A snowy winter

I was down at Findhorn Bay this morning and it was exceedingly cold, about minus 12C, even although the sun was shining. We are into our 4th week of snow and winter weather, with nearly three feet of snow around the house. It is now very hard on wildlife, and today in the estuary nearly half of Findhorn bay was iced over. The salt marshes have been frozen for several weeks and the waders and ducks were feeding at the tide’s edge at low tide, but half of their feeding areas are frozen. Several woodcock along the shore were looking out of place and probably starving, the deep snow has driven them out of their usual wintering quarters. It was a very different scene to the summer time haunts of the ospreys – and so different to their winter quarters – Nimrod is the furthest away (3260 miles) in Guinea Bissau, with Talisman 125 kilometres away, and Red 8T 135 kilometres north in southern Senegal. Rothiemurchus and Morven are further north, and Beatrice is in southern Spain, this past week she has suddenly had a couple day’s of travelling nearly as far as Gibraltar. One of this year’s young sea eagles on Mull, which I helped tag for the Mull Sea Eagle Project visited North Ireland in the past week before returning to Islay, and the other one finally left Mull and moved to Jura.

Findhorn Bay 10th January. Usual view to osprey fishing sites

Location of our tagged ospreys in west Africa