Thursday, 22 November 2012

Drained in reverse

Some heavy rain in the last day and it will be interesting to see how the site looks tomorrow.  Barmston drain is currently well up and starting to flood the field at Standingholme favoured by the short-eared owls last year:

This has had the effect of unusual occurance of Hempholme Meadow being flooded from the drain.  This was the sluice which normally drains the meadow at 4pm today - with water pouring into the meadow from the drain:

The level is rising rapidly in the meadow now - a good job indeed the cattle went home a couple of week ago:
Thanks to Steve Harrison who has been helping at the reserve this autumn for these critters moved out the way of the reaper as he undertook a final cut before the waters rose - great crested newt looking for a hibernation spot:
And a bank vole:

It's safe to assume that South Marsh and Watton Nature Reserve will be experiencing similar effects too.  The River Hull has plenty of water in too, but is a good way off the defences yet:

Hopefully we won't get to this stage - the post being delivered to Standingholme in the 1950's:
Birdwise the bittern is still visible to those who want to see - again showing at 16:25 on Sunday night on South Marsh West.  Apart from this further brambling sightings are welcome along with 60 siskins and a number of lesser redpolls.  A highlight though was probably 2 each of Marsh and Willow tit on the D woods bird feeders - a great chance to hone your ID skills.  A med gull was on the res on Saturday with 10 snipe over.

A lot of people have been asking about short-eared owls and are there any back yet?  So far not; but then they were only first seen on the 12th of November last year.  Their presence can be erratic from year to year depending on vole numbers - so we still don't know whether they'll come at all.  A happy substitute though was this barn owl with thanks to Chris Ulliott: