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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

16/11/10: Cray and Thames Road Wetland in the mist

The first hard frost (that I've been up early enough to see, anyway) and, consequently, as the sun came out and started to burn it off, a goodly amount of mist.

Nothing in the way of new species to report at this time of year, as might be imagined (one lives in hope of a Bittern and Waxwings ....), but there was the wintry sight of a Pied Wagtail on the pavement at the Thames Rd end of Crayford Way, and also at the junction of Barnes Cray Rd and Maiden Lane a short while later (could have been the same individual). Several Chaffinches were along By-way 105 by the river.

3 Ducks were on the Thames Road Wetland 'lake', one of which was a male Teal. They 'spooked' rather easily and all flew off together, so the other two were probably female Teal.

There were a couple of Robins about on the site and one or two Dunnock.

Some Coltsfoot - not previously noticed, as it was hidden away behind some concrete barriers - was found in the north-east corner of the site.

I spent about 4 hours expanding and deepening my banks-and-ditches system in the compacted, gravelly soil in this part of the site, so as to increase cover, especially for heat-loving insects. But it's hard going and a slow, rather tiring, wrist-aching process with a mattock and spade. Unlike my garden Robins, which would have been down to have a look, the residents here took no interest. Perhaps they already knew how poor the ground was for worms - I only found one in the whole dig!

Here, then, are some of today's pictures of the Cray and its surroundings, and the Thames Road Wetland ........

River Cray, looking downstream over the Maiden Lane bridge parapet

Looking south from the River Cray embankment, just downstream of Maiden Lane bridge

Thames Road Wetland in the mist, frost on the ground, looking east towards the railway line

Wintry afternoon sun slants across the River Wansunt where it transects Thames Road Wetland, lighting up the dying golden leaves of a Poplar by the River Cray (centre, in the distance)

A ditch at the eastern end of the Thames Road Wetland site

Moon over Thames Road Wetland in the gathering gloom

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