November started with a very wet and stormy day, but after that it was soon back to drier colder days again, and the river level stayed at just a bit above summer level. After a successful first year of boat trips from the pontoons it was time for them to be taken out of the river for the winter.
To avoid any possible damage from spate, drift or ice the Ferguson gallery pontoon was dismantled and craned out of the river before being stored safely down at the harbour.
Perth Harbour was a bit busier this month with a few coasters of varied sizes making their way up the estuary with their cargoes.
It is always good to see the boats being unloaded and loaded at the harbour.
With hard frost by mid-month the grass cutting was all but done for the season, so it was time to get on with some of the hedges, cutting them back along the roadsides and taking out any overhanging bits of canopy that could catch on the vehicles.
There was also a bit more time spent at the log pile sawing and splitting more wood; making sure there is plenty of sticks ready for the wood burning stove at the café. Always a good job for a cold day!
There was a couple of very wet days into the second half of the month which saw the river rise very quickly; about eight feet onto the gauge up at the rod beat, but soon eased back again when the weather let up. As we moved further into the winter we have had another couple of green darvex ringed swans return to our area again (JTN on the 8th and PPB on the 15th), they were soon at home with the other swans enjoying the grain that is put out for them on the colder days.
Redshank numbers have picked up a little with ten being sighted together on the 28th, and the kingfisher is about more just now as well. Long Tailed tit numbers have been good this year and there are a few bullfinches about too, but we are not seeing the greenfinches like we used too!
The seals and Otters can be seen most days at some part of the estuary and there are plenty of Dabchicks now as well. It was a frosty dry end to the month, the river was running just above summer level and the Willowgate a film of ice.