The bird hide continues

Putting the stencil on the bird hide after concreting.

Putting the stencil on the bird hide after concreting.

Another incredibly busy day at the wetlands. Bill and Ray had been there since 6:30 AM ensuring the site of the first bird hide was ready for a concrete mixer. The troops arrived well before 8 when the truck arrived and it was hell for leather until the job was finished. Ray and Ken stayed behind to level and smooth the newly laid concrete, carefully putting a slight incline near the leading edge to help accommodate the tool storage area. Meanwhile most of the others went with the truck to the rocks on the north-west side of the dam culvert. The remaining load (about a barrow’s worth) was dumped here and the truck drove away. The gang leapt on it with great speed, placing the concrete between large loose boulders to complete the reinforcement of the sides of the dam wall.

Filling in the holes. Fortunately the concreting was too stressful for Biscuit the one-eyed dog, so he left his paw prints out of the concrete.

Filling in the holes. Fortunately the concreting was too stressful for Biscuit the one-eyed dog, so he left his paw prints out of the concrete.

At the same time, Rodney and Bill 2 were inspecting the plants and putting GPS locations for 9 of the 10 transects we have to complete for the NSW Environment Trust. That job done, we figured the concrete was ready to be edged and, after a very pleasant morning tea away they all (minus Rodney and B2) ran to the bird hide again. The edging completed, the next step for the morning was to put stencilling over the surface to provide a tread and to give it an aesthetically pleasing touch consistent with the bridge. Another half an hour and the concrete was going off enough to allow the plastic stencil to be removed, a very delicate operation. As a last touch Rodney put a date on one of the rectangular squares left by the stencil before going home.

Two of the 17 large grasshoppers that stayed to watch the activity.

Two of the 17 large grasshoppers that stayed to watch the activity.

Meanwhile, spring is advancing all too fast. Out first sating bowerbird gave the site the once over, a young female. The ravens are nesting and harassing the other birds looking for vulnerable chicks and eggs. The coots are trying to breed under the bushes. All sorts of weeds are coming into flower, as well as a few hidden natives. Outside the fence are flowering brilliant blue native crowfoot shrubs.  We have to ensure they don’t accidentally get sprayed.

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