cycling back home from Chasewater at 9:15am so the Cranes probably flew over my head! There has been a pair of Cranes doing a tour of the midlands for over two weeks and I was lucky enough to see them over Chasewater on April 14th; the first ever record for the site. What is particularly amazing about your sightings yesterday was the appearance of 3 birds which sound like they may be nothing to do with the roaming pair (I was at the Slurry Pool at the time!!). Could you please email a description of the sightings so I could send the record to the County Recorder, I would hate to loose such a super record for Chasewater and the county.
All the best, Graham
Hi Graham
Thank you for the response to the email regarding the Cranes.  Please see attached description of the sightings for the records.  Hope this is what is required.
Date:  02-05-09
Time:  09.15
Venue:  Chasewater Country Park
Weather:  Sun/cloud, visibility good.
Description: 2 Cranes flying north over Chasewater. Long straight necks, trailing legs. Classic Crane profile very distinct.
Viewed: From Brownhills Road - M6 Toll Road Bridge for approximately 30 seconds
Date:  02-05-09
Time:  16.26
Venue: Chasewater Power Boat Club
Weather: Sunny, occasional cloud, visibility very good.
Description:  3 Cranes, initially flying south towards Chasewater - circled over Chasewater 3 times, flew off north and soared on rising thermals. Black primaries and secondaries clearly visible contrasting against the grey upper wing. Long extended black neck, trailing feet. Classic Crane profile.
Viewed: 5 minutes with 10 x 40 binoculars at approximately 250 metres.
Thanks Jackie and Brian,
Sounds good to me. You must have been as excited as I was when I found them in April! I've emailed a copy to the County Recorder, so we'll now have to wait and see. Graham
May 7th - I've had notification from the County Recorder that both these Crane records have been accepted. Good News!
May 9th -That is good news.  We are really pleased.  Thank you very much Graham. Jackie and Brian.
30th April
Message no.94
Hi Graham
I was told about your web site today and was pleased to find so much information about Chasewater and the wildlife there. As a fairly regular visitor, its good to know there are people with such a passion for the conservation of the area.
I was taking photographs at Chasewater last Saturday, the 25th April when I came across what I thought was an unusual sight. A terrapin was on an old tyre that was supporting a no swimming sign at a rather unusual angle. This might be a regular sight for you, I don't know, but I am attaching the picture for your interest.
Hoping this is of use to you and would be interested to know if anyone has information about this terrapin and how he came to be living there.
Regards Trevor Stevenson
Thanks Trevor, The terrapin was in the same place last summer and could have been around for some time before that since it must be quite an age, being so large. All terrapins in Britain are the result of releases or escapes from captivity and the majority are the Red-necked Terrapins from North America. However, I think our specimen may be of a different species but I'm yet to find out what it is. They can cause problems in that they will eat our native amphibians so although it is quite a character, it is not particularly welcome.
29th April
Message no.93
'Horror as dogs maul swan to death at Chasewater' to read this Chase Post article (May 7th) click here.
Hi Graham,
Was shocked to read on the diary about the swan being killed by two dogs.
Has this incident been reported to the police or possibly the RSPCA?
Perhaps Lichfield would now have to take the care of wildlife at Chasewater more seriously
Regards Peter S

Everybody who is concerned by the current increase in disturbance will be ANGRY at the latest report of two husky dogs being allowed by their owner to kill a Mute Swan.  THE OWNER/S MUST BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. 

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO THE OWNERS OF THESE TWO DOGS ARE? ANYONE WHO SEES TWO HUSKY DOGS AND THEIR OWNERS AROUND CHASEWATER SHOULD PHOTOGRAPH THEM SO WE CAN ATTEMPT TO IDENTIFY THEM.  If the two Waterski Club Members can also be spoken to and persuaded to give a description of the incident and the owners of the dogs to the Police, then they may be able to prosecute them.  

