One event that is taking place is an open day on Moor Green Lakes on 29th September (Sun) from 10am to 4pm. Park in MGLG car park, and wander down the path to Birdfeeder Paddock. The open day is still being planned, but what is certain is that you can meet and talk to the various MGLG volunteers and recorders, plus be taken on tours of the reserve, which is not normally open to the public.
Whilst some birds have finished breeding, and some have started their migration, others are still raising broods or attempting second clutches. Cemex have, sensibly, continued the restoration of Chandlers farm. In turn this means I photograph the goings on from the safety of the Bailey bridge, as I do not visit the site on Saturdays.
The 'embankment' shown last week has been extended greatly, and a truly large edifice it is too. This is not unusual. One modus operandi for restoration appears to be: bulldoze an area flat, build up piles of spoil, bulldoze area flat, and repeat. Other times, spoil will be dropped and then bulldozed straight away.
Quite evident, chugging away, was the boulder sorter outer on the mighty spoil hill nearest the Bailey bridge. This week I witnessed tipper trucks reversing up a slope to drop their loads 15 or 20 feet (say 5 to 6 metres) above ground level. The track they trundle up is, from what I've seen Manor farm, not much wider than the lorry.
There was a digger, perched high on the heap, gathering soil, from where it was dumped, and placing it higher up. But what astonished me was seeing the bulldozer trundling back and forth on the spoil heap a the same level as where the soil was dumped. Misjudge the reversing, and there will be a catastrophic, if not fatal, fall. I take my hats off to the skill of the drivers and operators working at restoring this site.
Elsewhere: our pump remains steadfastly quiet, resulting in dramatic rises in water levels in the lakes and ponds as they steadily head back to normal. In contrast, water levels in Moor Green lakes had dropped. The gate to Manor farm also remains open - which it tends to be. Either someone forgot to shut it or it remains open by design. Who knows.
Tern island on Colebrook lake was surprisingly quiet and there were few gulls or terns about. Perhaps some have already slung theirs hooks and flown off with this year's brood or maybe go off foraging, teaching the chicks where to find grub.
What birds there were tended to be the usual. I wont, therefore, bore you with them. My focus has, recently, turned to insects. They are critically endangered and it is places like MGL, Manor farm and Fleet Hill farm that provide sanctuaries for them.
This week I decided to see how far I could push my cheap, mid-range smart phone. I tried photographing insects in flight. It has to be said that the insects I chose were fairly docile hoverflies, but they were moving and it is difficult for DSLRs or bridge cameras to focus on them as there tends to be so much background clutter.
I was quite astonished at the results, bearing in mind that my smart phone (with its 12mp camera) is one of the cheapest, mid-range models. I am not encouraged to try and photograph some less cooperative insects in flight e.g. Demoiselles and Dragonflies.
Note, there are three photos taken with a DSLR(2) and bridge camera(1).