Strangely, the outflow from the settlement ponds was quite rapid, even though the pump on Manor farm was most resolutely off. Obviously there are pumps operating on Chandlers farm (it was the original quarry site), and it is possible that some further extraction is taking place. I need to check on the works buildings. I read somewhere that 50,000 tons of gravel was to be extracted from the ground where the buildings stood.
OK, on to the slides, most from Moor Green Lakes. I took my 'proper' camera as Wednesday morning was brilliantly sunny, with little wind. Conditions were not ideal. There was that slight haze you get when it is particularly sunny and not bone dry. However, interesting photos did result.
Let's start with an Oyster Catcher chick. I photographed, some weeks back, an Oyster Catcher sat on its nest on Plover island - an island we clear of weeds and vegetation every autumn. It then dutifully disappeared, but no sight of chick or mother was to be had. Well, hardly surprising as I tend only to visit the reserve once a week, and then for a fleeting few minutes only.
This week I took a speculative for subsequent inspection at home on my laptop. Sure enough, in one of the photos, I found mother Oyster catcher and chick. A bit fuzzy, but my lens does struggle at 600mm at distances over 75 yards.
Heading back to Moor Green Lakes, a Common Sandpiper made a welcome appearance on the sand bar in front of Colebrook hide. Whether this bird breeds on the reserve is a different matter.
Tern island is cleared of vegetation by MGLG volunteers every year. This used to occur in early January - normally on a bleak, cold, drizzly wind swept day. Last year the event was moved to October, in the hopes of kinder weather. It was mild, but with a torrential downpour of epic proportions.
This didn't stop MGLG volunteers from clearing the shoreline near Colebrook hide, but it did prevent them doing Tern island. Clearing the island was deferred to...January. Luckily the weather was kinder. I tend not to take the boat to Tern island. It's only a small thing, and tends to sit so low it is possible for water to lap over the gunwales. I do the sensible thing and stay with the shore party and hack back willow and such like from the shore line.
Here are some photos of the fruits of our labours. Black-headed gulls seem to be the main users of Tern island. There are a number of ducks and geese, but on Wednesday I finally photographed some Terns. I'm not very good at identifying gull type birds, so may have not noticed the terns before now. No idea what flavour of tern they are.
Also in this slide show are a couple of courting Great Crested Grebe and the ever present Cormorants.
Two weeks ago, I noticed a steady stream of gulls flying between Tern island and the north bank of Colebrook lake (north). I thought, at the time, that the gulls were feeding. It had rained heavily, and I figured the ground was nice and soft allowing earthworms and other grubs to be near the surface.
This week, armed with my proper camera (due to it actually being sunny), what the gulls were up to was revealed when cropping them out of photos. They were gathering nesting material!