Sunday, 22 April 2012
One of those wet droughts
Last week, the whole of the midlands was declared an area of drought, joining most of the south and east of England. It must some kind of fiendish plot, because ever since then it just hasn't stopped raining!
As you can see the River Churnet here, at Oakamoor, is looking very full. Which doesn't bode well for the water levels at Uttoxeter Quarry, which even yesterday were noticeably high. The Churnet flows into the River Dove at Rocester. Since last autumn the quarry company, in their wisdom, dug into the bank of the Dove to allow water to flow into the main gravel pit. At the same time they have a pump working all the time, to pump water out again at a slower rate than it's flowing in.
This situation was always my fear for this spring. I'll still be checking the place of course, but perhaps it provides an opportunity to explore other places? Or maybe the thought of missing something at the quarry will put me off? There are areas of woodland in North Staffs that I've always thought are worthy of exploring in the spring, but never had the time to do so. We'll see, but today was a look around some more familiar woodlands.
A walk through Dimmingsdale provided 2 singing male Pied Flycatchers. Also plenty of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs here.
A single, and very smart, male Redstart had returned to Swineholes Wood, along with a stack of Willow Warblers. Finishing off with a walk through Cotton Dell in Oakamoor, this Dipper was along the stream, escaping the torrent on the Churnet.