Tay Estuary Diary December 2022

The cooler weather continued into December as it had ended in November but all that was to change as we were hit by hard frost in week two. The mercury got down to minus 9⁰C some nights and barely above freezing during the day,

there were frozen pipes at the bothy for a week and it was back on the flask again for a while! All this time the river was steadily dropping back to an average winter level, but again there was more change on the way with heavy rain and milder weather resulting in a sharp rise, adding over 9 feet of spate to the system.

The bilge pump was kept steady during this time pumping out the old boats. There was more time spent this month keeping the log piles for the café and bothies topped up, and chapping more kindling for them too.

Outside work involved tidying up along some of the path edges, cutting back brambles and stingers and taking back some of the overhanging branches that were catching the tractor cab when it was doing its cutting.

There has not been a lot of movement of birds along the estuary this month, there is the odd Redshank about again and we are seeing some Whooper swans, but not in numbers like previous winters.

During the cold snap there was more Field Fare back at the apples, below the various trees about the waterside and we have seen the odd Snipe too but overall a quieter month! For all that the season keeps moving on and we are seeing plenty of snowdrops pushing through in areas where the snow has thawed and cleared.

The river levels were a bit more erratic for the last week or so of December with the weather jumping between wet and frosty, as 2022 drew to a close it was a very cold calm dry day and there was just less than seven feet showing on the gauge up at the rod beat.


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