A considerable amount of water was coming from the out flow to the settlement ponds. My suspicions that the Manor farm pump was back on was confirmed when I got to the Bailey bridge and heard it chugging away quite quietly. I have no idea if it was turned on accidentally. This might herald a return to Manor farm for continued restoration. However, we have been here before - the pump is turned on, seemingly randomly, and then it goes off with nothing apparent happening.
Chandlers farm is looking flatter still - I wont bore you with yet more almost identical photos - and the spoil heaps are getting smaller.
Thus, we turn to wildlife, which is what this restoration is all about. No 'interesting' birds for birders, I'm afraid. I do not stay still long enough in one place - as I stomp around the reserves - and even if I did, one small brown bird looks pretty much like another small brown bird to me.
OK enough waffling, on with the show. I took my proper camera (i.e. DSLR) with me, despite the overcast conditions. It struggled, but didn't do too badly when the cloud thinned a touch every now and again.
We start with birds on Manor farm. While you cannot see many birds, it is their song (and that of their young, begging for food) that gives them away. There is a lot of it, a veritable cacophony. Prominent (to my untrained ears) were: Skylark, Dunnock, Garden Warbler, Long Tail Tits, and the usual Wren, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Chaffinch. It also goes without saying: gulls and terns and Coots having their usual raucous squabble.
These Canada Geese announced their imminent arrival with much honking. Alas, they came in low against a busy background which tended to confuse the focusing capabilities of my camera/lens combo. In one of the photos, you'll see a Grey Heron, more Canada geese and a Mallard (I think) on the distance shore; Pochards and Tufted ducks in the foreground. The usual Cormorants and Black-headed gulls are also in evidence.
What I haven't posted photos of are Lapwing. There were at least two in evidence on the shores of 'Cormorant lake'. This reserve is quite a stronghold for this endangered bird.
This was a long range, speculative shot of a couple of birds floating in Manor lake (south). It turns out to be a Great Crested Grebe and chick. A scant few weeks ago I photographed the chick riding on its parents back. Not any more.
Moving over to Moore Green Lakes. All the usual suspects were hanging around, with nothing 'unusual' appearing on the sand bar in front of Colebrook hide. There were some Yellow Iris (flag) on Colebrook lake (south) which I was determined to photograph. Shame the light was so gloomy.
This Lapwing hangs around a lot on the sand bar in front of Colebrook hide. I had a fair amount of anguish: flat calm, mirror like water, perfect reflections, lousy light. There has been much talk of insect lose of late. They seems quite healthy, on the reserves. The black dots in these photos are small insects, flitting about. Bothersome to the birds, but loved by the Swallows, Swifts and Martins that swoop around the sites.
A long range shot of a Grey Heron along the north shore of Colebrook lake (north). I and other Moor Green Lakes Group volunteers spent a merry time, over several winters, hacking back the willow and birch from this bank - to create a suitable habitat for animals. I note, in this photo, that some willow are growing with their usual zeal. Sigh. At least it is quite fun hacking back willow.
Finally, dear reader, a nesting Lapwing having a rumble with three Oyster Catchers on Plover Island. Vicious little beasties are Lapwing when they defend their nest. Plover island is some 80m or so away from Colebrook hide. Lowish light conditions, couple with a busy background made for tricky photography.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.