Sunday, 29 April 2012

Apres le deluge

As a quick postscript to this morning's offering, Our Lass and I nipped back to the reserve this afternoon, once it had stopped raining.

From the road alongside the fishery, we could see that the river had burst its banks, flooding the meadows as it flowed into the fishing lakes.

Once inside the reserve, it was noticeably warmer and calmer than a few hours previously. The warblers were singing joyously at this change in meteorological fortune and hirundines were swooping low amongst the scrub, catching the swarms of insects on the wing.

Up towards the Far Hide, a small Willow tree had keeled over, its roots giving up the struggle in the sodden ground. With a bit of branch snapping, we were able to make a path through. Then, along the path around the side of the Far Paddock, we met a more impenetrable obstacle. A tree  had toppled over from the bank and was blocking the path. All the water bodies were obviously much fuller after the rainfall, and St Peter's Lake was even flowing into the main lake under the bridge at the top end of the Far Paddock. However, the River Great Ouse was still contained within its banks by the sailing lake.

Returning to the Near Hide, we met Bob, who pointed out a Little Ringed Plover on what little remained of the bund. He also passed on news that there was a Grasshopper Warbler calling near the front of the study centre. After watching all the Swallows, House and Sand Martins for a while, we wandered back to the car park to see if we could hear the warbler. We caught one all-to-brief burst of whirring, then made our way back to the car.

As we drove out towards the main road, a Cuckoo flew across our bows, possibly the first year I've seen one before I've heard one.