CHASEWATER HAS CONSERVATION DESIGNATIONS AND YET IT APPEARS THAT LICHFIELD DISTRICT COUNCIL IS ALLOWING THIS WONDERFUL AND UNIQUE WILDLIFE AREA TO BE INCREASINGLY DISTURBED AND DAMAGED.   ITS ABOUT TIME WE MET THE MANAGERS OF CHASEWATER AND PRESSED FOR SOME BIG CHANGES.   NATURAL ENGLAND (the Government Agency responsible for protecting our wildlife habitats and natural assets) SHOULD ALSO BE INFORMED OF THE DAMAGE THAT IS OCCURRING AND ASKED TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE MANAGERS OF CHASEWATER (i.e. Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council) to manage the site so that wildlife can survive and increase.   Not only does it give a lot of people a great deal of pleasure being able to see the plants, insects, animals and birds (many quite rare) around Chasewater, but the wildlife itself should be protected for its own sake and for future generations of humans to see and study and appreciate.

Many people are now concerned that the Managers of Chasewater (which includes the Councils) have given priority to the human recreational activities at Chasewater to the detriment of its biggest asset – the wildlife that inhabits the area.  AM I ON MY OWN IN BELIEVING THIS?

Bevan Craddock

Hi Bevan, thanks for such a thorough response. I know that the Dog Warden has been informed, we don't know if the police have been informed and the Rangers are 'keeping their eyes open'.  LDC has invited Neil and myself to a meeting at the Council offices on May 8th to discuss their 'Chasewater Project' which I have been assured will have some good news regarding LDC's commitment to Chasewater's wildlife conservation. We will have to wait and see but I can assure you that we will certainly make them aware of our dissatisfaction with the current accepted anarchy. Gray
Graham, has the incident with the swan been reported to the police? To the wardens at Chasewater? To Lichfield District Council? To the local press? To the national press? Natural England?
When will it be apparent to those who manage areas like Chasewater that dogs out of control, off leads, fouling the area, harassing dogs on leads, harassing wildlife, killing wildlife need to be controlled. The owners need to be prosecuted and an example made!
What would the reaction be if the dead swan was replaced by a dead child!
We should use every channel open to us to publicise this occurrence and get some action taken (IW).
As native wild birds, swans enjoy statutory protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to intentionally injure, take or kill a wild swan. 

The Act similarly protects the eggs and nests of swans. It is an offence to take or possess the egg of a wild mute swan, or to damage or destroy the nest of a mute swan whilst in use or being built.

Anyone seeing an offence against swans or other wildlife is encouraged to contact their police Wildlife Liaison Officer through their local police station (IW).

14th April
Message no.92




15th April

First of all love your blog, very informative and always a delight to read .
I don't think I ever would have taken the time to explore Cuckoo Bank without reading your sightings there, its a wonderful place, I always feel as though its so far detached from the busy bustle of the world , and yet only a short distance from towns and industry, etc.
As a very keen (amateur) naturalist I was hoping you might know how Grass Snakes are getting on in these regions, Chasewater and Cuckoo Bank. Hopefully still clinging on to existence.
Thanks very much, Glyn Taylor
Thanks for your kind comments. Although I've never seen a Grass Snake in the area, I know there have been 2-3 sightings in the past 2-3 years near the canal, near the Feeding Station and near Chase Terrace. So they do indeed seem to be hanging on. Have you had any local Grass Snake encounters? Graham
Hello Graham, excellent news, just knowing there are Grass Snakes about in the area enlightens one's experience when walking, heightens my senses somehow. They are a beautiful gem in the natural history of the UK.
We've only ever been so lucky as to have seen a Grass Snake once in the Cotswolds, so I shall keep my eyes peeled from now on when out on your patch!
Cheers for the information. Kind regards, Glyn.
14th April
Message no.91


15th April

Dog walkers, quad bikes, scramble bikes, sail boats, anglers and fires!  And that's just in the first 10 days of April. I really admire your persistence in visiting Chasewater in the face of such constant adversity.  And I guess you've never got a shotgun handy when you need one...  Peter

