Monday, 21 October 2013

Let the water run

On Sunday (29th September) a group of 13 volunteers helped clear Typha & silt from a water channel that feeds our Reedbed Pond. With a 9:30 start everyone picked up tools and got stuck in. Spades, shovels & mattocks were called for as the well the rooted Typha and thick gloopy silt proved to be very difficult to move, but after 4 hours we were ready to open the floodgates by removing the last remnants of mud. The water from Redleadmill Brook immediately started flowing which met with a feeling of achievement from all the volunteers.

Whilst working we saw quite a few birds around the reserve. The usual water birds were around, such as Moorhen, Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Canada Goose and Coot, although Coot numbers were low as they always seem to be at this time of year. I assume they are in moult and hide away in the reed beds until finished. Snipe are arriving in good number now and are one of the birds that will benefit from the water level increase as the wet muddy areas will be wet once more. Pied & Grey Wagtail circled around us, and landed to feed on the shoreline. Meadow pipits flew over and a Kestrel was seen hunting over the Duckmarsh Meadow.

After around 30 minutes the water had filled up the channel but could go no further, it had started to spread across the reed beds but not reached the pond. Rain is what is needed now to lift the levels even further.

After a heavy morning of rain on the 2nd of October I called in on the reserve to check the water levels. I was delighted to see the water levels had gone up in the pond by 20 cm. The spits and flat dry areas were now covered in water and just under the surface was lovely soft mud. Well done team, the Snipe and other waders can now get to there food.

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