Saturday, March 28, 2009

26/27th March.2009.

For the past two days we've had persistent winds between F6-8 throughout day and night. Relentless, wearing, noisy and utterly hopeless for any kind of productive wildlife work! On the night of the 26th I heard the wheelie bins involved in a weird pas de deux, back and forth on the concrete apron between the house and the barn. Sure enough, next morning, one was flung over the wood heap and the other was way down the track, its contents wind strewn across the adjacent field!

The night of the 27th was one of those designated as a survey date for the national Garden Moth Scheme for which one attempts to trap whatever the conditions. Despite best efforts to tie down the trap it was hopeless and I'd fears the actual tube would be whisked away and be broken!! With luck conditions may begin to improve...

Birding locally on both days produced very little with small birds hardly in evidence at all. Regular sightings on both days of a hunting male Hen Harrier suggested a lack of success as it was tossed about in the wind above a moving sea of juncus! The sight of a few Herring Gulls and six Hooded Crows hunkered down on the ground behind a grass knoll was a sure sign things were a bit desperate!! The sea was a boiling cauldron of foam and breakers on the 26th with little in evidence except the occasional Shag or Gannet. With the winds changing to northerly a temporary halt is doubtless applying to all aspiring summer migrants attempting to reach their intended summer breeding haunts.

This week saw a very telling TV programme relating to the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez disaster, the super tanker which came aground in the Arctic and caused so much environmental degradation. Human error and incompetence appeared to be the basic causes but, thankfully, no similar incident has occurred since then. $2 billion has been spent on clean up operations, even then not necessarily sorting out all the problems it is claimed by some and $1 billion paid out in damages. A sobering thought! One can't escape the irony of the the resource that caused such devastation then contributing to factors involved in climate change that is now, again, having such a drastic impact on Arctic environments!!

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