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G&T ice n slice
31st Aug 2013, 09:19
Well, seems like almost all the resident swallows & swifts have already headed south, usually they are here until mid September.

the foxgloves have all converted their flower spikes into seedpods and they usually do that gradually, from bottom to top, with the topmost flowers lasting into October.

Hawthorns etc already heavily berried, lots of cobnuts.

I haven't checked the indians' wood-collecting yet though

mixture
31st Aug 2013, 09:23
I though you northerners were hardened types. Grow some nuts man. Its going to be a bit chilly.... so what ! :E

sitigeltfel
31st Aug 2013, 09:23
With the UK so heavily reliant on imported fuel, coupled with inadequate storage facilities, an axe and a woodburning stove might be a good investment.

Lon More
31st Aug 2013, 09:28
stay warm while you can. After 2014 the English will have to buy Scottish oil and hydro-power :E

sitigeltfel
31st Aug 2013, 09:32
After 2014 the English will have to buy Scottish oil and hydro-power :E

Do they get it for free at the moment?

Lon More
31st Aug 2013, 09:37
Do they get it for free at the moment?as near a damnit since some megalomaniac used it to prop up her mad plans back in the 1980s

sitigeltfel
31st Aug 2013, 09:43
I am tempted to start a thread on the extinction of the dinosaurs, just to see how long it takes Lon to blame it all on Maggie :ugh:

Krystal n chips
31st Aug 2013, 10:04
" Well, seems like almost all the resident swallows & swifts have already headed south, usually they are here until mid September.

True. Strangely, possibly unrelated, I haven't been entertained by the local bat population either at dusk or dawn recently either.

"the foxgloves have all converted their flower spikes into seedpods and they usually do that gradually, from bottom to top, with the topmost flowers lasting into October

To be fair, mine went into seed just after we had some warm (ish ) weather a few weeks ago. The rest of the hovel's flora and fauna however, have duly gone into overdrive.

However, the best predictor of the UK weather is not the natural world ( perceptive though they are ) or any amount of predictive data splurged across the internet....

It's when the lying, profiteering, avaricious share holder and bonus orientated energy suppliers decide to impose and increase of whatever percentage to increase their profits that offers us the best idea as to what sort of winter the UK can expect.

They do, after all, rely on accurate forecasting...well as accurate as any long range forecast can be.

Lon....you'll be importing a few token Tories and English spivs for the finer points of privatisation and screwing the customer over then ?:D

A wee discount for those of us who are not part of the " terribly nice chaps, and where is Scottishland exactly.. hwah, hwah ? " brigade would be appreciated...in these austere times.

Um... lifting...
31st Aug 2013, 10:35
"The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house marten or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land"

"Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?":hmm:

waveskimmer
31st Aug 2013, 10:49
Come back Maggie,no EU Nazi dictatorship with her around,and the UK would still be what it should be The UNITED Kingdom!

sitigeltfel
31st Aug 2013, 11:02
Two stres of 50cm dry wood being delivered next week to add to the two in stock after last winter. That should easily make do until next spring, with a reasonable reserve.

The truck can only get to within 25mtrs of the log shelter, so there is a danger of me having to break into a sweat moving the stuff.

Krystal n chips
31st Aug 2013, 11:45
" so there is a danger of me having to break into a sweat moving the stuff. "

Photographic, or better still, a you tube video ( guaranteed to go viral ! ) of this unlikely precedent would be appreciated as supportive evidence ......please. :E

Capetonian
31st Aug 2013, 11:54
After 2014 the English will have to buy Scottish oil and hydro-power
From what I've heard and seen only about 30% of Scots support independence.

sitigeltfel
31st Aug 2013, 12:04
Photographic, or better still, a you tube video ( guaranteed to go viral ! ) of this unlikely precedent would be appreciated as supportive evidence ......please. :E

Just for you :p


http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y284/fiserable/woodpile_zpsa2df15b8.jpg (http://s7.photobucket.com/user/fiserable/media/woodpile_zpsa2df15b8.jpg.html)

Ancient Observer
31st Aug 2013, 12:29
I went for a walk on the South Downs during the week. All the swallows and swifts were there.

chuks
31st Aug 2013, 12:38
We had a house marten, so to speak, a marten that sought a warmer clime in winter, yes. The weaselly beast would first go clomping across the roof and then insert itself into Chez Chuks to race right across the paneling, back and forth over our heads as we lay abed at 3 a.m. We finally had a roofer come and close some small gaps it was using for access; since then: peace.

