So that's flood No.4 on it's way down again! The latest round of flooding was the worst so far this year but even so water levels are falling quickly. All roads to the reserve are now open with the exception of the road along the flashes between the visitor centre and Barnsdale Road. Cut Hide is now accessible as is Bob Dickens as we have opened the workyard gates to allow access through whilst the waters fall around the boardwalk areas. The car park and duck feeding areas are now out of the water but some places are still a bit mucky and slippy so if you are planning to come and visit take care...and bring your wellies!
We put out our trail cam most evenings at various locations on the reserve. Often we get shots of wood mice, sometimes grey squirrels, occasionally a fox and even once a pair of labradors! Last night however we hit the jackpot!!! Imagine our surprise and joy this morning when we downloaded the images to find this superb shot of a dog OTTER!!
We have found spraints (poo) and seen foot prints in the snow before, so we knew they were around on the reserve but this is the first time anyone has seen (sort of) one. They tend to be very shy, mainly nocturnal, animals so you would be very fortunate to see one in the wild. Their numbers are increasingly rapidly though and their range expanding so the chances of encountering one of these handsome beasts in the flesh is definitely on the up.
Autumn migration continues to trickle through the reserve with a variety of waders and passerines seen in the last couple of days. Waders have included Green and Common Sandpipers, Snipe, Spotted Redshank and Dunlin. There have been a number of Yellow Wagtails seen, Spotted Flycatchers and a Whinchat. There are at least 3 Peregrines hunting over the reserve most days and male and female Marsh Harriers and Red Kites have been seen daily. The Garganey is still at large on the flashes and when the sun comes out a number of dragonflies including Emperor, Ruddy Darter and Migrant Hawker are still on the wing. Kingfishers have been seen at a number of locations on the reserve on a daily basis.