Blue Flower

Thursday 11/1/24  There was no work party today as I was recovering from minor surgery and not enough other people were available, we also thought the riverside track might be too slippery after the recent floods. Eddie walked down to the mill during the day to check the track and said it has now dried out and the river level has gone back to normal, with no water inside the wheel or on the brick floor leading into the wheel. While Eddie was at the mill he switched on the nest cameras and reported that they were still working.

Thursday 18/1/24 Emma bought us bird seed, suet balls, sugar and kitchen towel which we loaded up and took to the mill along with more wood which I salvaged from the fire site by the barrier. We saw a Heron and Egret fly up from the riverside track on our way down.

It was cold and frosty today so Eddie lit the fire in the railway wagon, the fire door seal I glued back in place last time has stuck fast, we worked in the warmth of the wagon most of the day. From the window we saw Swans flying and landing in the field behind the mill.

Our nest camera system in the wagon keeps cutting out and restarting, this usually happens when the voltage is low after leaving shed lights on or charging tool batteries, but it was happening most of the time, so today I brought my AVO meter and 12V tester to check the voltage. 

At the solar controller in the shed the readout was 12.3 V, I plugged my tester into the fridge socket where power comes into the wagon from an underground cable and it was 12.1 Volts. There's a thinner cable running under the wagon powering the nest cameras at the other end, I checked the terminal block at the cameras with the AVO and its down to 10.0 Volts. The cable may need replacing with a thicker wire, we’ll carry out further tests.

Eddie put the sugar and tea bags into plastic containers to stop mice eating them again. Emma walked down and saw a Cormorant on the way. Emma sorted out the display books, photo albumsfiles and put the unused folders in the underseat storage, then sorted out the kitchen cupboards and tidied up the railway wagon.

Eddie brought a rotary wire brush and went outside to try it on the bench he donated, which came from his mum’s house, the wire brush removed paint well. Eddie also brought a tin of black paint for the bench.

Eddie and I went across our bridge to see if last weeks floods had caused any more damage to the fallen river wall, but it looks the same as before. A wall repair plan has now been agreed, see the article for details. The flood has left weeds and mud on the brick floor in front of the water wheel, we will clean this before the open days which are on 11 & 12 May.

I noticed the Cyclamen leaves on our river bank have survived, they were under water during the flood and I thought the bulbs might have been washed away. Last year Cyclamen flowered from August to November. Snowdrops should be in flower next month on this bank.

Eddie transferred the sack of bird seed into our container to prevent mice eating it, then filled up the seed and peanut feeders. I emptied the box of suet balls into a container and filled up the suet feeders, we saw a flock of Long Tailed Tits eating from them.

Eddie got more logs from the woodstore and kept the fire going all day. Emma noticed a Kestrel which was on top of a tree near our Kestrel box, so we hope it is using it. On our journey back we saw the Egret again.

Graham Bartlett  

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