House martins, however, them we do not have, just swallows and swifts. Last time I checked, just a few days ago, the swallows and swifts were still around, but the weather is noticeably cooler so that they should be gone soon.

Coconuts do migrate! They show up in the local shop, along with the tropical banana. How they get here, no idea, but they obviously do migrate, since I never saw a coconut palm here in northern Germany. Well, okay, one, but that was in a botanical garden in Bremen.

handsfree
31st Aug 2013, 12:41
The swallows are all gathering on the telephone wires here. Looks like they're having their pre-flight briefing.

tony draper
31st Aug 2013, 13:07
The time to worry is when all the Rats feckoff.:uhoh:

fenland787
31st Aug 2013, 13:07
The fen country seems to be getting to the 'Mellow Fruitfulness' stage early this year too - could be a harbinger of a hard winter I guess, but given that the Fruitfulness seems to include vast numbers of sloe berries, which in turn leads to sloe gin in industrial quantities, I doubt many of us round here will care very much.:ok:

1DC
31st Aug 2013, 13:10
Winter in the UK will be warm... We are going to stay with Oz daughter so if we are away it will be warm, always has been before....

tony draper
31st Aug 2013, 13:12
We haven't had a bad Summer perhaps the seasons are just going back to the way they were when I were a nipper,proper Sunshine in Summer proper Snow in Winter.:)

beaufort1
31st Aug 2013, 13:13
Huge numbers of blackberries this year but of a sloe not a single one. A good job I have stocks of 'sloe brandy' made when they were plentiful in previous years.
Increasing numbers of swallows moving through.

OFSO
31st Aug 2013, 13:24
Sunny and hot here in Catalunia but my, we cannot believe how dark it stays in the morning and how the evenings are drawing in already.

Yup, I have a feeling about the next winter.....

B Fraser
31st Aug 2013, 15:10
One swallow doesn't make a summer, it just makes your day.

:E

uffington sb
31st Aug 2013, 15:17
OFSO.

Got the 05:10 PBO to HIT the other morning in the dark!
It won't be long before I'll be travelling both ways in the dark.
Summer was nice while it lasted.

ShyTorque
31st Aug 2013, 15:27
With the UK so heavily reliant on imported fuel, coupled with inadequate storage facilities, an axe and a woodburning stove might be a good investment.

Yup, just been asked to light ours up - someone here is feeling cold today. First time lit in anger - our investment after the shock of last winter's gas bills. The dogs made a beeline for the hearth!

handsfree
31st Aug 2013, 15:58
It's the same signs here. The hedges are awash with sloes, elderberries, hips and haws. Next door's rowan tree is heaving as are my apple and pear trees.
Time to buy shares in the energy companies perhaps.

OFSO
31st Aug 2013, 16:29
Got the 05:10 PBO to HIT the other morning in the dark!

Uffington, I do the hour's run across the Pyranees once a month. leaving between 05:00 and 05:30 and returning at 07:20. Visual rewards are sun-up over the sea, and Mount Canigou rearing its snow-covered peak into the sunlight when all else is in gloomy pre-dawn glimmer.

But still, it's heading into autumn sure 'nuff. Seems faster this year but I say that every year !

500N
31st Aug 2013, 17:09
When was that really cold year between 1978 and 1982 ?

The temperature dropped down well below - 10 in most areas.

vulcanised
31st Aug 2013, 17:38
My apple tree, which produced just one apple last year, has dozens now - all the size of golf balls! http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/boohoo.gif

I'm waiting for the Elderberry to ripen and give the birds a good feast before I prune it.

500N
31st Aug 2013, 17:44
Brings back memories of picking all these types of berries
to feed the birds in Winter.

And cooking up "fat puddings" of every type of high energy
food and food scrap you could think of to feed the birds during the hard times.

Good memories.

ZOOKER
31st Aug 2013, 17:59
We live in an 'ice-age', remember...:ok:
In 1979 I attended a 3rd year geography department seminar entitled, 'When Will The Present Interglacial End'?
Reminds me of a poem by Robert Frost.....

Good-Bye And Keep Cold.

G-CPTN
31st Aug 2013, 18:10
When was that really cold year between 1978 and 1982?

1968-70: The first of these 2 winters saw snow in late December, around the New Year, in Eastern Scotland and England. Eastern Yorkshire saw a massive 16 inches! Mid February saw more snow, this time more to the West, with England and Wales seeing the most. Mid March saw more in the Pennines, and a TV mast fell down. 69-70 saw snow for Northern England, North Wales, and Scotland in mid November. Mid December saw snow for the North again. Mid February, most parts, and early March, snow in Wales and England, with the Midlands getting 12 inches.

1970-76: Little snow for 6 winters! Ring any bells?! Very similar pattern to the 90s-early 00s, ending the snow drought with a hot summer (76 / 03!) when the snow returned for 1976...

1976-77: Heavy wet snow fell in early December, mid December, and mid January. Mid January also saw some good coverings though, up to 6 inches lying at times.

1977-78: Mid January, 6 foot drifts! A week later, and 4 inches fell. Mid February saw 4 inches also. Late January, heavy snow in Scotland, drifting, 28 inches falling in parts! Mid February (see above) was very snowy in the North East, East and South West. February 11th had 1 ft in Durham and Edinburgh. Feb. 15-16th South West England, blizzard with huge drifts, sounds like my cup of tea!

1978-79: The last really severe, snowy winter, for now anyway, and one my parents go on about! Late December falls of 6-7n inches in Southern Scotland and the North East started it off. It was very cold in parts. Mid February saw drifts of 6-7 feet on the East coast of England. Mid March had severe blizzards and drifting, in North Eastern England drifts reached a staggering 15 feet! Very snowy.

1981-82: Another one my parents go on about! Mid December, South West and Southern England seeing 12 inches. North East England getting 7 inches, with 6 foot drifts. 2 days later (20th December) Northern England got 7 inches, and 6 foot drifts. Mid January, there was general snow, with a cover of 1-2 feet in parts. Snowy, and very cold.

1984-85: Very cold and snowy, especially in Southern England. My parents also go on about this one, as they lived in Hampshire at the time, and my brother was born. It was a very cold winter. Early January, there was snow in Eastern England. Mid January, East Anglia and Kent getting the goods, with 6 inches falling here. Mid January, South West England and South Wales (yippee!). Late January seeing snow in Scotland, and the prone spots, such as Aviemore, getting 2ft of level snow, Northern Britain as a whole affected though. Mid February, Southern England, 6-12 inches, substantial drifting taking place. 29th March gave Scotland snow. A memorable year. Snowy.

From (and more at):- The History of British Winters - Netweather.tv (http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=winter-history;sess=)

22 Degree Halo
31st Aug 2013, 18:10
If the UK Met Office say Winter 2013/14 will be mild and dry, you can bet it will be wet and wild, so let's wait for their words of wisdom ( :rolleyes: ) before we can say what will happen. :ok:

Capetonian
31st Aug 2013, 18:13
The Indian Chief thought that it was going to be a bad winter so he sent all the braves out to collect wood. As he watched them return laden with timber from the forest he suddenly felt that he ought to check his forecast so he phoned the local met office.

"Tell me, is it going to be a bad winter?"

"Yes" said the forecaster " it will be a bad one"

So the Chief told the braves that they didn't have enough wood and sent them back into the forest again. They returned with more wood but once again the Chief had doubts and he called the forecaster to confirm.

"It is going to be a really severe winter" replied the forecaster.

The Chief look at the wood store, decided that more was required and the braves were dispatched back in to forest. The Chief called the forecaster.

