Renovating Our Bird Pool: Part 2

In my last post I told you how Lamin began to renovate our bird pool – you can read all about that here.

The next day, Lamin also re-lined the small pool, which is mainly used by the smaller birds – we didn’t want them to feel left out!

However, taking photos of the pool area isn’t very easy. The sun shines there quite nicely in the morning, but by lunchtime it’s blocked by surrounding trees, and then the forest area as it sinks in the west. Although it isn’t possible to have the sun all day, Lamin thought that if we gave one of the nearby palm trees a haircut, it would allow more light during the late morning, and also provide some fence posts and leaves for our perimeter fencing. Again, deforestation has made it very difficult to cut sticks and leaves from the forest around us as we used to, so now we must rely on our own trees.

In true Gambian fashion, cutting back a tree is as simple as shinning up armed with a machete and hacking off branches as you go! So duly armed, Lamin set to work while I took photos, hoping fervently I wasn’t going to get a snap of him falling out of the tree!

Starting with the lower branches first, Lamin worked his way up the tree, cutting through the branches as he went. It shows how sharp the machete was when I tell you that it rarely took more than two blows to cut completely through each branch.

Once all the branches had been cut, Lamin came down and chopped each leaf section away from the branch. He spread the leaves out to dry in the sun, and stacked the sticks for later use on the perimeter fence.

This certainly opened up the area to more light, and we know the tree will regenerate nicely in a very short time, because everything grows very quickly here, but the leaves will be higher up so hopefully they won’t block the sun so much.

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So now everything is looking ship-shape and ready for our birdwatching visitors when they come. And I’m also enjoying it too!

Some time I’ll share a few photos from our renovated pool – we do get some lovely birds here and one of my favourite treats is to spend an afternoon in the hide, armed with my binoculars and camera.

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