Saturday, 24 September 2016

Reserve Dawn

I was on the reserve just as the dawn sky was beginning to brighten and look quite beautiful in it's various colours. Here see the sky behind farm buildings in the distance.

Gradually getting lighter

The sea wall fleet in the dawn light, looks like a lot of water but only a few inches deep now.

The sky continues to brighten as the sun climbs.

 and at last the sun appears on the horizon.

I reach the sea wall top and look along the saltings for any wildfowlers, ah yes, there's one easily spotted, why don't they use camouflage netting of a lighter colour?

Anyway, after we all had a jovial chat they all made their way back along the sea wall in the dawn light.

Here Ellie has her eyes fixed firmly on a rabbit that was several yards in front of her and is poised to strike.

This the end of what is normally our largest and longest fleet, now showing the results of our continuing drought.

As is this ditch, reduced to a shallow puddle at one end. In the winter this will be full of water to the top of the bare soil on the bank side, meaning it is around four foot lower than normal in winter, that's a lot of rain needed.

Cattle at the calf feeder bins, notice how yellow the grazing marsh is.

Mother and son. In a few weeks time all the calves will be taken away from their mothers to be weaned off.

 Midge and Ellie.

Discing on the farm field alongside the reserve, ready to sow winter corn. Notice the dust rising from the bone dry soil. And below that, a field of bulls in their winter quarters, 25 in all. Once again note the parched grazing.


  1. Your photos of the rising sun are superb. It is really dry in your part of England. A long gentle rain is definitely needed.

    Are you usually out this early or was this unusual? Is the reserve an area that wildfowlers may shoot?

    I wouldn't want to get very close to the field of bulls in their winter quarters.

    I only just started reading your blog and it is very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hello Sandy, really nice to hear from you. In respect of rain, we've had just around half an inch over three months. Yes, I normally get up at around 5.15 and then go down to the reserve fairly early - just a case of being a naturally early riser. The wildfowlers only shoot the saltings the seaward side of the sea wall and even then not closer than 100yds. A whole field of bulls is a rather daunting thought but they can often be quite placid.

  3. Dawn - my favorite time of day! Nice to see Midge and Ellie. Would love to share a little of our rain with you; during the last 2 nights we got 10+ inches total. Followed by nice sunny days, as is typical for us this time of year. No complaints.

  4. Your post has reminded me of what I might be able to see if I could just manage to wake up about one hour earlier.

    The photo of your pup Ellie on point is a charmer.

    I surely do hope that your area receives some welcome rain soon. Best wishes.

  5. Judging from these pictures, and also from your posts throughout the summer Derek, you really have suffered from lack of rain haven't you.

  6. Lovely posting as always Derek, thank you. I hope it is not too full of Pallid Harrier watchers at present! Bryan.

  7. The marsh that is, full of Harrier watchers, not your posts on your blog!

  8. wow what a beautiful sunrise .never saw before as you presented it through you gradual shots.being a villager i found myself lucky to look at the scenes changing from darkness to golden .it is an experience indescribable