With a headline like that how can you not read this week's 'thrilling' instalment. Our bulldozer driver has been a busy little bee, this week. Also, it has to be said, have the lorry drivers. They have been all over the land mass and the latest infill near the pump station; well only the bulldozer was on the latter part. Looking at the forensic evidence (i.e. caterpillar tracks in t'mud) our bulldozer driver also took a wee jaunt over to the Finch pond infill, and flirted briefly with the Longwater road entrance.
The upshot of all this activity on the land mass and around the mighty heap was that my stomp was much easier. No slogging through gooey mud, though I still had to be careful where I stepped. There is still a lot of that grey mud the consistency of quicksand lurking around.
Infill has continued apace on the north and west shore of Cormorant lake (south), plus the east shore near the pump station. This will continue over the coming weeks or, dare I say, months. I shall stick my neck out and say that the scrape will be a feature. Inert are taking a lot of care to infill around it.
I have mixed feelings about the scrape. One part of me wants it as large as possible, or even to have more than one scrape. Another part of me (that part frozen to the core on a Sunday morning, stood on an exposed scrape with driving rain and biting wind, clearing weeds and shrub) wants the scrape to remain its current size. Nah, go for a big'un - we're hard! :-) :-) :-)
I did think of hopping over to the north embankment to take a photo of the latest infill. However, after an hour of walking around the site with the remnants of a filthy rotten cold, I decided to head home and make myself a cup of hot coffee.
Oh, the pump was silent. Strangely, water levels were on the low side in Cormorant lake, even with spill over from Manor lake south. I suspect they will rise dramatically after storm Freya hits tomorrow morning. That will make a mess of the mud for Monday. It could be hard going for the bulldozer and trucks.
The erstwhile pump station bridge has taken a bit of a bashing this week. I didn't wander over to have a look see, but it did have one of its walls missing. Very strange.
We'll kick off the piccies with my best estimation about the extent of the latest infill. It's best guess on the drawing, partly as the google earth image was taken when water levels were much lower. Therefore I feel Inert have possible filled in more of Cormorant lake than I have given them credit for.
Now on to wildlife; I'll talk about Skylarks in a bit. There wasn't a huge amount around, this morning. Again, partly due to the time of year (i.e. gearing up for breeding), partly the activity going on and partly as a lot of the birds tend to fly off to feeding grounds shortly after sunrise. I did espy one Roe deer near the east embankment, plus something small, fast, brown and furry scurrying along side the gate at the Longwater road entrance. Possibly a rat or, due to its slenderness, a weasel.
I did spot about three Egyptian geese lurking around Cormorant lake north and Finch pond, plus the usual plethora of Canada geese and small flotilla of Tufted duck.
Now onto the Skylarks. I have heard a lot more Skylarks around Manor farm this year than I did last. And least years I made a particular effort to listen out for them. This year there is a cacophony of Skylark trill, and I see them flitting about all over the place; not just the grasslands or Chandlers farm. I wonder if they had a successful year last year.
I also noticed, for me at least, more Mute swans around Manor farm. Three yearlings seem to fly around together a lot. They were complemented by three adults, this morning.
There was a small flock of equally small birds that took off from the land mass near the copse. I was hoofing back to my car at the time, so it too me a while to get my camera up. By this time the flock had flown some considerable distance. I gave it a shot or three, but wasn't too hopeful as I was trying to pick out small, fast moving birds against a busy background, where the birds themselves were pretty much the same colour as the background. Plus, as you can see from the photos this week, light conditions were pretty poor.
Anyway, getting home and cropping their fuzzy images, and consulting the RSPB pocket bird book, there is a small possibility that I saw a flock of Hawfinch. Now don't get too excited. Remember, my bird spotting skills are second to bottom. Have a look at the images and decide for yourself. I thought they might have been Goldfinches, but the yellow wing flashes are absent.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.