Another English bank holiday approaches. After a few days of heavy rain, the ground is sodden with large puddles everywhere. The river is rising and could flood by the week-end. If you are popping in to the Reserve, bring your "wellies".
The floods are not likely to be huge at this time of year, but our guest flock of 18 Wiltshire horned sheep looked a bit worried when I counted them today. Their paddock is close to the river and often floods. They are all this years lambs and are on loan to us for a few weeks. Their job is to clobber thistle and ragwort.
If you do come down to visit, go slowly. The bushes are not only full of berries but also birds. If you come across a roving flock of tits and other small birds, just stand still and watch them. What at first might appear to be a handful of blue tits can turn out to be a convoy containing over a hundred small birds, including warblers, gold-crests and tree-creepers. I would love to find a redstart or a whinchat; both are about at this time of year.