Tay Estuary Diary March 2018

The harsh weather continued into March and worsened, as the extreme conditions caused havoc up and down the country. Freezing temperatures and drifting snow brought some places to a standstill.

It was a case of rigging up our snow plough and looking out the snow shovels, then just getting on with trying to keep our roads and paths clear. It sometimes felt like you were fighting a losing battle as the next day you were back to square one after more overnight snowfall but we got there in the end.

The freezing conditions also brought its own problems on the river with the pack ice building up on the lower estuary where the tidal water is a bit slower flowing.

The pack ice with the push of the river behind it burst one of the navigational buoys free from its mooring down at the pipe line area; this was later recovered when it was safe to go back out on the river, and returned to the harbour for repair, before it will be put back out into the navigational channel of the river to do its job.

The birds were also struggling a bit during this spell, so there was extra feed put out at our feeding stations about the place to help them through this cold snap. By mid-month there was a change of weather to heavy rain and wind which along with some snow melt put a bit of spate on the system for a few days. There was finally a few milder days with a bit of warmth; which saw the bees coming out of there hives, daffodils opening up and some movement of birds about the estuary. The geese were moving overhead in big numbers; the shell duck are coming further up the estuary to their nest sights.

We were seeing a lot more curlews about and finally seeing some whooper swans moving through (39 in one group).

It was good to see a few more coasters frequenting the harbour again this month after what has been a quieter spell for them.

As the month drew to a close it was back to wintry conditions with cold winds, icy showers and a river that was hovering a few feet above summer level.


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