The Marsh

The marsh I’m working on is a large, flat, grassy salt marsh cut with creeks and ditches, which flood at high tide; on a very high spring tide, lower parts of the marsh flood, and during a storm in winter the entire marsh might be inundated.

(A spring tide isn’t seasonal, it’s “spring” as in rise up, like a spring is where water rises up from the ground).

Tides are complicated and despite having studied them at uni in my marine biology degree, I can’t remember much about them. Here, as we’re in an estuary, high tide occurs half an hour after low tide, which is incredibly fast! This means its easy to get stranded as creeks that were dry 10 minutes ago become 6 foot deep. Or, worse still, on the wrong part of the marsh there’s a real danger of getting caught in the tide itself.

Hence my “ah shit” moment when, for some reason, I thought high tide was an hour later than it was, and saw water rushing up this creek

3 minutes later, it looked like this

I wasn’t swept away but did have to make a long detour.

Also – the odd egg in a clutch from the other day; my boss tells me:

What you have described I have seen before. Laying eggs is pretty demanding for a bird. It seems in some cases the female just “runs out of steam” in laying the last egg.

I’ve now seen it again twice, and find it interesting that on other reserves I’ve worked, where I’d counted several thousand nests, I’d never seen this yet here we have very few nests with eggs yet I’ve seen it three times. Are the gulls here having difficulties?

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