Springwatch - in the eye of the storm
Well it's been an eventful few days here at Ynys-hir in west Wales.
Many of you will have seen the news reports of floods and our site was right in the middle of it.
Friday 8th June 9:00 - 11:00am
The rain had been falling steadily since the early hours, not heavy but relentless.
Some of the team had noticed that the waterfall at Dyfi Furnace, on old iron ore smelting mill - next to the bat roost and near our OB site - was huge. The river was exceptionally high compared to previous days.
11:00 - 12:30
When we got a call to say that the river broke its banks at the far end of our field - we knew we had a big problem.
Nearby river bursts its banks
So we had to prepare for the worst - get everything off the floor and as high as possible....and quickly.
But even as we were doing this, water started to come into the site from behind us. With water now flowing freely through the site, and right through our production tent, we had to evacuate and cut the power.
Evacuating the production office / tent
That meant the nest watcher's truck and our live webcams ended.
We were cold and soaked to the skin, but at least we could retreat to safety...the animals had no choice but to sit out the storm. With continuous rain and high winds, we wondered if anything could survive.
Saturday 09th June
During the early hours of Saturday morning, the nearby village of Talybont had floodwaters rising to 5ft deep in places.
In the surrounding area, 1,000 people were evacuated and 150 rescued during the early hours of Saturday morning.
The rivers of Leri and Ceulan burst their banks flooding homes and caravan parks in Ceredigion, Powys and southern Gwynedd.
This was the worst flooding in this area since 1973 - nearly 40 years.
Back on our site key members of the team met at 10am to assess the situation, although it was a struggle to even get there through flooded and blocked roads. When we arrived, we couldn't even get into the field. Water was flowing fast through the site, 2ft deep in places, out of the gate and down the road towards the estuary.
Sunday 10th June - the clean up starts
We finally got onto site properly on Sunday and started the cleanup. Very luckily the water levels had stopped just below desk height, and just below the height of the main broadcasting truck, leaving most things a bit damp, but still useable.
Our web servers' cabin weighing over 4 tonnes, was shifted by the sheer force of the water and would have floated off, had it not been tethered to the trucks by its cables.
So with a lot of re-cabling, testing, cleaning, heavy lifting and Glastonbury-scale mud, we managed to get our first nest cam live on the web by 5pm.
Meanwhile we were kindly offered a temporary production office by a local Carillion construction site, working on improvements to the main road to Aberystwyth.
The first nestcam was back in action at around 5pm and everyone was delighted to see the 4 barn owl chicks alive and well. Barns are clearly a good place to be in a storm.
And by today (Monday) we've now managed to get almost all our cameras back live on the web, despite the wild weather. And thanks to the team working round the clock and all the help we've had from the local community. Springwatch is back tonight to tell the story of how the wildlife coped with such extreme weather.