This week, dear reader, haulage lorries were conspicuous by the absence when I popped over to Eversley quarry site on an overcast Thursday afternoon. Our bulldozer driver was helping out the digger by the boulder sorter outer by moving various heaps of soil and spoil around. However, it was evident that a lot of activity had taken place around the north shore of the copse. The bulldozer drive had wrapped soil around the north shore of the copse and joined it up with the south east infill.
Five large heaps of inert soil had also appeared near the pump station. They were dumped in the middle of a large, shallow depression between Cormorant lake and the south footpath. I know that depression well, having negotiated it many a time over winter, sometimes gingerly stepping through 6" (15cm) of water and mud, sometimes breaking through ice.
When the memsaab and I returned for a long walk around the site on Saturday (keeping to the footpaths - partly as we were in a hurry) the five piles of soil had grown considerably, with much heaping by the bulldozer evident. Also, one of the huge piles of soil the bulldozer was working on around the boulder sorter outer was suspiciously gone.
My initial thought was that the soil was going to be used to fill in the depression. This supposition has changed. I mean, why pile up the soil if it is going to be spread over the depression?
When we got to the Longwater road entrance I noticed that further soil had been heaped around the north shore of the copse and that there was suspicious signs of activity around the channel between Finch pond and Cormorant lake. I might pop down to get better photographs, but am slightly reluctant to do any vigorous hiking as I have managed to injure my back. Still it isn't too bad. Gives me the odd twinge to remind me to be careful.
The pump was chugging away on Thursday but was silent by Saturday. I haven't worked out why it gets turned on and off.
Inert do not padlock shut the gate to Manor Farm, and the sliding bolt doesn't work. More often than not the gate swings ajar. Last week we noticed three lads larking around on the shore of Manor lake (south) near where the old bridge used to be. A couple of them were attempting to swim. Bit foolish. The water is very cold, the lake full of reeds, pond weed and other industrial stuff bulldozed into it; all ideal for snagging legs. The shore and bottom of lake will have all sorts of industrial waste (glass, wire, ironworks, etc) to cut feet and hands. Plus the idiots appear to have thrown the life belt into the lake.
My walk on Thursday was curtailed when, 10 yard shy of the works bridge, there was a mighty clap of thunder. I immediately turned around and headed back to my car, thus not taking a photo of the piles of soil in the depression from the works bridge.
A problem we now face, which you may detect from the photos and what I foretold in an earlier posting, is that the vegetation now makes it difficult to see the site from the south footpath. In places it is completely screened either by brambles or by head height nettles.
Wildlife. I didn't dawdle on Thursday to take wildlife photos, especially after the mighty clap of thunder. We were in bit of a hurry on Saturday, so again couldn't take the slow walk with long pauses so necessary to capture wildlife.
Not that there was much variety around. I spotted an Oyster Catcher on Plover island. A number of Lapwings were flying around Cormorant lake. I suspect they may be none breeding. The Canada geese seem a particularly nervous bunch. A whole group of them took to Cormorant lake when I started photographing them. Bearing in mind I was some 75 or 80 yards away, on the south footpath, with most of me hidden by waist high nettles.
I managed quite a good sequence of shots of a Grey Heron, close to the works bridge. Normally the blighters fly off at the merest long distance sighting of me, but this one let me get very close and haul off quite a few shots. I think it had a fish within striking distance, and wasn't about to give it up. It certainly did a strike, wings arched over to cover the water. Unfortunately, just then a cyclist came over the bridge and spooked the Heron off.
I think I could hear more species of birds singing than I could see. Though on Saturday morning, I didn't hear any Skylarks. There were loads on Thursday, mostly around the fields near the sewage works.
If you are a dragonfly or damselfly aficionado then this might be heaven for you. There were hundreds of them flying around. I remember them getting quite large on Fleet Hill farm.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.