Tay Estuary Diary April 2024

The month started with a bitter wind on a dull dry day, and the river level was to continue dropping back for the next week. On the 2nd of the month, we had our first couple of sand martins back out over the river.

There were a few common sandpipers about too, there was also big flock of redshanks flying upriver (approx. 60) but they were not hanging around. We had a fair bit of flooding up and down the country on the 9th/10th as a big tidal surge coincided with a low air pressure and the large spring tides. The drift left along the tide line was as high as I have seen it on the estuary in a long time.

Some more rain saw the river level rise a bit too, to around the six-foot mark where it fluctuated around that mark for the next week or two before settling back again. We have got our tractor back from getting its annual service, which was just in time for the grass cutting season which is well under way now.

There is more colour appearing along the riverbanks with the trees out in blossom, the yellow rattle is coming through strong in places

and the bluebells are almost there too. We even had an American skunk cabbage appear in one spot.

On the 23rd we saw our first orange tip butterfly enjoying some of the welcome sunshine and warmth we were getting. There was a bit time spent spraying some of the many hogweeds that appear up and down the estuary at this time of year, which is always an ongoing battle, but you must try and keep it in check. As we were getting on into the month we were up to the bee hive where we removed the insulation board and entrance reducer, and put the queen excluder back in place getting it ready for the season ahead.

As it warmed up the bees were soon out and about making the most of it. By the last day of the month the swan was still sitting tight on her nest up at the fishery, her eggs must be due to hatch out anytime now!

On a brighter note, it was a warmer last day, with the temperature getting up to up to 18 degrees and we also saw our first swallows of the year back on the estuary. The river was sitting at a steady two feet and nine inches above summer level as the month ended.


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