I don't know if you can bear it, dear reader, but I have some further photos of the reserves in snow. Not as image intensive as last time. I have missed out some areas, but have included others as we took a different route back to the car park. These new areas cover the work done by the MGLG volunteers to wit, the hedging and sapling clearance.
Unlike its predecessor, the latest cold snap brought relatively wet snow, with large flakes, that clung better to vegetation, despite a much stronger wind. This resulted in a more wintery scene, with less scouring of snow.
There were more people braving the elements, with relatively heavy traffic obvious in the reserve's car park. Joggers were out in force. Admittedly the temperature was a kinder minus one degree centigrade, and I guess people were more used to the snow. I think someone actually used the Colnbrook hide!
Wildlife (aka birds) continued to be curiously absent. I don't know if many of the birds decided to migrate or simply spread themselves out over the various lakes as they were all free of ice. Even our normally reliable Roe deers only put in one appearance.
The exception to this were the bird feeders in the Moor Green Lakes Group car park and the feeding station. They were festooned with birds, and are quite used to people. I was able to snap a few shots of Long-tailed tits and they let be get within 15' (3m) of them. I am very jealous as the flocks that fly around our house rarely visit my bird feeder. Our regular visitors are Jays, Magpies, Blue tits, Great tits, Coal tits, Nuthatch, Great and Lesser spotted woodpeckers, Robins and Blackbirds, with the odd Dunnock, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Starling.
We kick off with Moor Green Lakes. Colnbrook hide was suitably decked in a deep layer of snow, as were Plover and Tern island. Snow was a good 6" (15cm) deep in places, though there was little drifting even in the high winds.
Moving along to the north edge of Manor farm. This week snow was nicely deep, caught in the grasses and sedges, up to 8" (20cm) deep in places. It made walking interesting rather than challenging. My partner had never walked along this section of the reserve. She was quite enthralled.
Scaling the upper east edge of the north embankment and getting down the ridge required great care due to the steepness of the slope and the slippery snow.
Again you will note that the lakes were not frozen, and there is a dearth of wildlife of the floaty kind.
A slight departure before the next slideshow. I often talk about the north embankment, ridge, east ridge, gravel spit, Hawthorn lake etc, and unless you walk along the reserve it is difficult to see how they relate to each other. The next three slides attempts to address that.
They were taken from the south side of Manor farm, next to the south shore of Cormorant lake and from the iron foot bridge. I have annotated them to, hopefully, give you a fighting chance of understanding the topography. What is neat about the snow covering is that it delineates features quite nicely.
Back to the slideshow, if you can stand it, dear reader. We continued our walk through the snowy scenes of Manor farm by walking down from the north embankment to the Longwater road entrance, and then along the shores of Finch pond and Cormorant lake, before joining the south footpath at the works bridge i.e. the Blackwater river.
Once again, this was a first for my partner. She normally trudged along the south footpath, patiently waiting for me to finish my frolicking in the reserve.
I'll add captions later on this evening.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.