Inert appear to have returned to Manor farm to tackle the landscaping of Finch pond with a vengeance.
The infill of what was left of Finch pond continues, probably just grading and perhaps building in some features - see slide show for details.
Perhaps their most dramatic action is to cut into the east side of the north embankment alongside the ridge. A great huge chunk has been gouged out of it and pushed into Finch pond. Now part of me says that we will see the embankments being flattened over the next couple of weeks. However, I have been here before. I know Inert flit about the site. Having started on the embankment this week, they may not touch it for months.
Anyway, what was particularly nice was that the embankments and ridge were shorn of nettles and thistles. Well, actually the west embankment was shorn, the north embankment and ridge had wide path ways cut through them. Interestingly, the 'backs' of the embankments (i.e. west edge of west embankment and north edge of north embankment) had also been cleared or at least flattened. This does tend to hint at their demise soon.
In any case, it sure made walking along the embankments and ridge a breeze this week.
There is still quite a considerable amount of inert stuff to be dumped on the site to complete landscaping. Particularly on the new north shore of Finch pond. A sinuous 'hill' is to be sculpted, with at least five and a half feet (say 1.5m) still to go.
Another dramatic feature, built by Inert, is to cover the trackway running along side the south shore of Cormorant lake (south) with compacted limestone or chalk, possibly with some ballast. This will provide a smooth surface for the various plant to traverse. Currently, they have a very bumpy drive, bouncing up and down, and having to drive slowly.
Will Inert manage to complete the restoration of Manor farm by the end of this year? Well, although I remain sceptical, they sure have gone at it hammer and tongs this past week with a view to doing so, perhaps.
A mid-week supplemental. I had taken a few photographs (mostly on my smart phone) on my Wednesday morning stomp; I was too lazy to take my bridge camera. Only I forgot to download the photos. My cheapo smart phone does surprisingly well. The only downside is that mobile phones have digital zoom, which is next to useless.
We can now see what activity occurred early (like before 8:30am) Wednesday morning.
I did notice that the floaty pipe, so beloved of gull type birds when water levels rise, has severed itself. Will it no longer float?
Unless otherwise stated, the following photographs were taken on my smart(ish) phone.
Now on to wildlife; was it a mass of plastic pollution I spied?
As I remarked earlier, my usual Saturday morning stomp didn't. Instead I wandered around Manor farm early evening of the Friday; as the gas man was coming on Saturday morning to service our boiler.
As such, the wildlife on view was not the normal mix I see. On a Saturday, the site tends to be full of roosting birds, most getting ready to go to various feeding grounds. Many of the birds had not returned on Friday evening.
There is quite a bit of pollution on Manor farm, mainly of the plastic variety. I have posted photographs of some of the stuff I have seen, particularly polystyrene beads in Finch pond. Thus, when I crested the ridge and stared into Cormorant lake (north) I saw its shores lined with white stuff, which I took to be polystyrene; lots of it.
Only when I looked closer at the photographs I'd taken, I realised that it was nothing more than a mass of white feathers. The closed nature of Cormorant lake (north) simply concentrated the feathers. Looking at other photos of the area, I realised that the whole site is dotted with white feathers. I reckon that these feathers either come from moulting birds or were the downy linings for nests.
After spending a week in south Italy, covered in factor 50+ and hiding under any scrap of shade, we had hoped for some relief from temperatures in excess of 30 C when we got home. Instead, we flew straight into a heat wave with temperatures the same as we had endured all week. I wasn't in a fit state to visit the proto-reserves yesterday - partly as Ryanair's flight left late, partly as we were knackered, and partly as it was sooooooo hot.
I disappeared down to Manor farm early this morning (no way was I going to leave it later on and the stupid temperatures we're expecting today) and had to infer whether or not Inert have returned. Well, with no mid-week stomp, I have to say the jury is out; despite the evidence.
Firstly, I noticed the usual traffic control had been set up near the bailey bridge. To wit, some large tyres and boulders placed across a trackway.
Secondly, I noticed that the west embankment, bordering Longwater road, has had a shave. This happened last year, at roughly the same time. Contractors moved in and cut down vegetation on the west and north embankments bordering Finch pond. This year, their job would have been a little more difficult. Last year's very hot dry summer, stunted the growth of the thistles and nettles. This year, as evident from an earlier blog post, growth has been rampant. Shame I didn't wait a couple of weeks before scaling the embankments; though I am hoping the contractors will return to tackle the north embankment this week.
I was very surprised how much water levels had fallen over the past week - despite the deluge we got last week. In fairness to our pump (which was off today) Finch pond is now not much bigger than a couple of large village ponds, whilst Cormorant lake is smaller than it was. Still, it did surprise me.
