Blog

Wed 13th March 2013

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 5:10 PM

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SNOWMAGEDDON!!!

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March was tootling along nicely. The flowers and insects were beginning to appear, the bird song went on all day, the first migrant Sand Martins and Wheatears had been sighted, and then..... SMASH!! It didn't just snow, it SNOWED!

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Monday morning we were sat in the staff room looking out of the window wondering why we hadn't been sent home yet since the snow was falling faster and faster. After a couple of hours we were  finally set free and I picked up Aidan from school in the jeep. We got home just in time because in the afternoon the wind picked up and the snow fell denser and harder, until it really was blizzard conditions. The drifts were deep enough for people to abandon their cars and walk home like Scott of the Antarctic.

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View from the bedroom

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Such conditions in Guernsey hadn't happened since the 70's so this was certainly a novelty. Despite the wind the kids were desperate to get out and play.

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The wind seemed to be gale force at times, and with the weight of the sticking snow, many trees came down - at least 50 fell across the island. One of our neighbours across the road had one fall on their house.

 

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The next day the wind had died down but it still snowed for hours and we were all off school. Some folk wonder why Guernsey can't seem to cope with any snow and that other countries can still get on with life without shutting down. But they tend to forget that all these places have snow-ploughs, gritters, massive piles of salt and teams of people to clear the roads. We have a couple of blokes sharing a shovel (almost), and even the main roads are one step beyond treacherous.

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I managed to go out for a walk round the lanes to see what was around and noticed that Redwings had reappeared locally and there were Meadow Pipits feeding underneath the trees. A Skylark appeared out of the white sky and high above Epinelle Road a crow mobbed a super Short-eared Owl flapping its way northwards.

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Short-eared Owl - over Baubigny, 12 Mar 2013

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During today, the snow and ice in the lowlands melted very quickly and we had hardly any left by tea-time. I went out for a bit of birding, mainly to see the Avocet that was feeding in the saltmarsh on the Old Aerodrome.

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Avocet - L'Eree, 13 March 2013

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The sun came out and I had a lovely half-hour down on the West coast. Three different Marsh Harriers were wandering around, a first-year Med Gull fed off the Shingle Bank and the Pink-footed Goose flock were still present bathing in the pools. The most unusual sighting was the flock of 12 Jackdaw that appeared high over head heading North, then U-turning to head back south again. At Fort le Crocq I saw the Water Pipit, which must be thinking about heading back South again to the mountains, and also a migrant Skylark. Some nice birding to end a memorable few days on the island.

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Kestrel - Fort le Crocq, 13 March 2013 

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Before the snow-days the birding highlight was three Reed Buntings feeding at Pulias, and the non-birding highlight was a new moth species for the garden - Acleris ferrugana - in the moth trap's first outing of the year.

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Acleris ferrugana - garden, 9 Mar 13

 

Categories: 2013 Spring