"Are you sure it's going to be a really severe winter"

"Look" said the forecaster "its definitely going to be the worst winter on record - the Indians are gathering wood like crazy!""

G-CPTN
31st Aug 2013, 19:06
Severe Winters - Met Office Education (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/education/teens/case-studies/severe-winters)

Famous British Winters - 1947 and 1963 - Netweather.tv (http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=famous-winters;sess=)

ShyTorque
31st Aug 2013, 19:14
Talking of "Native Americans", just like them I'm going to be keeping myself warm this winter fetching wood; judging by today's trial run my new wood burner can certainly throw out some heat, which suits Mrs S with her poor circulation. At this rate though I'll probably have to take my cardigan off to go to bed.

racedo
31st Aug 2013, 20:28
The swallows are all gathering on the telephone wires here.

They be the female ones...........

Male ones are on the roof of the pub.........

Lon More
31st Aug 2013, 21:42
I am tempted to start a thread on the extinction of the dinosaurs, just to see how long it takes Lon to blame it all on Maggie

Oh ha bloody ha. I wouldn't even try to. After all the last dinosaur was buried when she got her come-uppance.

Google "Thatcher Scottish oil" . Not much there that will support your right wing viewpoint.
130bn quids worth of oil revenue used to finance unemployment; she made it easier for 20% of the Scottish workforce to remain unemployed. Could this have been the start of the present-day benefits culture so hated by her believers?
Remind me, just how many Tory MPs represent Scotland?


Looking for something else entirely and came across this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUxme3lz5kk

500N
31st Aug 2013, 22:15
G CPTN

Thanks.

RedhillPhil
31st Aug 2013, 22:18
I went for a walk on the South Downs during the week. All the swallows and swifts were there.

Swifts, are you sure? They've usually packed their bags and gone by the second week in August at the latest.

Nervous SLF
1st Sep 2013, 04:18
Ah the 1st of September means the first day of Spring here !!! :D:ok:

Lon More
1st Sep 2013, 08:03
Interesting site G-CPTN, thanks

It currently lists some actual temps, in the UK as

Blackpool Airport 280C
Crosby 14.5C
Walney Island 14.1C
Liverpool Airport 14C
Shannon Airport 14C
Isles Of Scilly 13.9C
Ronaldsway 13.5C
Port Ellen 13.1C
Keswick 13.1C
West Freugh 13.1C
Prestwick Airport 13C
Isle Of Man 13C
Hawarden 13C

My bold and my idea of hell :}

Haven't seen a swift or swallow for 2 or 3 weeks now and the number of passing geese has dropped right off.

New combi Central Heating boiler installed last week, the open fireplace was replaced by a wood burner last year, so no draught when it isn't lit and new double glazing all round. There's about 3 cube of wood stacked out the back and the snow blower is serviced. Winter tyres on the Yeti (4x4) at the end of November.

I'm ready to go:O

Um... lifting...
1st Sep 2013, 19:45
We had a house marten, so to speak, a marten that sought a warmer clime in winter, yes.

Well, I don't see what your objection is. You have some sort of small minded prejudice against mustelidae?

dead_pan
1st Sep 2013, 20:57
Haven't seen a swift or swallow for 2 or 3 weeks now

Plenty of hirundines hereabouts still. You should be getting a strong flow of Scandi migrants around now - perhaps you haven't been out and about much of late?

ShyTorque
2nd Sep 2013, 12:38
Hard winter ahead?, guesswork at this point, educated or (more likely) not.

The airborne feeding birds are only ever a few days away from starvation so they must react very quickly to the ambient conditions of the time, rather than the conditions we are going to see weeks later!

Swifts and Swallows etc just follow the insects, which is all they eat. If the insects aren't hatching and flying, the birds soon move elsewhere to find food. Usually they will go south because that's the route they followed to get here. Those birds are only here in the first place so they can take advantage of our long summer days for their breeding season. The longer days further from the equator give them sufficient daylight and food for their young, which need large quantities of insects to allow them to develop very rapidly - to make the long journey south for the winter.

