Friday, 4 December 2015

Life in the Wet

At the moment, it's very much a feeling of "Here we go again" when we see yet another gale forecast. This is XCWeather's menu for tonight's entertainment, and there's very little difference between this and the other weather sites we follow - the BBC and YrNo.

One of the joys - though I'm not sure that is quite the right word - of Cameron Beccario's majestic surface wind speed presentation - here - is that one can see the courses arriving. This picture shows the situation at nine this morning.

Some things thrive in the damp. These are some of the giant funnel fungi which we reported a month ago - here - still going strong along the Ormsaigbeg road, where they've been established for a couple of years now.

The greylag geese in the opposite side of the road don't seem to mind the damp. If anything, they're more tolerant of human approach than before.

In contrast, the curlews which come into the fields at this time of year, and like the wet because it makes the soil easier to probe for worms, seem to be shier than ever - hence this long-range shot. The RSPB and other bird-interested organisations have recently warned that curlews should now be added to the list of birds of "highest conservation concern". Apparently the UK has about a quarter of the world's curlews, yet their numbers have fallen by almost 50% in the last twenty years.

The numbers in the fields around Kilchoan do seem to be down, and we don't see the large flocks which used to gather over and around Kilchoan Bay in early winter. The RSPB say that, in part,  the decline is due to habitat loss, but there's been little change in habitat around here. They also blame climate change and predation. See a BBC report here.

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