2010 - PROOF the breeding season extends well into SEPTEMBER on the Slea shows that any row boats on the Slea during August (as is planned) would have serious consequences for the wildlife... The Dabchicks had 2 babies of which I believe only 1 survived, it was well into September when they HATCHED so any row boats on the Slea during August would have destroyed the nest/eggs and driven away the adults. The Slea is too narrow for boats and this kind of wildlife to coexist, the Slea is only a few feet wide in places especially near the reeds where the Dabchicks nest and breed.

Lovely view…

A lovely view of a Kingfisher today, it was on a branch and we stayed looking at it for about 5 minutes πŸ™‚ Also saw the Coot and a Dabchick, no swans though so perhaps they were away stretching their wings. Kingfisher from the archives…
Kingfisher

First post of 2011

First post of 2011… The 2 swans were near the Doctors opposite the Hub, walking further downstream I had a surprise, as I walked a Coot made a line straight for me, I have not seen a Coot on the Slea for a couple of months, but I ‘think’ this is the same Coot as we had at one time last year. I say ‘think’ because I certainly cannot recognise one Coot from another, but as this Coot made straight for me and willingly accepted some food I ‘think’ it is, the Coot was certainly not shy on the Slea as most newcomers are.

I also had a very good view of the Kingfisher and also saw a Dabchick, I have also been told by 2 different people that a Little Egret has been seen a bit further downstream past the railway bridge.

Last post for 2010

Last post for 2010, this week I saw all three of the Dabchicks so lets hope a pair stay to breed during 2011, also the pair of swans were on the Slea but I didn’t see the ‘singleton’.

Just another image from my garden to finish off the year, one of my favourite birds and this species is sadly in decline but nobody knows why…

The Starling, πŸ™‚ Just look at those AMAZING colours…

A good day…

A good day on the Slea today πŸ™‚ Firstly I saw all 3 swans, a pair near the Hub and a loner past the Leisure Centre, so they are still around. Then I saw 2 kingfishers, the first landed directly on the opposite bank to where I was, I didn’t move to get my camera out because I knew the Kingfisher would fly off so I just stayed motionless and had a comparatively long time to enjoy the experience. That Kingfisher flew upstream and then another one came out of a small tree close by and flew downstream. On the way back I saw 2 Dabchicks, both upstream of the Leisure Centre but not together.

Today I saw…

Today I saw 3 swans and 2 Dabchicks on the Slea. 2 swans were together and seemed to be a ‘pair’ and the other one on its own further upstream. All three swans are obviously used to man as they have no fear in coming close if someone has something for them to eat πŸ™‚

Blackbird eating berries up near Cogglesford Mill…

No picture but….

No picture but just a quick post to say that this morning there were 2 Dabchicks between the Leisure Centre and Cogglesford Mill, also a Mute Swan was swimming up and down. Allan told me that the other day he saw 2 Kingfishers together and then another one flew by making 3 in total πŸ™‚

Ok I might not….

OK I might not live on the banks of the Slea but I am not that far away πŸ™‚ so here is a garden visitor that I do not want to hang around too long as it might end up eating all my other birds…

.. yes its a Sparrowhawk.

I have been told…

I have been told that the Dabchicks had 2 babies of which I believe only 1 survived, it was well into September when they hatched so any row boats on the Slea during August would have destroyed the nest/eggs and drive away the adults. This is PROOF that the breeding season on the Slea extends through August and well into September.

I might as well show a photograph while I am posting this, its from a recent trip to photograph Bears during the Salmon run and these 2 cute cubs (that I nicknamed ‘the delinquents’) kept coming toooooo near to us and had to be gently ‘repelled’ – thay only wanted to play with us though πŸ™‚

Did they say…

Did they say β€œBy doing it during the summer holidays the nesting should have finished.” —– Well I have just been told that 1 pair of the Dabchicks have started to nest and its half way through August – it will be well into SEPTEMBER before any eggs hatch, so if boats do come on the Slea then the baby Dabchicks will not hatch as the they will either be destroyed by a rower and/or the adults will abandon the eggs. This is the proof that β€œBy doing it during the summer holidays the nesting should have finished.” is COMPLETELY WRONG but it probably will not make any difference as the people who authorise and run the boats will probably never know πŸ™

August 20th 2008 and these baby Dabchicks were still in the nest which as you can see is just weeds ontop of the water, would they survive rowing boats ?

God help the Dabchicks if they nest…

God help the Dabchicks if they nest…

http://www.sleafordstandard.co.uk/news/Couple-to-set-up-rowing.6430017.jp

..note the last sentence..

“By doing it during the summer holidays the nesting should have finished.”

