Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Tunnel(s) of Love
(KFB Update)

The mighty edifice which is our new kingfisher nesting site is now up to full height and the nesting chambers have been installed.

Picture courtesy of Malcolm Stewart

We now need to fill the remainder of the main structure with a sand/earth mix and install the roof.

As you can also see below, the prospective residents are still taking a close interest in proceedings.

Picture courtesy of Carol Hughes

Monday, 4 November 2013

Bundfire of the Vanities
Kingfisher - Bankers, You Can Trust

A view of some of the activities from the near hide

Thanks everyone for another great turn-out on Sunday.

Getting the materials to the building site has been one of the hardest jobs
and much appreciation for all their efforts must go to all those
that have "barrowed" materials to the KFB. 

As you will see from the pictures, the Kingfisher Bank is almost up to full height and just requires one or two more layers of blocks around the back and sides.

Our man with the trowel - Great work Alan

The cavity has been half filled with gravel and earth and it will soon be time to cut the holes in the front blocks and install the pipe nest chambers.

Then we fill the rest of the cavity with sand/earth, install a weatherproof membrane and maybe try and make the exterior a bit more natural looking.

Along the surrounding hills, tribes of Apache, Comanche and Sioux gathered, to try and read the messages rising into the beautiful blue skies above the bund - but it was just our slightly premature celebration of bonfire night, as we disposed of the Willow arisings which had been cut a month or so earlier.

We also managed to open up and widen some of the pathway and clear some growth from around the woodland hide.

This Jack Pike skull caused quite a bit of speculation regarding
it's demise - was it killed by a particularly ambitious Heron or Cormorant -
or could it have been an otter? 

All in all a great days work and many, many, thanks to everyone who joined in.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Chris Packham
Autumnwatch Thursday 31st October

I have been known, in the past, to be less than complimentary, regarding the presentation style of some of the Spring(Autumn)Watch presenters, if I'm honest, on occasions probably downright rude.

So, for me, to be both moved and motivated by the words of Chris Packham at the close of last nights program came as a bit of a shock.

You see, last night, he hit something deep in the heart of me, that made me realise why I am so proud to be the Chairman of FoHESC.

Following another fantastic piece by wildlife photographer John Aitchison featuring the river Ythan (north of Aberdeen) Chris very eloquently summed up Johns closing message:

"We've all got our patches, places that we go to, places that we love.
We need to learn to look after them.
If you've got a patch, look after it.
Sometimes it comes down to you - Nobody else is going to do it - otherwise in twenty years it may be gone." 

For me I guess that patch is HESC, the potential is fantastic - but the threats are real too. Shrinking council budgets, pressure for spaces to build and digging out the last ounces of mineral resources along with uncertainty regarding the eventual ownership of the site, all pose medium to long term risk regarding the future of the reserve.

But Chris is right - it does come down to us - and together, I am positive we can see the patch that we love thrive and develop.

If therefore, you feel as I do that these wild places are worth preserving, please continue to support the Friends Group, as I know, you have in the past - and if possible - encourage other like minded souls to visit on Open Sundays and even join us as members.

This Sunday we will again be working on the new Kingfisher Bank and with luck burning off the scrub we cut on the bund a month back, along with any other small tasks that need doing - please if you can, come and join in (Boy Scouts, old and new with fire lighting skills very welcome).

Best wishes

Tony Bedford
Chairman FoHESC

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