Thursday, 10 October 2013

KFB for Sunday Lunch

Our working party last Sunday (6th Oct) concentrated on two new tasks:

Firstly, the tall vegetation around the far hide was cleared and hopefully, you will all agree, that the views are now much improved, although, if possible (and safe access can be achieved) we would still like to cut back the tree which partially blocks the view of the lake to the right hand side of the hide.

The improved view from the far hide
Whilst the hide clearing was underway, we commenced what we hope may be one of our most exciting projects to date: the building of an artificial kingfisher nesting bank (KFB) on the bund, approximately 50m from the connecting shoreline and facing towards the near hide.

A lot of thought and planning has gone into this project, both in terms of location and construction.

The location has been chosen, firstly, so that good views can be obtained from the near hide, should we be lucky enough to attract some residents and  secondly, we have seen sufficient kingfisher activity in this area over this summer and autumn, to believe there is a possibility of success in birds nesting. The location of the KFB is sufficiently far away from the areas favoured by ducks and waders not to impinge on their use of the bund.

The first stage has been to dig out the footings and
get the shuttering in ready for the concrete base

The bank itself will measure approximately 2.5m x1.5m x1.5m and will be constructed from blocks, set on a concrete base. We believe this sturdy design will ensure it is not washed away, should we see a substantial rise in the lake level over the winter. The inside of the rectangular block structure will be earth filled with sand filled pipes inserted and opening out on to the front face of the bank, to provide the nesting chambers. The roof will be covered in gravel and appropriate vegetation planted around the bank to create as natural a setting as possible.

The shuttering in place, as seen from the near hide

It will take quite a few weeks to complete the task so please bear with us until the job is finished.

You will have noted that throughout this piece I have talked about luck and possibilities, because as always with nature, there are absolutely no guarantees that the KFB will be used by the little electric blue beauties that we hope may nest in it.

The object of our desires,
photograph by Tony Bedford

However, if you don't buy a ticket you can't win the lottery and I understand that the chances of Kingfishers moving into the KFB are infinitesimally greater than me carrying off the big one.

Every cloud as they say!

Work Photos courtesy of Malcolm Stewart


Following on from the above, a small band of Friends got together the following Saturday to lay the concrete base.

Many thanks to Alan, Dave, Neil, Pauline and Simon & Son

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