One of nature's more fascinating cycles. My "personal" summer arrives with the first Swifts, which nest in eaves of older houses along our small road. Normally they arrive here the second week in May, scream the place down, then are gone again with their young only a few weeks later. ;)

Lightning Mate
2nd Sep 2013, 13:54
Some of the larger birds migrate in vic formation and keep changing the lead.

Do you know why they do that?

ShyTorque
2nd Sep 2013, 14:04
Supposedly each bird apart from the leader gets a slightly easier ride by taking advantage of the "wake" of the preceding one.

(If cats could fly, would this be a kittiwake)?

Ancient Mariner
2nd Sep 2013, 14:07
In Norway we say that the more rowan berries the more snow. The branches are now touching the ground. We'll see.
Per

Lightning Mate
2nd Sep 2013, 14:07
Supposedly each bird apart from the leader gets a slightly easier ride by taking
advantage of the "wake" of the preceding one.

No.

It's because each one only knows one part of the route. :)

Um... lifting...
2nd Sep 2013, 14:07
Flying in upwash... increased range... dramatically increased range. Some estimates are in excess of 60%. Except for the lead bird, of course, who works the hardest, hence the lead changes.

Pelicans commonly fly echelon and cruise solo just above smooth water. Master of drag reduction, the pelican.

Lightning Mate
2nd Sep 2013, 14:09
The Pelican is an expert in ground effect.

Flying in upwash... increased range...

But behind the birds' wings is downwash!

OFSO
2nd Sep 2013, 15:12
While we are disscussing the berries and the birds, the falcons which nest in the house above us were having a massive fight yesterday evening. They were accessing the attic thru the ventilation aperture, and looked maybe like the three young ones born this summer. But very unusual to see and hear them around this time of the year with mating & nesting so far behind them. Are they fighting over sheltered accomodation for the winter ahead ?

Lon More
2nd Sep 2013, 15:30
Peru is getting iti n the neck according to the Beeb (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23916217)

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 16:00
LM

"But behind the birds' wings is downwash!"

But the birds aren't behind, they are to the side.


We have juts had one of the warmest winters ever here in Melbourne.

thing
2nd Sep 2013, 17:01
We have juts had one of the warmest winters ever here in Melbourne.

Got back from Bris a couple of weeks ago, it was 30C some days, high 20's most. Luvverly.

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 17:03
Apart from one colder period with the odd frost,
we have had days of 16 - 23 / 24 !!!

And this is supposed to be Winter !!!

airship
2nd Sep 2013, 17:24
To be honest, I can't really tell the difference between swallows and swifts.

At the beginning of this summer here, 1st or 2nd week in June, "they" were back in abundance, filling the daylight hours with their incessant cries. But as summer developed, and in 3-4 weeks, they practically all disappeared. :uhoh:

It's indeed been a very long, hot and dry summer here with hardly any rain, to be sure. Which has surely affected the number of insects they prey upon. But I've known similar summers here before. And "they" would be there to signal the "beginning of" and eventually "end of" summer 2-3 months later. I've noticed the (alarming) absence of their cries this summer.

Perhaps (and I hope), they go farther up north these days?! :( Night-time, even in the centre of town, I'd see (but mostly hear) little bats taking over, whilst sitting on my balcony "contemplating the stars" late in the evenings. But must be at least 5-7 years since I last saw any bats. :{

Summat's very wrong, as Drapes might have said...

Um... lifting...
2nd Sep 2013, 17:39
But behind the birds' wings is downwash!

Not entirely correct.

Birds, like any other winged object, create vortices, which includes upwardly rising air that escapes around the tip. The birds further out in the echelon utilize this upward moving air to support their weight, saving energy. Induced drag is reduced as well because later birds do not need to use as high an angle of attack.

Hence, the birds can fly much farther in a large v-formation than they can singly. Leaders are rotated out frequently to divide up the workload.

G-CPTN
2nd Sep 2013, 18:02
Leaders are rotated out frequently to divide up the workload.
I wonder who decides?

