Sunrise: 06.58 Sunset: 05.45
Last summer, at the northern end of the marsh, before the mass tree felling, I selected a small willow thicket to use as living scaffolding for a blind (hide). I cleared the area around it during August and September, and piled the brash close by in preparation for the construction work to be completed before spring of this year.
Using long slender willow, alder and birch saplings cut last year, I wove a shoulder-high blind yesterday in amongst the thick willow poles of the thicket. I piled dried brambles and various rotting vegetation against the outer woven walls to help mask my scent when I am in residence. It surprises me that I actually managed to compete the structure before spring takes hold; I’m usually short of time for this type of activity. The north marsh animals have lived with contractors working in their territories since November last year, so I don’t think they will give my blind a second thought.
I now have a commanding view of the area around the North Pond Chain, and am able to appreciate it from the comfort of a purpose-built hide, albeit a basic ground level design.
The River Stour flows south a few metres from the west bank of the pond, and the blind is on the eastern bank. I can watch and photograph animals without them being aware of me, as well as stow my photographic gear out of sight. Also, there is often a stiff cold breeze blowing down the river, so the hide will offer some degree of protection against that. There are still a few things that have to be done, like installing the fittings from which to hang my hammock seat in a willow alcove I have created. The blind is functional, though, and I will be able to use it as the evenings get lighter.
Toads hoping to mate will start arriving at the pond in just over a week, and March is the peak fox cubbing month. The dog fox will be hard pressed hunting for himself and his vixen, so I expect I will see him often around the pond, and his vixen in six weeks time. I haven’t found the North marsh vixen’s den yet, but I guess there will be one nearby.
At the moment, the ground along the eastern bank of the pond chain, the northern corridor, and the Hoo Brook Pasture is churned soil, but it will all green-up shortly.
I should have taken a few photographs, but I didn’t expect to writing a post about the blind. The next time I’m down there, I will take a few photographs and post them.
This image is from four years ago.