The wet and windy weather has to be the dominant theme from this period. The winter was behaving more like spring until the middle of December. Fifteen degrees celsius was recorded at Malin Head in mid December, the highest record since the station opened there 58 years ago. The winter continued mild, but wind and rainfall dominated the weather from then on.
It was noticable on several loughs that the birds moved away when the weather became inclement. Mallard, Wigeon and Whooper swans moved off Sheskinmore Lough and also from Clooney Lough and Maghery Lough outside Dungloe. The Greenland White-fronted goose flock of 21 remained around the site and they were often accompanied by a single Barnacle Goose and a single Canada Goose. Likewise on most visits, a flock of 30-35 Lapwing could be seen.
One to three Buzzard were seen by myself or Stephan Hewitt during this period. Stephan also saw a peregrine around Sheskinmore and I got a great look at a Merlin flying in front of the van along the road at Drumboghil, near Kiltooris Hall.
The high tides and strong winds that made national news took their toll along Ballinreavy Strand also. During December and January, new records were set for wave height. The highest waves ever recorded around Ireland were logged by a buoy located 53 miles northwest of Rossan Point, Glencolmcille. In December a wave of 20.2 metres was measured and in January this record was broken by a wave measuring 23.5 metres in height.