After succumbing to being bashed and dinged by lorries, the old gate was removed some months ago. I spied a shiny new replacement gate, this Saturday, which wasn't there on Wednesday. I didn't walk up to it on Saturday, but it looked from where I was standing (on Manor farm) that it didn't fit.
The real surprise, and excitement, in one sense, was that Inert have started to infill Cormorant lake (north). This was always a funny little lake, hidden from view, bordered by high embankments and a gravel/shingle causeway/spit. Birds tended to be slightly ambivalent about it, partly, I suspect, due to the water levels going up and down so often. When high, it forms a proper lake/pond. When low, there are mud/sand banks, which are too exposed to predators to nest on, plus they get flooded quite often.
I'm sad to see Cormorant lake (north) being filled in. Whilst I didn't visit it often, the whole area has become sort of a friend to me over the years. Now they are disappearing.
Another surprise was that inert have built a bridge/crossing across the drainage ditch between Finch pond and Cormorant lake (south). This gives lorries easy access to Cormorant lake (north). About time to. I never understood why Inert have never done this before now. Previously, lorries would have an enormous detour, going west from the bailey bridge, swinging around north past the Longwater road entrance, then heading east by hugging the north embankment, before heading south around the ridge. It's about 3/4 of a mile. With the bridge/crossing in place, that distance is halved.
Inert had completed their flattening of the spoil they dumped between the pump and scrape before lockdown. They were, therefore, not working on Saturday morning. This meant I could stomp across the site unmolested. However, I delayed my visit until after 7:40 just to make sure digger and lorry were not there; but also this meant I started my walk from near the bailey, after walking around the south footpath and then hopping over the wire fence next to the transformer.
I was able to walk over to the scrape, on Saturday. I haven't really been able to walk on large areas of what was Finch pond or get any where near the scrape since about the new year. It has simply been too wet and the infill too boggy to walk on. I did manage to do the odd foray, by sticking to bulldozer tracks, to get within about 30m of the scrape. But to not venture close to the edge of any infill. However, all is dry and firm now, and I had no problem getting to the scrape.
Our pump was not chugging away. It hasn't done so for a couple of weeks now. Water levels are, thus, beginning to creep up.
The infill/upfill of the north and west shores of Cormorant lake (south) continue apace.Though strangely, I only saw two lorries at work on Wednesday. There was the heavy earth mover and a tipper truck. I might have arrived on a quiet day. The amount of work seems to suggest this.
Wild fowl are, to some degree, avoiding what is left of Cormorant lake. Understandable, given that it is now a lot smaller, and there is a lot of disruption. On the other hand, what was Finch pond is a buzz with birds and, presumably, small mammals - there are certain at least eight Roe deer. There are large numbers of Gold Finches, Pied Wagtails and Skylarks, and other small brown birds I cannot recognise. Most all birds appear to have had a very successful breeding season.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.