Sunday, 6 May 2012
Could This be Winter
So far this week, in the umpteenth week of a hosepipe ban due to a "drought", I have twice emptied my water butts down the drains because they keep on overflowing. What's more its looks absolutely guaranteed that I shall be doing that for some time, so bad is the forecast for the next few weeks. I keep getting this mental picture of thousand and thousands of people sitting in the Olympic stadium in a few months time, wearing thermal underwear and plastic macs, so great is the risk of planning an outside event in Britain. But, I will be ecstatic if hot and sunny weather eventually proves me wrong.
But to get back to the present and a more serious thought, I wonder how much this wet and wintery weather is affecting breeding wildlife, especially birds. Chicks can presumably suffer the wet but it is the constant cold that is the killer. Imagine those few days old, fluffy Lapwing chicks walking round in waterlogged fields, sodden and cold themselves all day and into the night and with no sun to warm them, it has to be a killer. Likewise, how many nests have been actually washed out by rising floodwaters, the examples go on and on and the prognosis looks like a really poor breeding season. We can only hope that in June the sun comes out for more than one day at a time and many birds have a go at re-breeding.
With light conditions for photos becoming as rare as a sunny day, I have re-posted the above photo in order that people know what I am referring to when I mention the "S Bend Ditch" and the Flood Scrape on the reserve. I took it myself a few years ago and while the "S Bend Ditch" is obvious, the Scrape is to the top LH side. If you double click on it, it comes up a bit better.