This afternoon I had an appointment with the local tree preservation officer, and at 14:30hrs I duly met up with her along Ashes lane. I showed her the 4 gardens with the the 15 or so Oak trees to the front of them, and the field of 40-50 Oaks which also butts onto the lane. She then produced a map of the properties, and told me one of them, plus the front trees of the field of Oaks, already had preservation orders on them, great start!
We surveyed the remaining trees in the gardens, and she seemed very amenable to the idea that these trees should link up with the ones already protected, but she did not commit herself to say that they would be, there are still some matters that need looking into. So I am quietly confident that the remaining trees along the lane will indeed be protected.........lets hope my optimism is well founded, i'll let you know more as I get any news.
After the meeting I just had enough light left to quickly go over to the lake, despite having to get a move on, I still encountered GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, COAL TIT and the now 'usual' TREECREPERS, they really do seem to have ridden out this cold winter rather well on my patch, maybe due to the wet woods with all the rotten, insect infested wood helping them out.
I arrived at the lake with my same old expectations, what would be on it, Goosander, Teal, a Grebe species ? Maybe my first ever Tufted Duck to be seen there would turn up.............but no, just 9 MALLARD were seen, oh well, at least that is an increase on yesterday, something may drop down to join them tomorrow. :-). As I left the lake I was clutching at straws by scanning the sky looking for an incoming duck, but I was rewarded for my optimism, when two GREATER BLACK BACKED GULLS (64) flew over, that cheered me up, and almost took away the burning cold feeling in my fingers and cheeks, - that really was a cold NE wind out there today!