Unfortunately, due to a bird flu outbreak at Castle Eaton several of my sites are covered by the 10km surveillance zone. BTO rules are, sensibly, that we should exercise caution and not operate ringing sessions within the surveillance zone.
This has had consequences for my sites at Blakehill Farm and Red Lodge. Although Red Lodge is not fully within the surveillance zone, my ringing site is on the edge of the zone, so I am treating it as if it is fully within. For a week, until they centred the zones properly (they originally centred it on central Swindon) both mine and Ellie’s gardens were within the zone. Since they centred it on the actual site of the outbreak we are both now outside the 10km restriction.
Last Saturday, the 18th December, I was scheduled to ring at Ravensroost Wood. The forecast was for it to be dry until mid-afternoon. Up at 6:45, I checked the weather before making my flask of coffee. Between putting the kettle on and filling the flask, it decided to rain. At the time Meteo (who also do the BBC forecasts), the Met Office and xcweather were all telling me it was dry. Back to bed. It eventually stopped about 9:30.
Sunday’s forecast was also dry: this time it was raining when I got out of bed. Back under the covers, promising myself that I would go Monday. So, next morning, up, out of bed, no rain, packed flask and nibbles, headed off to Ravensroost Wood. Drove to my net rides, exited the car to feel the first drop of rain! I waited 30 minutes to see if it would stop and it didn’t, so I went home again. Three days on the trot the weather forecasters got it completely wrong.
All those satellites, all that computing power and they are about as accurate as grandad’s bunion or a bunch of dry seaweed. It is as much of a profession as being a fortune teller is!