So... the November WeBS count was delayed due to the River Trent deciding to come over the top of the flood bank and pour onto the reserve. This isn't ideal and meant the reserve had to be closed. Our water levels on site are now currently about 2m above our normal winter target and everything is looking a bit damp. We are now just waiting for the river to drop a bit so water can flow out through the sluice.
The reserve is now open again, but if you visit please be aware though that only a very small part of the reserve is accessible. With most of the trails under 3 feet of water you can only walk from the Beach Hut to the 360 viewing area. A path diversion is in place to get to the viewing area and this is getting a bit muddy and slippery, so please take care.
All the water means we've got lots of ducks on the reserve at the moment, as shown by the WeBS data below. The numbers of pochard and wigeon are the second highest ever counts since 2012, whilst the numbers of gadwall and shoveler are the highest since 2012 when records began:
Great crested grebe
Lesser black backed gull
Black headed gull
We have also had pintail, smew and red-crested pochard on site over the weekend too. Keep your eye on the sky for skeins of pink-footed geese flying over or for a hunting marsh harrier. In the fields to the north of the reserve there's a large mixed flock of whooper and mute swans.
Photos of marsh harrier and pink-footed geese ©Stuart Carlton Twitter: @StuartCarlton48
Most exciting of all was the Siberian stonechat, which was found on the reserve in the midst of the flooding situation, it was an amazing find, but frustrating that we weren't able to provide better access. Apologies for this.
Photo of Siberian stonechat ©Stuart Carlton Twitter: @StuartCarlton48 Note the plain peachy coloured rump (on the stonechat not on Stuart), to distinguish it from a 'normal' stonechat (of which there are many on site at the moment, 6 pairs have been reported!)
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