Wow! it's a long time since I can recall such an immediate transformation from one season to another. Just two days ago I was still walking round the reserve early in the morning in just a polo shirt and trousers after over two months of doing the same, every day has been so hot and humid. This morning at 7.00 along the reserve seawall I had on almost my normal winter clothes, with a thick sweater and my winter coat and needed them. There was a strong and chilly NW wind gusting to 40 mph, heavy grey skies and brief showers of light rain, a day not un-typical of early winter and a change in the weather being celebrated by the one wildfowler present. It really was hard to comprehend such a rapid change.
The one thing that hasn't changed though, is how dry it remains. I took the photos below a couple of days ago, once again to emphasis the degree of drought that the reserve is suffering and despite the weather of the last 24 hrs they are still factual. The first below is the Flood Field and what is normally one of the large splashes of water in it, now bone dry and cracked up.
Alongside the Flood Field is the main distributor pump house. When ditches are full this can pump water in three directions, though we mostly use it to pump water into the Flood Field. Below the reeds you can see the end of the pump's suction pipe and it's square filter box. That is sitting just above the last inch or two of water that is left in the ditch, normally it is under three feet of water, or more!
Amazingly, despite being surrounded quite closely by areas on Thursday night that suffered violent thunderstorms and torrential rain, our little island got none of it. We eventually got 3-4 hours of rain yesterday afternoon but in the strong winds overnight and this morning, that has done no more than wet the ground to about a centimetre's depth, basically we're just as dry as we have been for the last three months.