Wed 01/01/14: Welcome to one of the wettest winters in UK history! It hasn’t been particularly cold, but the rain has been torrential, and parts of the country, (especially in the South-West), have been flooded.
This journal records my nature sightings and musings – I sometimes amuse myself during lunchtimes at work by taking a walk around the raggy scrap of wasteland outside the factory complex where I work, on the marshes close to the Thames estuary in Gravesend – although since the locals have started keeping their horses on this land, there is far less habitat for interesting wildlife, and far less freedom to roam where one will. However, I also record sightings from wherever I happen to be at the time, so nothing, hopefully, goes to waste. I have also named the various features on this patch, as shown below, which helps me to record the location of particular sightings for future reference:
It isn’t a particularly accurate illustration, but as you can see, there is a large drainage ditch that extends under Dering Way, (a road that was built about 10 years ago), and this has an overflow into the deep, rectangular water feature I call ‘Pond 1’. There is a shallow ditch extending from Pond 1 alongside a hill that seems to have been created from the earth that was dug to make the ditches – this ditch generally joins up with ‘Pond 2’, the largest pond by area, but shallow enough to completely dry up in some summers. Then there is a makeshift but effective barbed wire fence, partitioning off a section of land at the western end, which contains a further pond, and often floods almost completely. A 5-foot diameter green-painted sewer pipe is supported on concrete stanchions about 7 feet above the ground, and takes a 90-degree nosedive underground before heading off underneath Dering Way to the water-purification works on the other side of the road. The footpath runs along one edge of the factory complex, separated by a double steel paling fence.