Bright and sunny, the weatherman said. Wall to wall sunshine, was the claim. Our fickle British weather had other ideas: Fog. It was there, at 6:30am, obscuring the view from our back garden. After a couple of mugs of coffee and a bit of breckie, I decided to chance nipping down to Manor farm. Sometimes it can be foggy at Finchampstead yet down in the valley, Manor farm would be basking in sun. Not today, unfortunately. However, it was more misty than foggy on Manor farm. I could see a darn sight further than I could at home.
Both cameras coped admirably considering the conditions. However, I have had to do a little image processing in FastStone on all the photographs.
Kicking off this week's scintillating instalment, the pump was quiet. This seems to be a regular occurrance. Working during the week and silent on weekends. Not sure why.
Inert appear to have been flitting about the south side of Manor farm this week. Their main thrust, as revealed by my Wednesday jaunt, has been the continuing infill of Cormorant lake. The main 'middle' part has been flattened, so it no longer looks like a battlefield, and I feel it has edged northward a little.
The east side of the infill, nearest the pump, appears to have had the south shore pushed further north. The old shoreline of Cormorant lake (south) has virtually disappeared.
A lot of the latest infill seems quite well consolidated to my inexperienced wellies. Other parts, however, particularly the western side of infill are definitely boggy; more so as you get closer to the water's edge. I found it hard going over the soft, slippery mud, even when following the bulldozer tracks. It would not be safe for lorries to drive over this stuff.
Whilst freshly bulldozed soil can be very soft, as I know to my cost, I think some of this bogginess can be attributable to the type of inert material laid about a month ago. Granted we had a heck of a lot of snow and then rain, but it has been quite dry, for a while, and there is a definite different feel to both types of spoil.
The bulldozer has crushed and squished some of the mud into dirty great grey lumps of the stuff, with the consistency of quicksand. It looks like and feels like fine porridge; say Ready Brek. I avoid this stuff like the plague. It has a menacing look about it, and I'm sure it smirks at me.
As I mentioned earlier, Inert have been flitting about the site. The mound of spoil dumped near the copse has now been bulldozed into the ground. I'm not sure what it did, but the bulldozer appears to have operated all the way to the sewage works and then around the old site of the yellow bridge and next to the mighty mound produced by the boulder sorter outer.
However, some of the tracks I see do not look like they belong to our bulldozer. They appear more like earth moving lorry tracks. Shame I didn't see what it was.
The bulldozer has also created a track heading out north west parallel to the west shore of Cormorant lake, across the old infill I have been calling the land mass. It's a curious thing, not least because it bifurcates at its northern extent. I am not sure what it is for, unless it is to allow lorries to trundle down to drop their loads further along Cormorant lake. It felt reasonably firm under foot, so long as you stayed on it.
I've seen Inert do this before; create a track for no obvious reason. However, as I visit the site once or twice a week, I never do see what is going on, really. Instead have to infer what has happened via circumstantial evidence.
I almost didn't take my DSLR with me this morning. It was rather foggy and the wildlife have been missing of late. In one sense I was glad I did take it with me, in another I wasn't. The low light conditions produced very grainy photos. In that respect I was surprised how well my bridge camera did. Though I only use the bridge camera for wide angle shots.
There was a large flock of Egyptian geese lurking in Cormorant lake (south). I haven't seen such large numbers for some time now. I did notice (well, hear) large numbers of Canada geese around; and did spy some in what little remains of Finch pond.
The usual assortment of Mallards and Tufted duck adorned the area, and I could hear the Teal we have had of late.
Nesting has started, as my photos of a Grey Heron carrying a twig can testify.
My greatest pleasure, and grief, was photographing Skylarks. Pleasure, because after hearing them for months now five (yes five!) of them had an aerial display over the land mass, quite close to me. They were wheeling and diving and climbing about all over the place; before descending to the ground. Grief, because the light conditions were so bad, even though they had improved considerably by 8:15 am.
I'm not sure if the Skylarks will nest on the land mass. They usually do so in the grass fields to the north of Manor lake and also to the western edge of Chandlers farm. I hear them all the time. The land mass does, however, attract huge flocks of Lapwing and various geese.
Anyway, on with the grainy photos. One day, perhaps, I will get a clear shot of the Skylarks. Trying to pick out a small dot on a large expanse of sky it quite challenging.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.