After the shock on the largest tidal surge for 14 years on the Humber we are beginning to see the paths emerging from the surrounding water. This means that the paths to singleton and townend are now dry again allowing you to get there to watch the bird of prey roost. Currently, taking place between 3 and 4pm. Ousefleet hide which has remained open throughout the week is where most of our birds are. This morning there were teal, wigeon, shelduck, gadwall, lapwing and dunlin up there. The path to marshland and xerox hides will remain closed until the weekend to allow the water to drain off and for us to repair sections of the path.
Here are more photos from wet Blacktoft.
This is singleton lagoon now topped up with water. Remember what it looked like up until the end of Sunday - mud with snipe!
The ramp to marshland - you can see the water reached half way up the ramp!
Ousefleet now back to normal - wet! And the ducks seem to like it too.
*********RESERVE OPENING UPDATE**********
The majority of the reserve remains closed at the end of today with Ousefleet the only one open. After an inspection early tomorrow we will decide which other hides we can open. What ever the decision is tomorrow wellies are highly recommended!!
After a day of running round doing flood related things such as checking fences for damage from washed up logs and adjusting sluices we can now sit back and take stock of what the tide did. For instance all lagoons and marshes now have a considerable amount of water on them which is a far cry last month. After we were fretting about a dry spring this surge has put us back on track. The influx of water has wetted up the lagoons and will refresh the mud for birds to feed on. Hopefully this will entice wintering wildfowl and waders onto the reserve. Also, wetting the reedbed at this time of year is particularly important for breeding birds such as bittern in the spring.
Warden Mike P on the path from xerox and marshland heading to Ousefleet (Definately a job for waders!)
The ponies look right at home amongst the marsh conditions
Alice, who is with us for two weeks volunteering, infront of reception this morning
Conditions were just right last night for a large surge tide to hit Blacktoft Sands. Due to this high tide water has covered the paths (above welly height) to all of the hides except Ousefleet which remains open. If you are visitng we are sorry for the inconveniece but we will keep updating the blog as to when the water subsides and the hides are opened which should be in a few days time.This is however great news for the site! We have finally got much needed water onto the lagoons after a very dry autumn which will be good for our wintering birds - pics to follow!.
They just kept watching something on or near the bank. They were like this for at least 20 minutes during the time when I visited Ousefleet hide to have a look at those lapwings and golden plovers. They did not move at all just kept watching that spot. Anybody have any idea what they were watching as I have no idea.
Elsewhere this weekend plenty of fieldfares moving around, up to 9 spotted redshank on marshland, water pipits down at singleton along with plenty of snipe, 2 ring-tail hen harriers and more than 10 marsh harriers come roost time between 3 and 4pm.
Here is a wider view showing the bank that they are watching.
As the skies darkened for our second down pour of the day thousands of white dots showed against the ominous cloud. The small specks were Lapwing and golden plover flying over head from the apex in large numbers adding a special spectacle to the day (You never have your camera when you need it!). Other bird news inlclude Hen Harrier which has been seen regularly all week and in particular a ringtail which seems to like flying right past the front of reception at the moment. Fieldfares still dominating the scrub around the car park and paths and the harrier roost of a night continues to amaze with up to fifteen marsh harriers arriving. Also Cetti's has been heard signing on a number of occasions anywhere from reception to ousefleet.
Finally for most of the week we have been putting up fencing near ousefleet lagoon and this work is set to continue for some time. Sorry for the inconvenience of this and we will keep you updated with signs on site and here on the blog. When the fencing is finished the ponies will be able to graze new areas and create even more good habitat for our breeding and wintering birds! (They are clever those ponies you know!)
Right, I'm away to warm up with a cuppa and a biscuit....