Monday, 30 April 2012

Monday 30th April 2012 - Late Morning

Water, water everywhere, but given the current restriction, not a drop to drink. Yep as predicted and confirmed by Simon's pic this morning, see post below, the valley has flooded and with the site being lower than the river it has borne the brunt of the overflow.

By the time I arrived around 10:30 just a single gravel island remained adjoining Back Brook. Sadly several Lapwing families will have been wiped out and at least two Kingfisher and one Little Ringed Plover nest have perished too. Canada Geese were also nesting in a few locations around the perimeter on the whole these look like they have gone as well.

On the plus side it is what the valley has, in my opinion, needed for at least a couple of years. Water levels have been dwindling once more and perhaps this summer and autumn we will not see pools disappearing altogether. Fingers crossed some good will come out of this.

As for the birds well on scanning the gravel a huge gull sitting next to a resting tern looked a monster only for a double take and the realisation that the gull was normal size and a Little Tern was on site. It rested a while before being mobbed off by a gang of Black Headed Gulls escaping from yet another rapidly flooded island. It stuck around for a while if a bit flighty but I failed to see it again after an abandoned trip along the riverside due to the 'rising tide'. Six Common Terns were also seen on and off, resting on the gravel inbetween hunter over the calmer waters of  Cosgrove Lake.

Also on site at least six Little Ringed Plovers in the one area mentioned, I suspect more, two each of Oystercatcher, Common Snipe and Redshank whilst at least five Little Egrets made the most of the flooded fields. 

Northern Wheatears were also still on site but given the area where they were in abundance a few days ago is now under water their numbers are down, the same could be said of Yellow Wagtails, just the odd one flitting about. One of the Common Buzzard pairs made most of the warmer weather riding high on thermals, it could almost be spring...

I left the site and returned mid-afternoon briefly just to catch my first Hobby of the year, unfortunately the water level was still rising...

Earlier from NBBR via Simon N

6 Northern Wheatears @ Manor Farm

Male Wigeon and 3 Snipe @ a very flooded Manor Farm this morning also 2 Teal and a Swift east. 

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