I didn't go on to Manor farm to see if any bulldozing had taken place i.e. infilling Cormorant lake. I figured Inert hadn't fully returned, and that the traffic control was in main for the contractors who cleared the embankments. My guess is that Inert will return in force either this week or next.
Over on Chandlers farm, the great wall of spoil has grown out of sight to the east of the bailey bridge. I didn't hop over said bridge, this morning, to photograph the extent of the embankment. It's very impressive, whatever it is.
On with the protracted slide show. This first batch (I may get round to putting some wildlife shots up later) were taken with my smart phone. Those who know me may get off the floor or close mouth after being in stunned amazement. Yes, after decades of not having a mobile, I have finally got one. Still don't really need it, but it does come in handy for wide angle shots - especially as the image chip in a mobile phone isn't much different to that in a bridge camera. Though I did miss the optical zoom on my bridge camera.
Yes, it isn't a Saturday or Sunday. Early report due to university visits. It's that time of year!
It is also business as usual. No activity on Manor farm - except our hard working pump is chugging away, lowering water levels in Finch pond and Cormorant lake.
Over on Chandlers farm, Inert are busy extending their earth banking; almost as if they are building a wall to keep the Berkshire folk out of Hampshire. :-) :-) :-) Seriously, I do wonder what this earth bank is all about.
I still reckon it will take at least another two weeks of pumping to get water levels down to a safe depth. Matters are not helped either by the deluge we got on Wednesday, and the pasting we are supposed to get today. The Blackwater was running very high, after a long period of having quite low water levels.
Bird life was surprisingly abundant on Cormorant lake (south) - and not just the usual suspects of Canada Geese and Mallards. My inexpert eyes spotted a Green Sandpiper - first time I have ever spotted one - as well as the Little Ringed Plover. Will the latter attempt to over winter in the UK? Climate change is causing more and more migratory birds to do so.
Speaking of Canada Geese - I think I managed to spot an 'albino' one. Technically it is called a partially leucistic Canada Goose as it is lacking melanin. Still, if it is such then it is a first for me.
Kicking off the slide show with the usual 'restoration' shots.
Now the 'albino' Canada goose
For what ever reason, many flocks of Canada geese decided to descend onto Cormorant lake (south) - this, in addition, to those who went on to Moor Green Lakes. It is somewhat interesting to note the huge disparity in bird numbers from day to day.
Now the Green Sandpiper and some Sand Martins I managed to photograph as they fed over Colebrook lake (north) in Manor farm.
Inert are still staying off Manor farm. It will take a couple or three weeks for the pump to get water levels down to safe depths for the plant to operate on the site. Looks like Manor farm will not be completed this year.
I think the last time I stomped around the west side of Manor farm was about the beginning of December 2018. Partly as restoration had shifted to Cormorant lake (south) and partly because of the breeding season from April this year.
Well, I decided to revisit Manor farm west to show how quickly the area greens up, without any human intervention.
Was I in for a nasty surprise. The abundant rainfall and reasonable temperatures has caused nettles, brambles and thistles to grow to crazy heights. I would normally clamber up the west embankment at the Longwater road entrance, then stroll along said embankment taking photos. Not today, I didn't.
Yes I fought my way up, though brambles 15' (5m) long, and nettles and thistles over 2m high. I managed some photos from the south end of the west embankment, but made my way down gingerly. For why? From what I could see, I would have to fight my way through dense thistles, nettles and brambles, taller than me, all the way to the north embankment.
I chose to walk along the former shore of Finch pond, which had nothing more nasty than daisies and Oxford ragwort.
However, I did have to fight my way through nettles and thistles over 2m tall along half the north embankment. It took me some 8 to 10 minutes to battle my way some 50m through this stuff. I'd normally stroll that distance in about 40 seconds. Thankfully I had elected to wear my wellies and a heavy duty fleece. Unfortunately, I was wearing summer weight walking trousers. Thistles had no trouble getting through these, while the odd old nettles managed also to get through the thin material.
Luckily, from about halfway east along the north embankment the thistles dissipated, the nettles only came knee or chest high, and from about three quarters of the way east, I had nice grass. The ridge was covered in nettles, over 2m high in places, but no where near as thick or dense as on the west side of the north embankment.
I pity any surveyor who has to make their way along the north embankment to check on restoration progress.
Now, it may take a bit of time to update this posting, as I have many before greening and after greening photos to post. The before greening photos mostly come from 10th November 2018.
