The heavy fog and frost this morning made for quite an atmospheric start to the day. I had siskin calling in the alders by Rye House Gate House on my way in to work this morning and the sound seemed to hang in the air and there were low flying snipe zipping around the draper area along with redwing and field fare taking advantage of the hawthorn berry crop. These birds have definatly increased on site over the last week, makes it feel a bit more wintery.
The work party continued clearing the cut vegetation around the draper meadow and banks of L8L9 today. We also ventured in to the reedbed in order to gain acccess to the tree that have grown up so we can pollard them and treat the stumps to prevent re growth. This turned out to be quite an adventure as the reedbed is laid out with long thin islands of reed surrounded by deep ditches so we had fun ensuring no one got a wader full of water as we were getting in and out the boat on to the islands and then hauling the cut trees (some of which had got pretty hefty) through the channesl and reed up on to the bank, fun if a bit damp and chilly. We were kept company through out the day as we exposed hiden insects by a robin, visited occasionaly by a vocal cettis warbler and this afternoon a peregrine perched up on one of the p ylons for a spell.
Work has now finished with the Truxor having completed its cutting of a section of the lee marsh (c6). an amazing bit of kit that will hopefully be back soon. I am now jsut waiting for snipe and green sandpiers to get in there ans start feding int he stubble.
Work is continuing apace on the draper scrape with muddy edges appearing before your very eyes, great stuff. I even had a kingfisher fly pas tthe hide and land in one of the bushes near where we are constructing the new nesting bank, yey.
A shelduck has taken up residence on lagoon1, along with the redshank however our male pintail seems to have jumperd the pond over to Amwell.
I had a water rail mooching along the bank of the toll stream (near the water vole feeding area) today and that is one of the signs that make me feel that winter is surley here. if you keep you eyes peeled along the stream edge as you walk along the baoardwalk in this are you stand a very good chance of getting a close up view of one of thse elusvie birds.
Well that is it from me for today. I am off tomorrow to have a look at a kingfisher bank to see if i can get any ideas for the construction for our new one on the Draper area.
Sorry for the spelling, technical hitch again so had to rewite in a hurry.
Work has got underway on both the reed cutting in the Lee Marsh and the re landscaping of the Draper area, yey. So i have had a fun couple of days chatting to my contractors and watching some fab bits of kit do work that would take us weeks (or months and years in the digger case). I have taken a few snap shots and thought i would share their progress with you.
The truxor has cut a nice chunk of reed bed that is inaccessible to us as it is surrounded by a nice deep ditch and he is starting to rake it up today. Such a clever bit of machinery, the picture below shows the Truxor with the rake attachement clearing up the reed it cut yesterday.
The digger on the draper scrape has been sorting out access to the site including having to fill in a ditch to get out on the scrape and has started to move material around scraping out lower areas on to higer areas in the planned design.
There were around 750 lapwing on lagoon 1 today a great sight. Along the trails were also mixed thrush flocks including field fare and redwing and a number of bullfinch, nice.
Over recent weeks many of you have commented on the coloured stakes that have appeared dotted around the draper area, mostly what are they for? Well these are all to do with the reprofiling works that we are having undertaken in this area to improve the scrape for passage waders. The stakes are marking out the patterns of the different ground levels so our contractors can see where the soil needs moving. Once all this work is done the area will be flooded up for the remainder of the winter (with some new islands exposed) then as we drop the water levels through the spring and summer a new area of fresh mud (excellent wader food habitat) will be exposed to pull in all those hungry passing waders at each level. Yey! fingers crossed for something good and twichable!
Our contractors BW Services Ltd arrived on site this morning to start work on this project, which is very exciting. They will be using a 360 digger to reprofile areas and move spoil around the site. This will be driven by Mark, a very skilled chap, and it is great to watch him manoeuvring and intricately creating areas with such a huge machine.
So over the next couple of weeks you should see quite a change in this area. Below are some pictures i took today of the area before work commenced and i will keep you updated as the works progress. Added bonus the Truxor is starting tomorrow as well, so it's all go here. Great fun! As well as serious conservation work in action, of course!
A couple of before pictures
Sorry for any disturbance and inconvienence this work may cause to your visit at the moment but when complete this will provide perfect conditions for waders and come the spring they should be dropping out of the sky!