It's been quiet on the scrape marsh for the last 2 days. We still had the digger but the driver was away on another job. However at the weekend we put another board into the sluice on the main dyke surrounding our marshes to get some water on to the mini-scrape. After work on Monday as dusk approached I wandered out to check on progress. The water had flowed in a little more but as I approached the scrape a small brown bird perched upright on a clod of earth next to the scrape caught my eye. Lifting my bins this proved to be a Wheatear, another scarce migrant out here and species 120 for my Patchwork Challenge list. It flitted on to the mud of the new scrape after insects so it looks like the bare earth may have played its part in attracting it to visit. On the walk home, a Hobby flew over in the gathering gloom.
After leaving the board in for 3 days, the knock-on effect of raising the level in the main dyke was to raise the water in the internal dykes so water has started to flood down the current connecting channel on to the main scrape particularly the smaller southern pool.
Happily the digger was back at work today but the disturbance meant there were no birds. It has started on the big task of spreading the spoil. The method seems to be to move the piles steadily across the marsh leaving a little behind as they go, so the heaps are creeping ever further from the scrape. We're starting to get an idea of how it will eventually look. However fearful that too much water increases the risk of the digger getting stuck, we have removed the board from the sluice and unfortunately the water level will drop again. It looks like the last thing to be done will be the installation of the water control pipe which will allow us to maintain the water level on the scrape and get it flooded to its full capacity (and probably beyond).