Perversely, I have put the after image before the before image. Sorry about that, but it was the after images I started with, and so have to try and find the before images. Just use your imagination.
Firstly, some photos of the nasty stuff I had to fight my way through. The camera was held at head height.
East from Longwater road entrance
South south east from Longwater road entrance.
North north east from west embankment next to Longwater road entrance.
East from west embankment next to Longwater road entrance.
South from west embankment next to Longwater road entrance. I'll try and find a better 'before' image that is more south facing.
North from along side west embankment next to Longwater road entrance.
East south east from west end of north embankment
South from west end of north embankment.
South east from midway along North embankment
South from midway along north embankment
South west from midway along north embankment
West from midway along north embankment
South east from 3/4 way along north embankment
South from 3/4 way along north embankment
South west from 3/4 way along north embankment
South from up against the ridge
South west from up against the ridge
East over Cormorant lake (north) from the south end of the ridge
South from the south end of the ridge over channel to 'land mass' aka previous infill of Cormorant lake (south)
South west from the south end of the ridge over what is left of Finch pond.
Sort of west north west from south end of ridge
North back along the ridge. Yes, those nettles are taller than me.
Although green, the plants are quite sparse on the infill of Finch pond. The nettles and thistles haven't had a time to get established.
South to the copse from the new east shore of Finch pond
West over what is left of Finch pond from the middle of the new north shore of Finch pond.
North west over the infill from the middle of the new north shore of Finch pond.
East over infill and what is left of Finch pond from the new west shore of Finch pond. Note, I've put the same before image in as it covers both the after images.
South east over infill and what is left of Finch pond from the new west shore of Finch pond. Note, I've put the same before image in as it covers both the after images.
South over infill and what is left of Finch pond from the new west shore of Finch pond
I'm not entirely sure I photographed these lumps of concrete. Anyway they were always just inside the Longwater road entrance. I always wondered what it was - and still do.
Still all quiet on the northern front. With our valiant pump firmly off, and lots of rain (it is pouring as I type) water levels are approaching their normal levels on Manor farm. It wont be long before the pipe, in Cormorant lake (south) starts floating - much to the joy of the gull type birds.
Chandlers farm was relatively quiet, when I turned up at about 9:30am on Wednesday. I really do reckon I turn up at break time - be aware that the men and women on the site start very early in the morning. I did note one tipper dropping stuff off on the west side of Chandlers farm. I really need to get a photo of the amount of stuff that has been dumped. If a bulk of this inert material is stock piled for Manor farm then we could see the restoration almost completed by the end of the year.
Now, dear reader, summat important. Details of the week long Blackwater valley river festival are firming up. An awful lot of effort is being expended by various volunteers in preparing for this extravaganza e.g. last week I bumped into four volunteers who were surveying Moor Green Lakes in preparation for the open day walk.
Details of the events can be found here http://www.bvct.org.uk/brf19/. Keep checking as they are being updated on a daily basis.
I will be volunteering on Sept 29th at the Moor Green Lakes open day walk. Pop along if you want to meet the loony of this blog. Perhaps fill me in on other restoration matters I may have missed.
There is supposed to have been an influx of Painted Lady butterflies. Could have fooled me. Despite searching high and low and keeping a vigilant look out, I have only spotted one. A gardener at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh, claims to see hundreds if not thousands per day. Hmmm, maybe with all this Brexit nonsense the butterflies have bypassed England.
On with the slide show, which will consist mainly of wildlife photos. We'll start with some shots of Cormorant lake (south) to show how much water levels have risen and the extent of greening that occurs so quickly after restoration.
This wildlife section has photos from a number of locations, some from Manor farm and Moor Green Lakes, the bulk from a 10 mile walk the memsahib and I did along the Basingstoke canal, and a couple taken from a garden: notably the only Painted Lady I have seen all summer; despite this alleged influx.
I've also confirmed that my monopod (and, as it turns out, the wooden slats on the various viewing screens) resonate with the optical stabilisation of my Sigma 150-600mm lens. Switching to using a proper (though cheap) tripod, and 'Fine detail' setting on my camera, produced stunning results. I have ditched the monopod for the time being.
With only four days to go before August, Manor farm still remains untouched. This leaves five months to complete any restoration work before the latest deadline (I saw) expires.
Chandlers farm (or at least the western half) was extremely quiet during my hot, somewhat soggy Wednesday morning stomp. At a sultry 24 C, with humidity somewhere in the stratosphere due to the preceding day's thunderstorms), this was nothing to the 35 C we experienced on Thursday. There was activity on Chandlers farm, I could hear it as I walked toward it from the MGLG car park, it just seemed confined to its eastern half. The bit I can't see from the footpath.
