Blue Flower

Thursday 30/5/24  We saw a Chaffinch in a tree when we got to the mill and we heard a Cuckoo, which then flew over the field beside the mill. The Jackdaw chicks in the nest box are almost adult size now, we watched them being fed and walking around the nest box, they will probably be gone by next week.

Howard noticed a nest in the middle of the water wheel, possibly Grey Wagtails, he charged the GoPro camera and set it up on the handrails to monitor the nest to see if its still active, we will watch the recording next time.

The old display boards in the small room of the visitor centre were falling apart, so Howard took them down and replaced them with two large notice boards we bought for the D Day displays at the open days. I transferred the historic photos and restoration pictures onto the new boards.

I took the display case from the open days apart so we can re-use the wood, a Mayfly landed on one of the pieces. Eddie took off the battens and removed all the screws. Howard used the boards to make a shelving unit for displaying items found when making the wildflower meadow.

Eddie repaired a broken peanut feeder, he drilled it out and fitted a large bolt for a perch which also holds the base in place, he filled all the feeders and found we need another sack of seed which he will get.

The insect hotel we made was loose and crooked on the stand, so I cut some pieces of wood and fitted them to the back of the stand to hold the main box upright, then tightened up screws in the legs, which has fixed it. I put it back in the meadow and saw Poppies and Corn Chamomile flowering along with one single Cornflower. There are Ox Eye Daisies and more Buttercups this year, as perennials don't usually flower in the first year.

Aerial pictures were printed and framed and put on the wagon doors for the open days, today Eddie put them on the inside walls of the wagon. I put the gazebo and camping table in the loft of the visitor centre.

Just when the May open days are over, its time to start planning for Heritage Open Days in September. We have updated our HOD website entry for 2024, which is now live. We will open on 14 & 15 September to avoid Kings Lynn’s open days on the 8th, as we can’t compete with their 40+ attractions, so it gives everyone a chance to visit our open days, as well as Kings Lynn’s which includes a classic car show.

Thursday 6/6/24  On my way in to the mill on the mower and trailer I noticed more wildflowers have come out in our meadow. I un-hitched the trailer and painted the wooden spacer block black, I fitted the block a while ago to keep the trailer level. I cut the paths through the meadow as well as a clearing for our picnic bench. I pushed canes back into one of the butterfly houses, as birds had pulled them out.

Today was the 80th anniversary of D Day,  so I went among the Poppies in the meadow and thought about those who took part in the landings, many of them lost their lives. We commemorated the D Day anniversary at our recent open days with displays and activities, including a diorama which was made by the volunteers.

Eddie brought a sack of bird seed today and I brought a bag of Nyger, Eddie emptied them both into our containers and filled all the bird feeders, he saw a pair of Goldfinches eating Nyger on the camera screen. Jackdaws have left their nest, as expected.

Eddie raked Mole hills flat and mowed both lawns, grass around the wagon and visitor centre, then strimmed all the edges around the site. There was a Pied Wagtail flying around the machinery area near the grindstone.

I mowed the top river bank including between the damaged walls where a pathway was cleared for the open days. I repaired the fences as some of the posts had blown over. I strimmed in front of the wildlife habitat and log store as they were overgrown.

I got the ladder and cleared out the old Great Tit nest from the nest box after Eddie checked it was empty. I removed a thick layer of nesting material. While working on the river bank I pulled bindweed off of the Bistort flower stems. We noticed Rock Campion which was planted next to the Lupins was flowering.

My last job was repairing one of the bridge floor panels which was sticking up, causing a trip hazard. I fitted longer screws at an angle which holds the floor panel securely. Near the bridge were lots of Demoiselles (Damsel Flies) flying among the nettles.

While putting the wheelbarrow back Eddie noticed a Lizard basking on a builder’s bag. Eddie took the mower back, but it broke down just as he was leaving the mill, we couldn’t get it going, so we towed it back to The Maltings. Fred had a look and offered to take it apart to see what’s wrong.

Last week Howard set up the GoPro camera to monitor a nest in the middle of the water wheel. I took the camera home and got the images from it which shows no activity, so it must be an old dis-used nest.

Graham Bartlett  

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