Severn Hams on Tuesday 26 March

The level of the Severn has dropped a little over the last couple of days, but it is still relatively high, so that it is difficult for tributaries to discharge their waters into the main river.  Little outflow from the River Chelt at Wainlodes, none from the Deerhurst Parish Drain, which drains Coombe Hill and Cobney Meadows.  So water on the meadows is everywhere higher, rather a disappointment when it appeared at last to be dropping.

The bitter east wind made conditions unpleasant; no sign of summer visitors such as Chiffchaff or Sand Martin.

Coombe Hill: water levels have risen since Sunday, and the level is above the top of the stage boards in the north and south scrapes (so above 1.00).  Rather few birds present; presumably most of the remaining ducks were sheltering from the wind, unseen, in the Long Pool.   No sign of the male Garganey found on Sunday.  Only 10+ Teal (undoubtedly an underestimate), 2 Gadwall, 1 Shoveler, 10 Coot, 100 Lapwings (all that remain of the flocks of many hundreds in the area over the last few weeks); 2 + Curlew – what appeared to be a resident pair on the southern meadows, bubbling actively; 1 or 2 Skylarks singing, 3 or 4 Reed Buntings singing.

Cobney Meadows: flooding has risen again and is quite extensive: 30 Mallard, 50 Teal, no sign of Lapwings.

Ashleworth Ham: Water also very high, Hasfield Ham side inaccessible: 60 Wigeon, 205 Teal, 4 Gadwall, 9 Pintail, 9 Shoveler, good numbers of Snipe on some flooded (60 Snipe and  2 Jack Snipe), 60 Fieldfares (the last few migrants), no Lapwings.

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