Its all made worthwhile when you have a day like today (see the Diary). The fact that I couldn't tell whether the Cranes were calling because of the noise of the south shore Easter fairground just somehow makes the experience uniquely surreal. Gray

Definitely a red letter day and just reward for your perseverance!  And photographs, too.  Well done!  Peter
10th April
Message no.90


Thought you might like to see some of the photos I've been able to take this week in and around Chasewater. The displaying wren and the deer were shot in the wood near the dam wall, the Reed Bunting at the feeders on Tuesday.
The Waxwings were shot today in Lawnswood Avenue. They used TV aerials and telegraph posts to perch whilst diving in and out of berry trees in the gardens. I counted at least 50 in the flock.
Regards John.
7th April
Message no.89


Can whoever is managing this site please get their act together ? Over the last week or so the April page has disappeared to be replaced what I would guess is an old version of the page.
I'm interested in the goings on at Chasewater and want to get over there myself at some point but it's frustrating when updates keep disappearing.
Rant over. Many Thanks. Andy Colman
It would be a pleasure to meet you Andy; you don't happen to drive a quad bike do you? Graham
Your own internet browser stores web pages so that when you revisit a site they load up quickly. When a website is updated, your browser may still show the old version (cache). You can set up your browser to delete your cache regularly. Alternatively if an old page is showing simply press refresh and the newer page will show. I can assure you that the website is functioning perfectly well and those readers who clear their cache during routine computer maintenance will not experience your problem. If you have any more queries then please don't hesitate to ask (nicely).
Natalie Ward.
5th April
Message no.88
Took a long walk around Chasewater yesterday with my kids, saw a few herons and our first green woodpecker around the Cuckoo Bank area. Here are a few photos from the feeding station, please feel free to add them to the website if you want.  I am not sure if the tits are willow or marsh? Stu
 31st March
Message no.87
 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Peacock butterfly were seen at the bye-pass end of the dam. I report this because of last year's shortage of the Small Tortoiseshell.    Tony H  CWG 
17th March
Message no.86
Hi Graham,
There were 4 Redshanks on the north shore, opposite main island at about 2-30pm. Shortly after they were disturbed and flew, eventually landing on the main island, Regards Peter Sitch
2nd March
Message no.85
Hi Graham,
The all white Black-headed Gull was also in the roost. It was seen from the wooden platform looking north towards Fly Bay.
Regards, Graham & Chris Weston
20th February 2009
Message no.84
Today was the first full day of operation for the wind-turbine at the Outdoor Education Centre. Please could you carefully monitor any possible effects the turbine may be having upon the wildlife throughout the year. Already we have noticed a probable disturbing effect the turbine has upon the roosting gulls. Graham
18th - 24th
Message no. 83
Today was one of those days when I wonder why I bother! Despite telling all the right people about the very rare Round-leaved Wintergreens on the North Shore and being assured that no harm would come to them when the scrub clearance was undertaken, the contractors were not told about them and they decided to burn the willow brashings directly over many of the wintergreens and trample over many more. This is neither effective heathland management or enhancing bio-diversity! Please reply with your thoughts.  Graham
I was angry but not completely surprised to hear about the incompetent destruction of the wintergreens. I was wondering- were they growing in the new paddock area? If so what effect would grazing cattle have had on these rare plants and their survival? Nat Ward 
The effects of grazing this year needs to be monitored closely. It was felt that the wintergreens should benefit but it depends on factors such as where the cattle decide to graze, loaf and relieve themselves! Gray


