It can't have failed to escape your notice that we have had something of a deluge of rain this last few days.
Unfortunately, this means that the water levels on the reserves and especially in the adjacent River Dearne have risen somewhat dramatically.
At Edderthorpe, the spillway on the River has activiated and flood water is spilling over the top and into the reserve. The net result is that we have lost the edge habitat and nests have been washed out.
Elsewhere, the spillways onto Wombwell, Bolton Ings, Old Moor and Adwick have not activated and according to our colleagues at the Environment Agency, should not do so. However, the fact that water in the river is at or near bank top, means we can't shift the water that is backing up on our sites and will be unable to do so until the River drops significantly. Valves and sluices all shut when the river gets too high and will not reopen until it drops.
As soon as water levels drop sufficiently, where possible, we will begin to drop the levels on the reserves accordingly.
It will take a little time for us to assess the full impact on the breeding season but I am heartened by the fact that, potentially, there is still time for some of the species to make second breeding attempts.
If you do come down to Old Moor, we are open as usual, and despite the weather, still have some good birds about with a Little Tern through Broomhill Flash this morning, 37 Black Tailed Godwits on the Field Pools and a peregrine on one of the pylon towers as I write.
Spare a thought too for our colleagues up the road at Fairburn Ings where the whole site is shut due to flooding across the reserve.
I had wondered how things stood - thanks for the update.
The River Don at Meadowhall was very high today but had dropped about 300mm at lunchtime and considerably more by 6pm tonight so, with luck, and no more rain upstream, we might get some reasonable levels soon.
Very sad to report that Edderthorpe overflowed all day and the reserve has gone under completely - from flood bank to flood bank.
All the nests and chicks have been wiped out I'm afraid.
Nothing at all we can do for the moment but wait for the river to drop enough for water to be allowed off the site.
I will let you all know how things develop.
Oh that is such sad news.............I hope the birds get a second chance........some drought huh!