Even more of the reserve is now open with the full loop around the outside of Phase 1 now accessible. A lot of flood debris (litter and vegetation) had to be cleared up, but it's been a relief to allow people back onto the Visitor Trail. The Floating Bridge is going to be moved back into position this week, but opening will be delayed until repairs are carried out on it and on the Boardwalk. The handrails need replacing on the former and rotten planks on the latter. Anyone who's visited site will have noticed how battered the reedbed is looking, this year's fresh green growth seems to have been held back and the dead golden stems left from last year that are still normally densely packed a this time of year have been massively thinned out by the 6 months of flooding. This has impacted on the reed warblers who seem to focusing on using the scrub around the reed edge this year, but heron species seem very happy with the situation, with Langford hosting a 6 heron day on Sunday! Grey Heron, Little Egret, Bittern, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret and Purple Heron. This was only the third record of Purple Heron for the site and comes hot-on-the-heels of the first record of Stone Curlew, with an individual heard calling as it circled over the reserve on Friday night. Hobbies are still showing well on the sunny days and a trio of Grey Plovers dropped in recently. Other recent sightings have included Sanderling, Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier and Cuckoo.

Long-range shot of the Purple Heron (James Wilkinson)