Although we have not been suffering as badly as some parts of the county we have had a fresh fall of snow overnight and this morning and the freezing wind is causing some drifting. We managed to get down the track to the Visitor Centre this morning but if things get worse we may be forced to close the reserve. Please check conditions before travelling.
The few brave souls who visited over the past few days have had some good sightings including: Pintail – several on the ARC pit and Burrowes pit all week. Red-crested pochard – one near Makepeace hide on 29th. Goldeneye – up to five on the ARC pit or Burrowes pit, daily. Smew – first of the season on Burrowes pit on 26th. One or two redheads since then. Goosander – one or two on Burrowes pit from 26th. Black-necked grebe – up to three on Denge Marsh all week. Bittern – one or two seen at Denge Marsh on most days, three from the Hooker’s pits viewpoint on 28th. Merlin – one at the ARC site on 26th. Snipe – several around the site all week. Bar-tailed godwit – two on Burrowes pit on 29th. Woodcock – one near Boulderwall Farm on 29th. Caspian gull – one on Burrowes pit on 29th. Kingfisher – one at Scott hide on 27th. Firecrest – one near the Hanson-ARC hide on 26th and one in Christmas Dell on 29th. Chiffchaff – several around the site all week. Yellow-browed warbler – one near Firth hide on 27th and 28th.
Sadly, after another heavy fall of snow last night the entrance track and trail were still in a dangerous condition and so we were unable to open the reserve today. Unless there is a rapid thaw tomorrow morning we are unlikely to be able to open tomorrow either but I will give an update in the morning.
With heavy rain this morning melting much of the snow we were hopeful that we would be able to open today. Unfortunately, the access track is now covered in icy slush and more dangerous than ever. Please watch this space for more updates over the weekend or phone the Visitor Centre on 01797 320588.