Keeping coy, ferruginous duck, West Park

Keeping coy, ferruginous duck, West Park

Some of the time, the West Park ferruginous duck showed itself clearly. At other times it was hard to catch even a glimpse.

Keeping coy, ferruginous duck, West Park

Here it was hanging out with a group of tufties as usual, but sticking close to the island. It was behind the protective railing, and under the overhanging branches. Just occasionally, it would emerge for a few secods while it needed a little more space to preen, then head back to cover.

Two goosander males, Bridgnorth

Two goosander males, Bridgnorth

Bridgnorth when the Severn remained high and turbid, this time in the aftermath of Storm Jorge. Two male goosanders among the expectant mixed flock at the Bylet feeding area. As someone arrived with bread, one of the males powered to be the first to get some of the offering. Fishing must have been hard in the opaque water.

Elf cups on the platform

Elf cups on the platform

Scarlet elf cups growing on a pile of fallen branches on the platform of the former Tettenhall station, along from the tea rooms at Cupcake Lane. They were at chest level, convenient for getting the camera winthin a couple of inches for close-ups.

West Park fudgie, fit and healthy

While we live through these strange times, this post with my thoughts on what’s happening will continue pinned to the top. From time to time I may try to update the ramblings.

In the meantime, new posts featuring local wildlife and nature posts will continue continue to be added below, though probably not as regularly as normal.

Fudgie fit and healthy

Some pictures of the West Park ferruginous drake. For once when I turned up it was showing well.

It looks fit and healthy. While this current crisis continues, please do everything you can to try to keep that way yourself, and to ensure the same for the people around you.

My age and medical history put me in the high-risk group. I came home last night after my second time in a week to one of the hospitals which has so far been under most pressure from the new lurgi. Two sessions in A & E, and over a day in a ward which is high in the list for getting overspill lurgi patients as patient numbers rise.

I’ve come away more impressed that ever what the staff are doing and will do to care for those most threatened, by other serious conditions as well as this new virus.

I’ve also come away even more worried than I was before about what happens if (or when) the numbers of cases rise to levels already experienced in neighbouring countries like Italy.

If that happens, I know the NHS front line staff will do whatever they can. But they are coping in a service which has been run down for years. Short of staff. Short of intensive care beds for a sudden surge in demand. Limited reserves of supplies including of the protective wear they will need as they work under pressure in the most infective environments of all.

We need to be doing everything we can to keep both ourselves and everybody else clear of the infection, to reduce those loads on the health service. This government’s actions and advice seems to be moving closer to the kinds of serious responses which are needed. But my (hopelully sober if sombre) assessment is restrictions will need to increase soon, and we should be acting ourseves now to anticipate those as far as possible.

Don’t panic, but keep sceptical about the government’s reassurances about how bad the situation is. It is under control now, but the rate this spreads means it only takes a few days to flip from minor problems to Italian type levels.

We are only just behind our other west European neighbours. Here in Wolverhampton possibly we are very little indeed behind, closely chased by the rest of the Black Country and Birmingham.

Our actions need to be taking effect NOW.

Do everything the government is advising – and add your voice to those who are saying the government needs to instruct, not just advise.

Keep up to date on government advice, but if possible also try to follow what neighbouring countries are doing, eg Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain. Most are taking more stringent measures against threats which are not, whatever our media are saying, much more severe than already happening here. It’s way down my list of priorities, but I would like to post links to English language sources of this information.

If you can, begin to follow those other governments’ stricter guidelines as far as possible now, and encourage those around you to do the same.

Start planning now for how you and yours cope when these stricter rules come in. I’m expecting it in days not weeks. If everyone in your household is outside the vulnerable categories, build into those plans finding out what you can do for at-risk neighbours or to help the grass roots groups which are forming now for mutual aid. I’m trying to get in touch to see what I can do even while self-isolating.

A Facebook group has been set up to keep Wolverhampton folk in contact and begin organising more neighbourhood based self help.

When making plans to cope, don’t just prepare for taking care of yourselves physically, but also the emotional strains of a new and stressful way of living. Binge watching streaming videos might help you from going up the wall, but not if that’s all you do for too long – also not if everybody does it all the time leading to the very slight chance the internet might not cope.

Don’t panic buy.

Don’t automatically assume everybody with a supermarket trolley piled high is panic buying. NHS workers are already doing overtime all the hours god sends, but still have to take care of their families. There will be people bulk shopping for their own families and for vulnerable neighbours. If you see anyone who is panic buying, make your responses as robust as you think appropriate within the law.

For this website, I’ve got about a week of posts already in the pipeline. Beyond that, a stock of recent and older pictures not yet posted may get put up as and when I feel like it until things get back towards normal. I may also try to add to the information here, possibly also adding my voice to the rants about what should be done that isn’t done.

Most important: take care out there, and as the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy says – DON’T PANIC.

Dribbling swan pair (courtship dance)

Dribbling swan pair (courtship dance)

Swan pair on West Park’s boating lake, part way through a courting dance. The dance is a long period of synchrosised actions. It includes spells were the birds alternately dip their heads under the water, then raise them to dribble out the water they have filled their mouths with.