… when we have had Dabchicks nesting on the Slea they have ALWAYS nested during AUGUST, for example in 2008 this post…

http://www.lifeontheslea.co.uk/wp/?p=420

..shows that on August 15 the last Dabchicks had only just hatched and in 2007 this post…

http://www.lifeontheslea.co.uk/wp/?p=136

…shows the Dabs were still in the process of nesting halfway through August and this…

http://www.lifeontheslea.co.uk/wp/?m=200708

shows that Moorhens can also still be nesting nest 2/3 way through August.

So I do not believe they are correct when they say “”By doing it during the summer holidays the nesting should have finished.” — do you ???

If this goes ahead I believe that some wildlife will be killed just for a bit of fun on a rowboat, especially as it probably means that the boats can be hired by someone who has NEVER rowed before so there is a GREAT chance that they will bash into reeds etc which is exactly where Dabchicks, Moorhens and Coots like to nest πŸ™

Good and Bad News

The good news is that apparently there were TWO pairs of Dabchicks on the Slea this morning, if they both stay there could be a lot of fighting as they are reasonably close together.

The BAD news is that I have been told that someone has asked permission to have 2 ROW BOATS on the Slea between the Hub and the Mill, I assume this is for a commercial ‘passenger’ ferry – I really worry for the wildlife (especially Moorhens, Coots and Dabchicks) if this goes ahead because I am sure the oars and wash will destroy their nests πŸ™ The Slea is TOO NARROW for boats. A rowing boat and oars will almost touch BOTH banks in places and this is also exactly also the places where Moorhens. Coots and Dabchicks prefer to build their nests because these are the only places with reeds. I also wonder if the reeds will be removed to make way for the boats πŸ™

SURPRISE SURPRISE

SUPRISE SUPRISE, after the Navigation Trust ‘celebrated’ the opening of the new slipway and monstrosity brigde on Sunday the dam at the weir near the Mill was taken down. So did the Navigation Trust just dam the Slea to increase the water level ‘just’ for the boats, did they give a ‘dam’ (pun intended) about reducing the water level past the Mill, did they give a ‘dam’ about the wildlife and did they give a ‘dam’ about increasing the risk of flood with the dam – I will let you decide – but UNBELIEVABLE comes to mind, or some may think ‘irresponsible’ (But not me of course ?)

This is why I get so PI$$ED off…

This is why I get so PI$$ED off… a little while ago The Sleaford navigation Trust (I assume) asked the ‘people responsible’ for creating a dam on the Slea to stop, this was done it said because the people involved were worried about the wildlife not having enough water. This is obviously a little short-sighted because if you dam a river to bring the water level up you obviously make things worse down stream of the dam, but at least the people concerned did this with good intentions. Well the Navigation Trust (I assume again) have done EXACTLY the same by damming off the weir at Cogglesford Mill…
520-weir-block.jpg

…but this time is it done for the right or WRONG reason ?, a more cynical person than I πŸ™‚ might think that they want a boat to go up and down the river next Sunday to ‘Celebrate’ the opening of Monstrosity Bridge and the new slipway and need the water level higher – if so this would surely be UNBELIEVABLE. But even if this dam is so that some work on the weir itself can be done, then without letting water through somewhere else the wildlife downstream of the Mill will suffer with reducing water levels even though the water level below the Mill is LOW anyway. I would also like to know why this dam is allowed because we are told that even too much weed increases the danger of floods, so this dam must increase the danger also, one rule for etc etc

Also on the Slea at the moment are many baby ducklings and Moorhens, now Moorhens have a territory and if adults are pushed out of their territory (even temporarily) into another Moorhens territory they will be attacked, but if baby Moorhens do the same they WILL be killed, and a boat going up and down a river as narrow as the Slea will cause this to happen. Also Moorhens like to nest surrounded by water and wash from a boat on a narrow river may well wash the nest way. WHY WHY WHY cant this ‘celebration’ at least be at the end of the breeding season – perhaps because the Navigation Trust do not care or perhaps because they do not realise – I know which I think.

Anyway I go down the Slea to enjoy the wildlife but increasingly find I get home in a bad mood because people just do not realise that their actions are life and death to the wildlife, so reluctantly I have decided to stop going down the Slea (at least for a while) to try and get some sanity back – the wildlife have such a hard life even on a relatively ‘safe’ Slea but I just cannot bear to watch what the Navigation Trust get up to.

Unusual sighting on the Slea…

Unusual sighting on the Slea…
520-7325_7d_100m_f45_800_i400.jpg

… no not really, I have just been away photographing Whales and Dolphins (along with a Leatherback Turtle and CoryΒ΄s Shearwaters etc) in the Azores. I will post a whale shot soon also πŸ™‚ Photographing Whales from a moving boat is hard, photographing Shearwaters is also hard BUT photographing wild Dolphins is REALLY hard and the above is the best I could do and for every ‘passable’ shot there were 10-15 rubbish ones.

I have therefore not been down the Slea but Allan has told me he has seen a baby Kingfisher and 2 adults, also some baby Grey Wagtails have fledged near the Mill.