23rd October 2011
Brickfields LNR
Had a look, just before lunchtime today - The Newt is still there!  I think I'm becoming paranoid about the new carvings and the information board. Just a little worried about them being damaged or stolen. A lot of work had gone into them and they are a lovely addition to the reserve. Still can't do much about it if it does happen.
Two more Grey Wagtails seen today around the pond. I go two years with only seeing one over there and in a week I have six sightings!
 I'm on the lookout for Bullfinches, I have only had one sighting and that was last year, but someone, a reliable source, heard one on Friday, so I am going to check it out this week.
Bye for now.
21st October 2011
Brickfields LNR
.....No it’s a lovely carved Great Crested Newt, synonymous with the Brickfields pond as the Great Crested Newt breeds in  there. This Newt is on the endangered species list and protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
Well the Newt has been installed on the Pond dipping platform, see the pictures and click on to enlarge. It was supposed to be fitted on Thursday but a ‘technical’ problem stopped it. Anyway it is now fixed, hopefully securely, I know how it is secured, and it’s going to take some effort to remove it. I am hoping for lots of rain this winter so as the water level rises, this will make a better visual effect with the water lapping up to the newts tail ! Go see it and enjoy.
Other than that, a pair of Grey Wagtails were flying around feeding on the insect life on the muddy banks. A party of Long- tailed tits were searching through the tops of the trees for food. A good few Chaffinches, Great tits and Woodpeckers about. I saw and counted five Green Woodpeckers. They could be heard with that ‘Laughing Yaffle’ alarm call as well.
Bye for now.

19th October 2011
Brickfields LNR
Well I’m led to believe, the Newt arrives tomorrow morning. It will be installed at the Pond dipping platform. It’s a very large, lovely wood carving, expertly done. I don’t think you will be able to miss it. I wonder what a Heron will make of it, they rather like to eat newts, but not this one, I’ll bet !
Might see you over Brickfields tomorrow. Say hello if you see me, I’ll be wearing a Green Baseball cap with a little mouse on it, not a real one, I’m not that mad .....yet !
Cranham Marsh Reserve
Now seeing it was a bright morning with a ‘nip’ in the air, I thought I’ll take a walk over Cranham Marsh. I went over there to see the new sculptures and the interpretation boards. I did not do the walk from Brickfields ( it’s 2 ½ miles if you wanted too ) I cheated and drove there by car.  However, I did walk around the whole reserve and there was plenty to see, noted; Wren (4), Robin(2) Blackbird (4), Goldfinch (10), Chaffinch (3) Green Woodpecker (2), Great spotted woodpecker ( 2) and not one of my favourite birds Ring-Necked Parakeets, I counted 7, noisy things! Even 2 Red Admiral butterflies were flitting about when it warmed up a bit.

So when you have seen Brickfields LNR, continue on and visit Cranham Marsh, you won’t be disappointed, the Sculptures are great, it’s a must visit. Well done to everyone there! Both reserves are supported by Havering Council and managed by Essex Wildlife Trust.

On the way back home to Cranham, I also stopped at The Thames Chase centre to have a nice pot of Tea and I could not resist a nice slice of homemade bread pudding.....well I had walked all around Cranham Marsh, got to keep up the energy levels and all that !

I could have stopped at the ‘Thatched House’......Pity I was driving !

Bye for now.

16th October 2011
Now where was I..Oh yes, the Juvenile Sparrowhawk ! I have often seen Sparrowhawks flying over my garden and over Brickfields, but never in my garden. So it was a big surprise to have one sitting on my garage roof, near the bird table, looking straight at me, on Friday morning. I had just sat down in the conservatory with a cup of tea and looked out of the window and as a habit, looked at the bird table and feeder. Then I looked as a double take and wishing I had my camera at hand. It was a juvenile bird, I know this by its colouring. It sat there for a about 30 seconds ( which is a long time) before swooping off and hurdling the garden fences as it went, up and down it swooped scattering Starlings, Goldfinches, House Sparrows and Collared Doves as it went. Then it disappeared over the roof tops. A nice start to the day.

Later on Friday about lunchtime, my wife and I took our two dogs for a walk over Brickfields. An excuse to show my wife the new Information board ( what an exciting life we lead ! ). It was still there ! Walking around I saw a new species of bird for our list, a Grey Wagtail, its back is Grey but it has a lovely yellow in its underparts. It was flitting around the edge of the pond looking for insects. Also around the pond was a Common Darter doing the same (see pictures of the species).

