Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Flood on the tracks

Made a fairly pointless visit to Buttertubs Marsh today. Even though it was in advance of the major afternoon downpour, there had been so much water deposited since I was last there on Sunday that a full circular walk was rendered impossible without wellies.
And I didn't have my wellies with me. (For those Canadians who may be unfamiliar with the term 'wellies' it refers to Wellington Boots, ie rubber boots.)
Minor pathway flooding was encountered at the western and northern end but the south and east tracks were well under water and too deep for my walking boots.
Not that it probably mattered too much as the place was pretty much bereft of birdlife.
The wildfowl count for the entire area comprised 2 drake hooded mergansers and a single first winter American coot. Full stop.
What is it that ducks don't like about high water levels? Have they sought new, richer feeding grounds in flooded fields? Even the usual bread-fed mallards had gone!
The few passerines that bothered braving the weather included a small party of purple finch and good numbers of varied thrush. A couple of red-winged blackbird were in the reeds and a virginia rail squeeled from deep within the vegetation.
At least at Leighton Moss high water levels often push rails and bitterns into the open...

1 comment:

  1. Ray here... this all sounds just like the currently deluged Lancaster... in fact the whole North-West of the UK us currently more or less underwater. The Bittern and Rail push (BARP) you refer to is imminent... esp at aldcliffe where the lower path is more like the canal at the minute. I hope you recognised "Oh Canada" as a Neil Young song/reference, I put it in especially for you despite the fact that it wasn't at all funny.Has that big gap in nthe sidebar picture got any wider... I hope you are monitoring this regularly.Yours squelchingly, Ray