Saturday, 18 January 2014

Waterworld

"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.

4 comments:

  1. I have been considering a visit to the coast as I have a strong suspicion that the oceans might be empty.

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    1. If we start to see petrels and shearwaters inland, we will know that has, in fact, happened Andrew...

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  2. Following on from your rightful suppression of the xxxxx duck. A couple of years ago when the assassins were operating at Lade I hid my bins and casually asked one of `em what they were up to and how they got their info. He openly admitted that most of it came from current reports on blogs and webpages, after which I have not mentioned said duck again. As for water levels, it will come as no surprise that on the Dungeness bird reserve they are at an all time high and still rising.

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    1. This particular XXXXX Duck has taken on the guise of a rare bird - how times change Paul.

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