Common Darter ( Dragonfly)


Grey Wagtail

Today (Sunday) another look around the pond to see if the Grey Wagtail was still about, no such luck. I have see one before, over Brickfields, about this time last year, but I was not recording the list then, nor was this website born, so I have added it to the list now. Also added another bird to the list today as a Cormorant flew over the pond, probably heading for Stubbers lakes, it was flying in that direction.
I am very pleased at the amount of visitors who are stopping to look at the information board and admiring the wood carvings. Some really good comments made......But most make the same comment of  " wonder how long it will last" meaning about it being vandalised !  Well you have to try and make it a nice place to visit or the wreckers will only win.
If the nice decent people who I have spoken to over the week-end continue to visit, even just to walk their dogs and encourage others to visit, then that alone cuts down on anti-social behaviour and vandalism, because the weckers don't like an audience they tend to do things behind peoples backs or in the dark, thats how sad they are.
Anyway good times ahead...... The fixing of the big carved Newt has been delayed, but will be installed very soon....Now that will be a talking point !
Bye for now !
15th October 2011

Brickfields LNR

It’s been a busy week, a couple of new additions to the nature list and an eyeball to eyeball account with a Juvenile Sparrowhawk, a delivery and installation of a new caved  information  board, a bit of ground maintenance with the trimming of the overgrowing pathway and cutting back an overgrown tree.
So let start at the beginning....shown in Photo’s below - Thursday 13th  a delivery of the Information Board with posts....and installation with the finished item.  Click on picture to enlarge
While they were installing the Information Board – Dave & Steve from The Thames Chase volunteers and I trimmed back  the overgrown pathway, pruned the trees , where the branches had started to grow over the path, which were under head height and generally tidied up. We also cut back a tree at one corner of the path, making more light and a better view. As soon as we had finished a Red Breasted foreman came and inspected the work ( see the photos)  I think he only came for the food !
I think they said the Foreman name was  'Robin'.
Not a good picture,because he would not keep still !

    Can you see him ?

Tomorrow I will continue and tell you about the new additions to the nature list and an eyeball to eyeball account with a Juvenile
 Sparrowhawk, visitors comments and " where's the Big Newt then ? ".
Bye for now.
8th October 2011
Brickfields & Cranham Marsh LNR's
I received a welcome e-mail from Benjamin Sanderson Havering’s Environmental Programmes Officer, saying ,  “All the new signage and sculptures for both Cranham Marsh and Cranham Brickfields has now been completed. We will be installing on site next Thursday 13th October  at Cranham Brickfields from 9.00am. If you are free to lend a hand that would be great”. “We will be installing the sign board and giant newt on the dipping platform.  There are other pieces of furniture to install at Cranham Marsh and also along the footpath on the side of the golf course so will be moving between sites throughout the day”.

I had posted some of the drawings in June on this site, but now  they have been completed, see picture of the Water vole  which caught my eye, it's cute and the  Newt......is BIG !

Come along and support Brickfields & Cranham Marsh both are managed by Essex Wildlife Trust and the London Borough of Havering.

The Water Vole carving.....ahhhh

3rd October 2911.
Brickfields LNR
Well the unseasonable weather has been well documented, records have been broken with the hottest this and hottest that and I’m pleased, I have not put on my central heating yet....Keeps my bills down! Great!  Even a Chiffchaff was in my Buddleia bush on Sunday morning, a first in my garden. But, yes, there is always a but....No RAIN, I can’t believe we had the wettest August for a few years as well, it crazy! I think the best of the rain missed Brickfields. Poor old Brickfields Pond has not been spared; see the difference in the water level (see pictures below).
The unseasonal weather and the wind direction have an effect on Bird migration. Birds do know when to migrate, when summer turns into autumn, it’s time for the summer migrants to leave, the Swallows, House Martins and a lot more. Making way for the wintering Birds coming in, the Waders, Ducks, Geese, Redwings and Fieldfares.  One of the reasons that they know........ The days become shorter, therefore less time to find food!
You’re hearing it now from people, ‘The nights are drawing in’. I am writing this now, its 6:40pm, the sun has gone down and it’s near dark, only a few weeks ago, I was still sitting in my Garden at 9 o’clock in the evening.

Apart from the leaves that are now falling (not sure if it’s the hot weather drying them out) but the autumn colours are starting to show, the next couple of weeks should be well worth a visit to Brickfields just to see nature's colours.
Bye for now.

               The Pond  23rd Feb 2011           (click on the photo to enlarge)          The Pond 3rd Oct 2011