Dark waters.

The Elan Valley Reservoirs are a chain of man-made lakes created from damming the Elan and Claerwen rivers within the Elan Valley in Mid Wales . The reservoirs, which were built by the Birmingham Corporation Water Department, provide drinking water for Birmingham in England,

It all started in 1893 when the building work began. About 100 people living in the Elan Valley had to move, only landowners received compensation payments. Many buildings were lost including 3 manor houses, 18 farms, a school and the church. 

On 21st July 1904 King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra opened the Elan dams and water started flowing along the pipeline to Birmingham. The scheme employed 50,000 men constructing it.

The church in the valley was lost to the raising waters of the dammed rivers – a new church was built and the graveyard from the old church was relocated.

Cofiwch Cwn Elan sign to remember those who lost their communities land and farms when the dams were built.

Monument to the workers that built the dams.

NB apologies for gap where a photo has dropped out I can not seem to edit out the gap!

Local deer.

Our local deer. (part1). Today we collected our trail cameras the reward was some great footage of the new family. On the downside someone had stolen one of the cameras. I guess a problem of living in a fairly crowded area.

I will add another post of more trail camera footage in the next few days.

Below pictures taken with my standard digital camera in the area where the trail camera was taken from.

spot the crow!

A flash of yellow.

The daffodil a common sight that we regularly see in parks, gardens and on roadsides are mainly garden varieties. In parts of the south of the UK or Wales in damp meadows or woodlands you can see the true Wild Daffodil. While out for our walk today following a deer in a woodland and the edge of a local industrial estate we stumbled across a large patch of Wild Daffodils – a splash of colour coming up amongst the winter leaf debris on the woodland floor.

A couple of Roe deer spotted across a local field.

Wet Woods.

This afternoon I went off to my normal isolated fields to collect various trail cameras. The first appeared missing! but on reaching its location in had been blown from where I had wedged it in a small tree. We had had strong winds overnight and I now had recordings of the sky from the fallen camera which was pointing skyward.

The wind must have been very strong overnight.

This tree although dead was standing when we passed it yesterday but was down today.

Wet woodlands are today some of our least common woodland habitats in the uk. Trees such as alder, willows and birch dominate on wet soils, sedges, ferns and mosses flourish under the trees. Wet woods occur on soils that are often or seasonally wet, because of flooding, local streams floods to the edge of the meadows where we walk. The land is wet all year but during the winter months the flooded areas and water level increases.

Today’s trail camera footage. The local Common Buzzards continue to visit our camera site and enjoy bait (the odd chicken wings) left out for them.

After dark the site was visited by a Fox and a young female Roe Deer.

Woodcock.

Another project has been to try and record some Woodcock on our trail cameras. Over the past weeks we have inadvertently disturbed some from their resting place. They fly off, with noisy wing beats before dropping back into cover. These birds were quite common in the fields when we were kids behind mum and dads house (sadly the land is now built on). The damp meadows with the small woodlands where we now walk in during lock-down seems to be an ideal habitat as we have seen about 3 or 4 different birds here.

They are a large, bulky wading bird with short legs with a long straight tapering bill. They are largely nocturnal, spending most of the day in cover. Many birds in the UK are residents. In the autumn more birds move to the UK from Finland and Russia to winter. As they were not about in the summer I suspect the birds we are seeing are winter visitors.

Placing our trail cameras in spots where birds had taken off from we continue to try and record this shy bird. At the moment we have had some limited success but hope to improve on our 1st attempts in the coming weeks.

Below is a Snipe at Titchfield Haven spotted last year they are similar to a Woodcock but they have longer legs. The link below will show you some Woodcock photo’s.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/animals/birds/woodcock/

Bye bye 2020.

Last walk of 2020. A frosty morning walk to close the year.

Kestral high up in a birch tree. One was sitting in the nest hole in the oak tree a few days go, where they nested in the spring so hopefully they will return again to nest in the same spot.

Today’s deer pictures shows this young Roe deer. He is a Buck as you can see his antlers are developing.

Picking up the trail cameras this morning there was not much captured a passing fox on one and a Blue Tit (out of focus) intent of getting a selfie on the other.

Run.

It started to snow this morning but I missed the chance by the time I had got out it had stopped by the time I got down the road it had gone.

I spotted the deer but they surprised me and although I took some pictures I had not fully set my camera. The movement captured & froze their motion,and speed – a moment it time as they escaped into the woods,