Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Well, nothing much is happening at the moment, but the things that keep me happy are watching the signs that seasons are changing. In the last week we've seen (or rather, heard) the first European Bee-eaters flying over, and a Barn Swallow zipped south - definitely migrants from the north. And all the pools and streams we visit at the moment have returning waders too. It's still some months before the mass return of small birds - they time their arrival to the short rains in November - but it's a sure sign that the seasons are changing up north... My wheatear student has been reporting the departure of wheatears from Greenland in the last few weeks, so I know there's movement through the UK now.

And here too the seasons are changing (and right now the bush babies are calling in the garden. Noisy critters...). I confess that the seasons in Arusha are not quite what I was expecting - we're in the middle of the dry season now, but pretty much since the rains ended (rather late) in early June it's been overcast in the mornings (usually burning off later, mind) and cold. Admittedly, not Aberdeen biting, raw, near-arctic cold, but cold enough to need a jumper (at least when you're sitting at a computer inside all day). And it's been breezy too - strong winds from the east, whipping up the increasing piles of dust on the roads. But just recently, in the last couple of weeks, we've enjoyed a few bright sunny mornings again and the temperature has been rising once more. And the Jacarandas are starting to flower again - beautiful purple blooms appearing on bare trees all across town. Just as they were when we arrived here nearly a year ago: it's nice to see the seasons coming around again. (And it will be nice to get back into proper warm weather again in a week or two - bring on those oppressive blue skies again!)

Anyway, nothing more to report than the gradual processes of nature, but that does make me very happy it's worth reporting anyway! If you happen to live to the north of us, do point out the direction to any passing birds. We want them back!

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