Another interesting development this year have been garganey - with two pairs present at the beginning of the season and certainly one showing a serious interest in Hempholme Meadow. They are notoriously secretive and we are yet to see any young but we feel there has certainly been an attempt this year.
Whilst these were widely broadcast elsewhere on social media at the beginning of the year we deliberately did not publicise them as they are very much threatened from egg collectors and the like.
And while on the subject it's also prudent to put the reminder out there that the reserve is covered by the same CCTV network as Yorkshre Water's treatment works which has just been upgraded with some very high end kit. Coupled with our own network of around 15 cameras we're developing for monitoring habitats and individual species we hope this acts as a good deterrant to anyone up to no good.
But hidden away in the same meadow at Hempholme have been snipe which have probably bred, yellow wagtail and lapwing for which a chick appeared last week. We will be hay cropping the meadow shortly as the middle of July marks the turn in the year:
page as ever for more on the latest odonata and lepidoptera finds in recent days. Some good sightings of grass snakes around - 7 reported north of O res in the week - Maurice Dowson:
And a common sandpiper dropping in:
On the other hand we can be more reactive with the South Marsh East. In times gone by we used to have to eek out enough water to last us the summer and when it was gone it was gone. Now we can raise and lower the level at will and worries over evaporation, transpiration and winter droughts are gone. To this end we exposed a load of mud last week which has seen around 28 black tailed godwit moving through:
here. Now the wind has swung westerly and the potential for a good eastern wader has reduced we can top it back up again ready for the next good easterly.
If you have permissions and access to a section of the river Hull we'd be only be too pleased to hear from you if you can think you can help - as this is perhaps one of the most 'direct action' bits of conservation we can undertake for all wildlife. As the river Hull is an isolated catchment this work can be a lot more effecive than the rest of mainland UK.
To hear about this and all the latest news don't forget that there is the reserve update meeting tomorrow at 2:30pm in the old wildlife centre (teas and coffees available from 2pm). This includes the big announcement on Watton...