A SURFEIT OF WEATHER
Here in Tromsø at 70*N we have had
almost too much weather this last month. December was warmer than usual, with
250mm of precipitation, double the normal amount. Most of it came as rain the
first weeks, so all November snow disappeared. Then we were lucky and we got a
moderate snowfall on 23 December, just in time for the Christmas celebrations.
And the weather remained fair over the Christmas days, with light frost and a
beautiful winter wonderland, while S. Norway suffered from yet another winter
storm. But on 27 December the weather here changed again to wind and rain,
turning the streets into ice-courses; but once more we could not really
complain: this time Svalbard was hit by a severe storm. On New Year's Eve the
snow came back and now, as I write, we have some 40 cm of fresh snow, while the
weather has changed once again, and now we have -15*C and clear skies, with
wonderful Northern Light spectacles. But the forecast is for another change ,
albeit temporary, to mild weather in the coming weekend, after more snow in the
days before. Too much weather!!
On Birdchat somebody reported on a birding
trip the first day of 2017 in coastal California, where somewhat unlucky
weather restricted his day list to 120 bird species. Poor guy! Here my bird
list on January 1st was 1 bird, the always present Magpie; of course the lack
of daylight and my increasing hearing problems do not help either. But 2
January was a better day and I added the Hooded Crow, the Common Eider, the
Mallard and the Herring Gull along the shore, and a single Great Tit, probably
the most common small bird here in winter, in the garden. So now I am all the
way up to 6 year birds, thanks to the good weather of the last days.
Happy New Year everybody!
Wim Vader, Tromsø, Norway
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