Friday, 31 January 2014

A bit of 'ern easterly at last

What we've been waiting for all winter is a good blast of easterlies - perhaps its too late for the smew this year but it did apparently blow in this loofa on Wednesday:
Bittern on the North Marsh courtesy of Michael Flowers group - more excellent pictures on his blog here.  A few snowdrops gave some seasonal flair before the rain returned again today:
Not necessarily unwelcome its now rapidly refilling the southern marshes and drowning off all the cut stems of tens of thousands of willow saplings cut back by the many volunteers who've done excellent work readying it for this season - new islands and lots of rushes remain as cover and breeding habitat:
The water quality is very different this year being crystal clear and containing lots of daphnia and the like; a far cry from the anaerobic sludge of previous years.  These shoveler seemed to be revelling in it (thanks to Mal Jones):
A few gulls resting on their armoured island - wire and electric fencing to keep the foxes off this year:
Elsewhere we had three med gulls and two lesser black backed on Saturday, very active marsh tits in D woods, little egret on Hempholme Meadow today, marsh harrier yesterday, peregrine falcon a couple of times in the week and a pair of visible barn owls on North Scrub regularly seen (Mal Jones):
We've also been completing the otter holt this week - cabling is in for the new 'holt cam' which will give a live view inside the best holt on the river Hull (If not the region!).  We've had it up and running today under jury rig; we now need to tidy it for public viewing in the coming days.  The blue trug has now been removed from the entrance hole in the equivalent of 'ribbon cutting'.  Literally around 10 minutes later this female or cub otter swam up to the hide and caught a fish - so we don't think it'll be long at the lettings agent.  Apart from screwdrivers and wire crimpers the mobile was the only device which didn't really do the 30 second views justice:
Reserve walk tomorrow morning at 10am - all welcome with standard admission.