Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Singing In The Rain

I was fortunate to be on the reserve at lunch time today and experience a rare event - an hour's torrential rain, even more fortunate was the fact that I just got to the Seawall Hide as it started. I even recorded the sight of rain hitting the surface of the Delph Fleet.

And the reduced visibility as it poured down across the grazing marsh. All the cattle did was to turn their rear ends to the wind and rain and carry on grazing!

Pictures of rain seems silly I know, but after near eight months without any, it was an event of some magnitude - could we be at the turning point of the drought? Despite adding to overnight rain, this morning's still hasn't made the slightest difference to the miniscule ditch levels but it has definitely softened up the surface of the grazing marsh and we should now see the re-greening of the marsh at least.
And after sheltering in the hide for an hour I eventually came out to sunshine again and the resultant rainbow below. Perhaps I should of stayed in the hide a little longer, might of been blesses with good luck!

One of the few benefits of this year's drought has been the exposure all round the reserve of Water Vole entry/exit holes. Whilst we see evidence of a few of the voles' feeding stations as we walk round, the platform of the mink trap is one, we rarely actually see the voles themselves. It is therefore encouraging to see so many holes dotted around the reserve's ditches, although there's no guarantee that many of them are actually occupied.

This young willow bush was also feeling exposed, the water level is normally above its root system but today that was a very different case.

Before the rain begun I had been walking round in windy but sunny conditions and was fortunate to get some good, if distant, views of the Rough-legged Buzzard that has been around for over a week now, on the grazing marsh alongside the Shellness track. Its a terrific looking bird and seems to alternate between sitting on the ground and hovering over the fields like an enlarged Kestrel. Certainly from the Shellness track many people are getting good views of this uncommon winter visitor and hopefully it will be around for most of the winter.

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