Wildlife’s woes in wet weather

A far cry from the summer when this burn is usually a collection of puddles
A far cry from the summer when this burn is usually a collection of puddles

Ironically this usually quiet watercourse is the Dry Burn, writes George Hogg (Hogg Estate Services).

In summer it is often little more than a chain of shallow puddles. However, we have just endured the wettest December on record, with little sign of January being much better.

Generally wildlife retires to shelter during prolonged wind and rain, hoping for the odd fair spell in which to feed, groom and get dry.

With no break in the weather, wildlife begins to suffer.Farmers bring in all but the hardiest of livestock, but for wild creatures there is no such pampering.

This brings about winter mortality, which of course happens every winter but more so in prolonged wet winters like this.

As a bit of an Africa addict I have often travelled there during the wet season. We could with justification call winter in Scotland the “wet season”. In Africa the term applies to frequent thunder storms, but rarely is there daily rain, week upon week as Scotland has endured for so long.

Flooding has not yet been too bad locally but fingers crossed. My heart goes out to those whose homes have been flooded in other parts of the country.

However, I think we are being a bit optimistic in expecting government to play Canute and control Nature’s fluctuations. Whether those fluctuations are becoming more extreme and whether or not those changes are natural, I have no idea.

All I know is, I have seen the Dry Burn in spate before and I’m sure I will again. I suppose it’s all part and parcel of wet season in Scotland.