Monday, 23 September 2013

Sluice replaced

Talk to people about replacing a sluice and I expect eyes would rapidly glaze over. But we have had a great time completing the job this week. Ian was project manager and kept everyone on track and seemed happy to spend most of his time in the ditch.
The timber was sourced from Deep in Wood ( Bessels Leigh who provided oak from Eynsham Hall.

 The precision engineering of the frame, made by Fletchers of Carterton, provided a perfect fit for Nigel's loo seat which was sourced from Waterfront in Glasgow.

The lake acts as a flood reserve so no water should go through into the lake from the Thames now unless it is such an extreme event that it flows over the banks. The level of water in the lake will rise during the winter with the groundwater levels and rainfall and will hopefully cover some of the shoreline and islands to reduce vegetation growth. It is hoped that in the spring water will drain out of the reserve and not back into it,  as it did in 2012. This should then provide better nesting and feeding conditions along the islands and shores for the breeding waders and other birds.
Now we can only wait to see what the elements throw at us and whether our work will make a difference.
Great job Ian. Thanks


Friday, 13 September 2013

Unusual visitors.

A very special sighting for Antony Collieu .... 'Two of the three sandwich terns which made an unexpected visit to Pit 60 yesterday (9th). Good to see such long distance fliers making a brief halt. Sorry about the quality but on 200x zoom but the yellow tip of the adult beak could be seen through the scope.'

Sandwich tern have been previously recorded here in 2001, 2005 and 2011.

On a less spectacular note I had great views of a hobby stocking up for it's flight south and there have been large numbers of house martins and swallows feeding across the reserve ready for their migration.  Sad to see them go but the winter thrushes will be on their way soon and what a feast there is ready for them this year. Did you know there is a BTO winter thrushes survey? If you are interested they are looking for surveyors now