Comparing weather records from past years certainly confirmed that this winter has been relatively kind. Above average temperatures coupled with relatively clear water meant that fish fed well and some positive growth should have resulted. With the few days of high wind and rain came an influx of cormorants that presumably found feeding at sea difficult.
More welcome visitors were a flock of peewits that usually turn up around this time of year to feed on the wet splashes we have created in the lower field and adjacent wetland on a neighbouring farm. Whilst it might be seen as agricultural progress, 2 local wetlands have been drained in the last year reducing considerably the habitat required by these charismatic birds that herald spring with their musical cry.
The first eggs into the hatchery in late autumn are now hatched and progressing well.
Mortality during incubation was well below 5% and later intakes of eggs are doing equally well. Eyed eggs for the school projects in the Clyde and Forth catchments will be uplifted at the end of the month and will hopefully be instrumental in teaching youngsters the value of keeping water free of pollution.
What mild weather?!!!
The latter part of the month has seen temperatures tumble as snow and ice become the daily routine. It has become impossible to feed fish due to ice cover but
appetite will be severely depressed anyway due to the water temperature being very low. I sincerely hope this weather will not continue for too long.