Firstly, the exciting news. A marsh harrier has been seen around Fleet Hill farm, Manor farm, Moor Green Lakes and surrounding area for at least a month!
I was told about it last week, but only saw it this week, and only by the greatest of fortunes. I was stood by the transformer, by the south footpath, photographing what Inert were up to, when I spotted a bird of prey to my right. I automatically started photographing it, thinking it was nothing more than a Red Kite. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the images to see a Marsh Harrier.
I was even more surprised to manage to photograph it. The bird was some distance away, flying against a very messy background. You can see how far away it was, as the image of the bird is quite small in the photograph with my lens at 600mm.
The soil you can see in the photo, is one of the many piles Inert have built over the past couple of weeks as they begin to dig out the new, long Manor lake.
It would be a considerable coup if the bird were to remain in the area. Apparently, it isn't too bothered by all the heavy plant trundling around the site - actually, most of the birds aren't bothered either.
Now on to what Inert have been up to.
The eastern North Embankment has almost been completely flattened. A tiny knoll remains. I reckon the soil from this will be used to cap the banking being built around the southern edge of what will be the main reed bed.
As to what Inert were doing on my Thursday morning site visit...well it was difficult to say.
One digger appeared to be digging up the remains of the former land bridge. Alternatively, it might have been digging out a bit of a reed bed. In any case, the stuff dug out was being loaded onto heavy earth movers and shipped to Chandlers farm.
Another digger and bulldozer combo were working around the banking for the main reed bed, around the breach in the banking Inert cut to drain the main reed bed. It was unclear what was happening. I arrived late at the site, and the chaps had gone off for their tea break.
The big yellow pump had been moved off the banking, and reinstalled close to where the pump station used to be. I'm not sure what it is plumbed into (I can guess), but will only find out on my weekend site visit.
Inert had returned when I left the site at about 10:30. I espied a digger trundling northward, in the main reed bed, to the east of the banking. Therefore, I have no idea what it was up to, as I was stood on the west of the bank, way over on the Longwater road.
I do feel that Inert are reaching the end of the landscaping part of the restoration. Needing to form the main reed bed (there are a lot of piles of stuff lying around it) and dig out the new, long Manor farm.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.