Entering the flood just before the car park I wondered if I had made the right decision, but remembered that if I took the foot off the gas water could sucked up the exhaust pipe, so I pressed on. I arrived with shiny washed wheels safely on the hard standing before the bridge.
Over the bridge, the nature reserve was very flooded still, with only bushes poking out of the water and an occasinal berm of higher land. As is usual with Wheldrake in winter, birds teemed across the wide vista and the sound of Wigeon, Teal and gathering gulls filled the air.
The view east from the Bailey Bridge
Adult Iceland Gull (centre), with a preening Herring Gull and a Carrion Crow.
Among the hordes of gulls, several Goldeneye displayed, tossing their heads back to ambivalent females. Flights of graceful Pintail passed by and large groups of Teal dabbled in the shallows. As I peered through the gloom as 5 o'clock approached, a Little Owl called from the lane and a couple of Water Rails squealed from the marshy vegetation behind the car park. A fine Barn Owl flew in front of the car on they way back to Crockey Hill, a fine end to an enjoyable hour at Wheldrake Ings.