It's really quiet on the reserve at the moment, small parties of Swallows still go through at speed, heading south and occasionally a Chiff Chaff works it's way through the willows looking for insects. Stopping to pass the time of day with the odd wildfowlers as they come back along the sea wall inevitably turns to the same old subject - isn't it bloody dry out here!
Take this through pipe which allows the ditches either side of the crossing to be at the same level, the water level should be at or above the pipe but it's no where to be seen.
In 31 years of being involved with the reserve I've never seen this ditch dry out but it's looking likely that I will this year.
I've featured this fleet before, it snakes it's way for several hundred yards through the middle of the reserve and is normally where most of the wildfowl and waders can be found, it's currently bone dry and hard.
And the shallow lake in the Flood Field remains steadfastly bone dry as well, as is the whole field.
Alongside the Flood Field is the pump house that can be used to pump water from the ditch into the field but you will notice that the end of the pump hose is sitting above the couple of inches left in the ditch.
So, after around eighteen months of this dry weather, we can only hope for a wet winter, it will happen, it's just when?
In the meantime, look at this distant shot of two rabbits alongside their burrows, a normal brown one and a jet black one. Around 15/20 years ago the black ones were a fairly common sight on the reserve, breeding naturally in that colour but they have become much rarer nowadays. Breeding in that colour has some fancy scientific explanation but I can't recall what it is.