Um... lifting...
2nd Sep 2013, 18:04
The females of course... I'm surprised you even had to ask...:rolleyes:

ShyTorque
2nd Sep 2013, 18:16
No.

It's because each one only knows one part of the route.

You mean....like Lightning pilots? They couldn't carry enough fuel to migrate far! :p

pigboat
2nd Sep 2013, 19:51
But must be at least 5-7 years since I last saw any bats.
Google 'white nose syndrome'.

reynoldsno1
3rd Sep 2013, 02:31
NZ has also had its mildest winter on record ....

onetrack
3rd Sep 2013, 02:48
Ahhh, yes - Global Warming has certainly come home to roost. Record snowfalls in Peru (Peru is as close to the Equator as PNG!), Argentina, Chile, China, South Korea, India, Germany and the U.K. Where's Al Gore when you need him? :E

BBC News - In pictures: World's winter wonderland (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/8441341.stm)

Groundgripper
3rd Sep 2013, 09:20
I went for a walk round our local lake on Sunday and was surprised to see that the black-headed gulls are already in their winter plumage - the black cap on their heads being reduced to a small patch behind each eye. I've never noticed this before, maybe because I've never looked, but I would not have expected for this to happen in late August.

GG

MagnusP
3rd Sep 2013, 10:23
HAH! Sunday was 1st September, GG. :)

Rowan in the garden has LOTS of berries. We might see the waxwings this year.

sitigeltfel
3rd Sep 2013, 10:40
Where's Al Gore when you need him? :E

Probably flying around the world in a bizjet to lecture the plebs about energy waste, having left all the lights and heating on in his mansion.

BARKINGMAD
4th Sep 2013, 13:30
Never mind the swifts, the swallows and the berries, whatever happens in the UK we're probably going to have an interesting if not miserable winter.

Our highly paid, highly respected, capable leaders have for too many years, in both administrations, fluffed the issue of replacement generating capacity as the nasty carbon-emitting coal-fired power stations are decommissioned, the geriatric nuclear plant is being taken off-line due to age and the consumption of wiggly amps only increases.

So be alert to the possibility of Baghdad-style rotating power cuts, hopefully without the bombs, and get those chimneys unblocked, stores of solid fuel sorted and some sort of safe lighting for domestic use.

Apparently the plan is to ask industry to switch off first, before the peasants are plunged into darkness by this lack of forward planning, but it only requires a prolonged cold snap to leave a lot of us literally in the dark.

Of course the prospect is not yet on the Daily Grunge's headlines yet as it's not politically popular amongst the BigCorps, but watch this space.

And sad to say the crisis has been discussed and waved in the media 20 years ago, but no government of any colour has had the courage to grasp the nettle.

G-CPTN
4th Sep 2013, 15:19
the crisis has been discussed and waved in the media 20 years ago

Specifically by Ian Fells.

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Environment/documents/2008/09/17/PragmaticEnergyPolicy3.pdf?guni=Article:in%20body%20link

wiggy
4th Sep 2013, 15:59
Back to the birds, OFSO....;)

But very unusual to see and hear them around this time of the year with mating & nesting so far behind them.

Well according to the TV this side of the mountains the swallows are v late leaving northern France this autumn, seems they were slow to "get going, so to speak ;) ;) because of the pants spring we had......

Anyhow it's 32 degrees here today...(celsius)....winter..paah!!

G-CPTN
4th Sep 2013, 16:13
During a journey yesterday I noticed that the rowan trees were abundantly berried.

ShyTorque
4th Sep 2013, 18:51
So be alert to the possibility of Baghdad-style rotating power cuts, hopefully without the bombs, and get those chimneys unblocked, stores of solid fuel sorted and some sort of safe lighting for domestic use.

Done! Got in fork andles, too.

And lots of tinned food, to warm up in a pan of warm water over the fire.

Can't wait. :)

I love these optimistic threads........... :rolleyes:

Dan Gerous
4th Sep 2013, 22:02
Still got Swallows flying around the Borders, but there seem to be fewer of them.