© Andrew Moon

At our Recruitment Day, despite being a gloomy day, we had a steady flow of folk and we managed to secure nine signed-up members. A number without cash [only cards] took forms away to join online. 

We received donations of £15.00. There was much recognition during the day of FoSL’s valuable conservation works round the lake, particularly the introduction of the Dexter cattle for wildflower meadow management. And of course, we were able to showcase our new "Council for the Protection of Rural England" conservation award, framed and proudly placed on the recruitment desk. Lastly, the appearance of the plastic heron was a humorous talking point - a definite star attraction for future recruitment days.

Russell Ball

Saturday was a day of gale force winds and I very much wondered whether we would have to cancel Sunday. However, Sunday morning was partly sunny, although windy at times.
 
Twelve of us gathered on the Causeway.  I had enlisted the help of members, Cliff, Alex and Anna and with their expertise we had a great time identifying far more butterflies and dragonflies than we thought we would see.  We started off towards the path leading towards Fort Drew and before we had gone very far saw a brown hawker dragonfly and a number of insects.
An overcast afternoon but luckily the rain held off and made for quite a comfortable walk.  16 of us gathered on the Causeway to see what wildflowers we would see this year.  This was in contrast to the year before, when we had to contend with hot unrelenting sunshine.
 
Janet Lowndes had the wealth of wildflower knowledge and we cannot thank her enough for joining us again.  Quite a number of those who were on the walk also had some knowledge of wildflowers and it was great to share information as we walked around Stockers Lake. 
Seven of us this year gathered on the causeway at half past eight for a walk round the lake. The weather was sunny, but chilly and blustery and even the sun had largely disappeared by the time we finished. We saw or in many cases only heard most of the expected birds. There were good numbers of swallows, house martins and swifts over Bury and Stockers Lakes. We had only glimpses of most birds. They were really well buried in the foliage which was in most cases well developed. Several Cetti’s Warbler called from various points round the lake but as ever remained well hidden. Warblers - Reed, a few Sedge, Garden, Blackcap, Chiffchaff - were heard at many spots and we debated about a Whitethroat near the Iron Bridge. Otherwise Blackbirds, Wrens (in profusion), Robins, Chaffinches, and plenty of Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits (with young) were seen. They serenaded us as we passed along.
Different again this year. Spring really had sprung. There were lots of Little Egrets in the trees among the Grey Herons although it did not look as though they were nesting yet. But the herons were well on with raising their next generation with some chicks still in their eggs, some a few days old and even some 3 or 4 weeks old meaning they were laid around the end of January! How do we know all this? Because the cameras are up and running this year. 
 
It was a glorious sunny day although the breeze had a bit of a bit to it. This year we had a recruitment tent on the causeway thanks to Russell and Nelish in particular together with help from Larry, Linda and the Lees to name those I know about. They had the laptop with pictures and videos of the nests, taken the day before by our offshore cameras. See this news article.
 
 
Unlike last year it was dull, dull, dull with a cool breeze. But at least it was not raining for the five of us as we walked from the causeway down the canal side. Unsurprisingly birds generally were conspicuous by their absence. Again without some really cold weather further north bird numbers on the lake tend to remain low. But that does not explain the lack of birds among the trees. Of course they are not calling yet and the light was poor, which makes spotting and identifying them harder.