29th January 2009
message no.82
Hi , having spent an enjoyable week on and off at Chasewater I wondered if you would like these pictures for your site, if not then no worries.
Jennie Anderson (Hednesford)
Thanks Jennie, I'm pleased that you enjoyed your time at Chasewater. Your photos are beautiful but whenever I try to download photos from this Yahoo Mail, they seem to go to some unknown and inaccessible part of my computer so I can't find them!
All the best, Graham Evans
29th January 2009
message no.81
Just a brief note to say that the flock of Waxwings were still in the High Street / Silver Court area of Brownhills this morning.
Regards, Graham Weston
PS We like the Chasewater website
Thanks Graham, I wonder how long they'll stay as they've now more or less stripped all but 3 of the trees. Its great to have then in the area. All the best, Graham Evans
29th January 2009
message no.80
Just a brief note to let you know that the juvenile Iceland Gull was in the roost on the evening of Tuesday 27th Jan. I and a colleague didn't manage to get to Chasewater till about 4:30 but we found the gull almost immediately roosting on the second jetty/pontoon. Thanks for your informative website.
Ron Kinrade (Shropshire O.S.)
Thanks Ron, The gull roost was being viewed from the west shore that night so anything on the jetty would not have been seen. All the best, Graham Evans
23rd January 2009
message no.79
I would just like to say how beautiful the photo by Jim Almond of the Waxwings is. They are wonderful birds and I photographed them in Penkridge over Xmas but Jim has caught them in a really striking pose – all 13 of them in a perfect pose and the picture is perfectly balanced. Now I would really like that picture on my wall Jim.   Bevan 
21st January 2009
message no.78


I want to bring people's attention to some issues surrounding dog control at Chasewater.
1) It is a crime to allow your dog to disturb wildlife- this includes allowing your pet to scatter the ducks and gulls on shorelines around the reservoir. A young man with a collie was seen recently to thoroughly enjoy watching his dog chase a large flock of birds that were gathered to feed on bread near the castle. Dogs should also not be allowed to chase the deer.
2) You should not have a dog off it's lead unless it is fully and perfectly trained to recall. Today, a lady with a blue merle border collie continuously allowed it to approach other dogs while it completely ignored her attempts to call it back. It was a dog that displayed dominant behaviour and was aggressive towards my dog (which was on the lead). The collie was then allowed (after a failed recall) to approach a German Shepherd who was also being nicely controlled on a lead. Again the collie displayed aggressive behaviour to which the poor threatened  German Shepherd understandably responded. The lady described her dog as socialising; I can honestly say she had no idea how to socialise a dog correctly. It is bad manners to allow your dog to approach another, especially one that is on a lead, without asking the owners permission first. Socialising is fun with the agreement of everyone involved. A dog that cannot be recalled is a danger to itself and a nuisance to others.
3) Not picking up your dogs faeces is an offence, there is no excuse. If you can't see a bin, carry it until you do see one. There are plenty of gadgets , bags and scoops designed to keep this process simple and hygienic. DO IT!
By not abiding by simple guidelines and common decency people are risking the council introducing strict dog control orders- bad owners will then only have themselves to blame.
Nat Ward
Nat, I'm really pleased you have made these points (but saddened that you had to) and I'm sure that all reasonable people will agree that its only the irresponsible and selfish dog owners that prevent nature conservation, birdwatching and dog ownership being perfectly compatible and complimentary interests and activities.  Gray
21st January 2009
message no.77


Myself, husband and dog Alfie visited Chasewater today, first time for many many years (used to live at Chase Terrace). We walked all around the lake and in the area of Chasewater heaths probably not far from fly pool (looking at the sketch map of Chasewater) we came across a herd of approximately 12 red deer. In order not to disturb them we took a detour to try and avoid them, but met up with them again. at this stage the group was split we did not want to walk in between them in case they got nervous so my husband whistled and the group to the right of him, ran past one by one to join the group on the left they then just stood there and watched us walk by. I so wish I had had my camera with me, but i was not expecting to see deer so close to Chasewater. We had a lovely day and will certainly be back together with camera and binoculars.
Regards Pam Ferriday
9th January 2009
message no.76
Hi, Didn't anyone else see the Egret that was by the jetty of the power boat club yesterday afternoon (8/01/09)? The time was about 15.00. Tony T
No-one else has reported a (Little) Egret, so thanks for the news and I will certainly look out for it over the weekend. I would certainly appreciate more details of this sighting. Graham