Even the wildlife was easing off. Tern island (MGL) was eerily quiet. Only one or two gull types things to be seen.
Cormorant lake was edging up to its normal levels - what with all the rain and the pump still being off. All the gravel bars leading off the scrape were flooded. While the circular pipe, so beloved by the gulls and terns to sit on, could start floating soon.
Nothing to do with the restoration process, but I was most chuffed to see this bird in our garden. I knew it was unusual for our garden, not the usual Blue, Great or Coal Tits, or Dunnocks that infest our bird feeder. I reeled off a few shots before identifying said bird in my RSPB pocket guide to British Birds.
Apparently, it is a Blackcap. Its crest was up, no doubt annoyed by the sight of our cats. The crest went down when the cats disappeared. It flitted around for a while, catching insects on the wing, before some pedestrians spooked it, and it flew away. Haven't seen it since.
Apparently, the females have a red cap. Far more exciting.
No prizes for guessing that Inert are firmly entrenched in Chandlers farm. This does give me an opportunity to give you a long distance heads up on an open day on Moor Green Lakes. It is part of a wider event BVCT Blackwater river festival, running from 21st to 29th September. Partly to celebrate 40 years of BVCT. Keep a watch out for details as they are firmed up.
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).
I haven't visited Fleet Hill farm in months. Not entirely sure why. Concentrating too hard on Manor farm.
Although Fleet Hill farm is a lovely reserve, I do find it somewhat flat and featureless. Manor farm is in danger of following suit when the north embankments are bulldozed flat, but there will be a remnant of higher ground to overlook the reserve. This does give such a refreshing perspective.
I took a peek into a random selection of the tubes containing the saplings that were planted last year. A large number had perished in the extreme heat we had. Many were replaced earlier on this year or was it late last year. I am glad to say that many of the tubes I looked into contained a small if very much live sapling, whilst some were shooting up well above the anti deer tubes, looking like small trees.
Cemex had a whole load of reeds planted in various lakes and ponds throughout the reserve. I'm not sure why, as I notice most of the lakes have considerable growths of bull rushes. Perhaps the reeds were of a different variety. I didn't take a peek into the enclosures to see how they are doing - though they were taking last time I saw them. The problem with all these rushes, which I surmised and birders have mentioned, is that you can't see anything. This is exacerbated by Fleet Hill farm being so flat.
I might be mistaken, but I did notice that whoever rents some of the fields on this reserve for grazing has removed an electric fence they had erected across the bridle path Inert created a couple of years back on the south east side of the reserve. I don't remember it being removed the last time I visited this area. It was an anomaly which a number of people mentioned.
Unfortunately, some of the closed off fields, and access to them, hug the Blackwater. Future plans call for a bridle path to run along the Blackwater, before turning north near Fleet Hill farm proper to join up with an existing footpath (and new bridle path) running along the north edge of the reserve. I assume that this will be built when Manor farm and Chandlers farm are fully restored, and are in a position to be handed over to whomever will maintain the resulting reserve.
My main reason for visiting Fleet Hill farm was to photograph dragonflies. I remember from last year that the area was buzzing with them. I wasn't to be disappointed. The main dragonflies visible were Black-tailed skimmers. Which is a rather odd name, seeing as the males are virtually all blue, whilst the females are yellow and black. There were other dragonflies and plethora of damselflies and demoiselles which, sadly, I could not identify. Distinguishing between the various demoiselles is tricky.
I did spot a Green Sandpiper, which a birder had informed me she had seen some weeks ago. I never knew such a bird existed let alone what it looked like. There were a flock of five Little white egrets, and the Grey Herons were lurking over here as well. Far too distant for me to get a decent shot of was a Stone Catcher.
On with the slide show, starting with scenic shots of Fleet Hill farm. You'll notice it all tends to look alike. What I have done, which sort of half works, is to give each photo a number and then a place on a map with arrow pointing in the direction of shot. In hindsight I should not have put a 'P' in front of each number. The map got a bit cluttered due to me taking multiple shots from one location. First the map, then the slide show.
I may well visit the reserve again in the near future, to photograph some of the lakes I missed this time round. I did spend two hours or so wandering around the place. Now on to some wildlife, starting with a Green Sandpiper, which landed not more than 20 feet in front of me on the north bank of the Blackwater. It spotted me when I took a photo of it, gave an almighty squawk before flying off to the other side of an adjoining lake.
The Black-tailed Skimmers were all over Fleet Hill farm, not just around the ponds. Another good place to spot them is Manor farm. They seem to like the north and east embankments a lot. I guess because they were quite clear of vegetation for the longest time. You'll notice that the skimmers do like the gravel bridle path.
