Sunday, 29 April 2012

Fox, us, biscuits

Despite the atrocious weather, six hardy souls from the Friends group turned up this morning to carry out some fencing work on the southern flank of the reserve.

Well, I say six hardy souls, it was actually five and the wet blanket that was Yours Truly. I would happily have stayed indoors with a mug of tea and a plate of biscuits. However, so as not to be too much of a damp squib, I gamely joined in and we squelched our way down the track to the area by the cattle pens.

The fencing in this part of the reserve is not much of a barrier to trespassers, as some of it is quite dilapidated and the posts have rotted through. This portion will require more effort and equipment than we had to hand, so we concentrated on beefing up the strands of barbed wire along the next length of fence, including a few of the gates.

A reel of barbed wire later, the mugs of tea and plate of biscuits seemed a much better idea, so we retraced our puddles back to the study centre and sat by the large window overlooking the imaginatively-titled Near Paddock. Whilst we were chatting about the morning's work and future plans, a Fox appeared on the far bank of the pond-dipping pool. In the short space of time it took for all of us to fasten our eyes on it, another one appeared directly in front of the study centre and proceeded to hunt along the edge of a ditch.

For six enthusiastic wildlife watchers, we were somewhat embarrassed to realise that the sum total of our photographic arsenal was a small compact camera and an iPhone. However, these were brought to bear on the foraging Fox to provide the necessary evidence that we weren't all suffering from hypothermia and, therefore, hallucinating.

Just like Springwatch!
By mid-day, there was very little of the bund to be seen due to rising water levels. It is likely that the River Great Ouse will burst its banks soon and flood through the reserve, but at least this will top up the satellite ponds which are not directly connected to the main lake.

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