The month started with a cold frosty day, but as the first week progressed it was to get a lot milder for the time of year.
We had a stormy night from the 6th into the 7th, but for all it blew there was minimal damage round about. The river level remained fairly constant over the month with it only fluctuating by a couple of feet, which was quite good conditions for December.
By the 9th the temperature had dropped down to minus seven, the Fishery was soon frozen over and the fishers had to put their rods away for a while.
The cold snap saw a bit more movement of birds along the estuary; there were big numbers of Fieldfare moving ahead of the cold front and there were a few more swans about as some of the inland places all iced over. We had another couple of new darvex ringed swans in about; Green ring NDH appeared back on the 11th, and what was a first for us was a mute swan with a yellow neck ring on (PN38), numbers got up to 35 plus but a lot soon moved on again as it got a bit milder. There has been more beaver activity about the river banks with a lot of young willows taking the brunt of their handy work!
We are also seeing more seal activity closer into the sides as they pick of a lot of the kelts that are dropping back down the system after spawning. There are a few Goldeneye and Redshank with numbers remaing about the same as last month, teal numbers have picked up and there are a few Snipe about too.
On the work front this month it has mostly been catching up on flail work and strimming on the last of the hedges and pathways. We did get a bit of snow near the end of the month but not enough to trouble us, as 2017 drew to a close it was colder weather, a river running just above summer level and the snowdrops pushing through the hard ground were telling us that the seasons keep rolling on.
All the best for the New Year Dago