At vast expense a mission was launched this morning to see if there were the prerequisites for life on Mars(h). It can now be revealed exclusively on this blog that I have found traces of Water. You could say significant traces. It might well be expected that any life forms would, by necessity, be long-legged, possibly having a long bill for probing in the Marshian substrate and quite likely look similar to the surrounding habitation, i.e. mostly brown and stripey.
However despite deploying the most up to date monitoring technology absolutely no sign of any life forms were found. Naturally this extensive scientific research calls into severe doubt previous wild claims of what some earlier missions to the area have dubbed 'Snipe'. Any further reports must, as a consequence, be viewed with extreme scepticism. It is unlikely that any further missions (at least by me) will be undertaken in this extremely hostile environment.
Back on Terra Firma: Waterworks NR was quite productive with c.100 Teal and a few Shoveler. A few vocal and visible Reed Buntings, singing Cetti's Warbler in bed 15, so maybe additional to the one in bed 17 the other day, and a Water Rail in bed 16. In answer to the question 'Are there any Snipe hiding out of sight around the back of the Reeds in bed 16?' I can say, No! (Ask me no questions and I shall tell you no lies.)
SITREP: 'Status' on the patch remains very much at 'Quo'. We have had no new arrivals for over a month (since Scaup #1 on No.4), in fact we have lost three species since the end of last year (Whitethroat, Reed Warbler and Blackcap). All is not lost however as cold weather is promised and will surely produce something new.......Any ideas?