"Don't forget your wellies"
That could be 2014's catchphrase and never more appropriate than at Holmethorpe. I did my zig-zagging wander over the whole recording area, testing the waterproof quality of my Muckboots and playing 'chicken' with the flooded footpaths, using my tripod to test the depth of the water ahead of me. Oh, and I did some birding.
It wasn't without a few highlights - Shelduck (2), Wigeon (1), Smew (2 redheads), Jack Snipe (1, a fortuitous flush), Common Snipe (31), Green Sandpiper (2).
The picture above is of The Moors, part of the Holmethorpe empire. Normally you might be hard pushed to see a puddle standing in this spot. There is a serious problem with water levels across this region. All of the sandpits are close to bursting point, and the rise of water in Mercer's Lake is staggering - we are talking 15 - 20 feet or more over the past few years. The recent rains are not the cause of this situation but are obviously adding to it.
I also went to a waterbody within my uberpatch where a female Ruddy Duck has just turned up. The DEFRA hit-squad has missed this one - and just so that it might remain alive I won't publicise the site.