Saturday, 22 December 2012

Sitting it out...

A miserable day, but a good opportunity to sit in the dry and take in the excellent views of our woodcocks at the wildlife centre:
The centre will be open tomorrow, then please contact us for opening hours over the Chistmas period.  The reserve itself is open daily and some of our keen Volunteer Wardens are even planning on spending Christmas Day on the reserve!  A couple of pintail on D res, meadow pipit on Hempholme, and otter again showing well for Bill Eggleton on North Marsh today.

A very early pale-brindled beauty was accompanied by a winter moth to finish of the 2012 trapping season - perhaps are target of 300 this year was a bit ambitious given the weather!.  However many thanks to Martin for taking the time to compile the moth list gradually being edited onto the page above - still under construction and pictures to accompany soon.  Picture courtesy of Doug Fairweather:
But many folk will be interested in the state of play with the river today.  In actual fact the river at Hempholme at 15:30 was relatively stable - a 'mere 3.8m' on the board - down 6cm from yesterday lunch time:
Further upstream the river was still overtopping - but 'only' as bad as 3 weeks ago:

To put this into perspective I spoke with Peter Izzard today whom many will know as the former Reserve Warden.  He has said this is the worst he has seen it on the river since 1964 when he started as a Water Scientist on the works.  Whilst the surrounding land was more inundated in 2007 - that time it was more the rapid accumulation of surface water on the lower catchment.  This time it is the background flow from the Wolds aquifer combined with the run off from saturated ground.  Whilst there is still a floodwarning for the Watton Carrs area, there is also now one in addition for Frodingham Beck too which is a tributary of the upper river which has risen rapidly in the last day.  As such its just a question of hoping the defences will last the onslaught they'll have to endure for at least another 3 months - the constant flow of water is gradually working at the structure, often tracking along mole runs and the like:
Water disappearing somewhere into it:
As such the drain is back up to nearly the level of three weeks ago.  Easingwold plantation back under water and Standingholme being enveloped:
Watton Carrs - a bit dark but a small flow over the bank at dusk continuing to inundate farmland.
 Not often you have to slow for a moorhen swimming over the road at the Monk's Barn:
Watton Beck under the A164 at the day's end - all heading into the river...