They did sport various forms of damage to their wings. This didn't seem to affect their flying abilities. There are a couple of Hobbies around the reserves. They specialise in catching dragonflies.
Finally, some odds and sods. Insect life was quite bountiful on Fleet Hill farm. Quite a few landed on me, and a couple (the Horseflies) tried to take a chunk or two out of me. It is quite alarming that the only place you encounter large numbers of insects is on a reserve. More alarming is that the species that were very common in my youth (e.g. Small Tortoise shell) are quite rare even on the reserves.
There were loads of Gatekeeper butterflies, other small brown ones I could not identify, and a huge number of crickets and grasshoppers.
Inert appear to have made a small foray on to Manor farm sometime over the past week. The gate to Manor farm near the Bailey bridge was wide open, and there were a few vehicle tracks. Nothing major, hints of one or two vehicles doing one or two small trips. There were signs that stuff was added to the barrier across the Longwater road entrance. Otherwise, I couldn't see anything obvious from where I was on the footpath.
Our pump was quite silent, resulting in raised water levels in Cormorant lake.
Chandlers farm get even more lumpy as yet more stuff is trucked in. There are quite a few large heaps dotted about the place, with the old boulder sorter outers chugging away on occasion.
On the wildlife front. This year's brood are very much in evidence, especially the various geese. They seem to have had a very successful year. Egyptian geese are beginning to congregate. Swallows and swifts were more in evidence now that the weather has turned favourable. With luck they will manage one if not two broods during July and August.
We begin our slide show with a gallery of two; seeing as Inert have not yet returned to Manor farm.
Now the wildlife slide show. My usual early Wednesday morning stomp first brings me to a five bar gate, near the MGLG car park, which is the north west entrance to Colebrook lake. I always pause at the gate, hoping to get some decent wildlife shots. Normally quite speculative, as the birds tend to be a long way from the gate.
I pointed my lens at some interesting floaty birds who were almost across the lake, getting near to Plover island. They turned out to be Great Crested Grebe, and they seemed to be doing a courtship ritual. I stayed focused on them. This was a fortunate decision. I noticed they had dived under the water and came up with vegetation in their beaks. I had a strong hint that something spectacular was going to happen. It did, and I photographed them doing this; the first time I have ever witnessed this.
The whole display is over and done with in about 20 to 30 seconds. Hardly surprising considering the effort it takes to tread water like that. Most of the images are heavily cropped, as the birds were about 100m away. They came out quite well considering my lens is at its worst at 600mm. I feel very, very, very lucky to not only have witnessed this display but to have also managed to photograph it; especially as I normally storm around the reserve at speed roughly once a week.
Moving on to more mundane photos. There were a lot of crickets and grasshoppers around. You could hear them, but not really see them. I didn't have time to hunt them out to photograph them. Similarly, dragonfly are in abundance, but difficult to photograph as they move so fast. Butterflies were also more in evidence.
Needless to say, with a post title like that it is still quiet on Manor farm. Even our periodic pump paused puffing - though water levels were lower than of late.
Chandlers farm getting lumpy again is in keeping with how this restoration lark appears to go. Loads of spoil are dumped in heaps, dotted about a site. They are then bulldozed into lakes and ponds, to make something reasonably flat. Then, either more spoil is dumped into dirty great big heaps or huge areas of flat infill are gouged out and pushed into a lake or pond.
No one appears to know what is going on or when the restoration is to be completed. Even less is know about après completion.
We'll kick off our small slide show with some panoramic views of Chandlers farm from the south end of the bailey bridge.
Now onto wild life shots. There was a lot of it about, as they say, particularly on Cormorant lake. Favourite areas being the scrap, attached gravel bars, plus the mud flats and land mass (aka previous infill) on the north shores of Cormorant lake south. I'm not sure about Cormorant lake north, as I have been keeping off Manor farm due to the breeding season.
In addition to the birds, there were a plethora of insects, particularly dragonflies and various damselflies. Butterflies were strangely light in the air (as it were), unlike previous weeks when I spied numerous Red Admiral.
Given the large number of nettles with Peacock butterfly caterpillars on them, I hope so see quite a few of these colourful insects in a month's time. Not many photos this week, even though there was plenty to see.
A highlight for me was photographing a barn owl peeking out of its nest box on the north shore of Colebrook lake. I normally point my camera at the box in the hope of spotting something, which I did last week but it was too grainy and indistinct to call an owl. This week, however, the owl did not disappoint.
Bear in mind the nest box was well over 100m away.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.