Notes from Tiggywinkles: That was the storm that was

Wood pigeons caught up in the storm

Wood pigeons caught up in the storm

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We were all going to be battered by those storms promised for the end of last month.

At battened down Tiggywinkles we were ready but did not know what to expect. The awful night came and the morning of dread followed as to what wildlife had been caught up in the tempest.

The first casualties arrived at reception. Two baby wood pigeons whose nest had been blown out of their tree. And that was that. No more surprises or victims of the storm and anyway wood pigeons nests are just a few twigs laid on a branch. Even I could blow one off with hefty puff.

Perhaps this was not the worst storm in living memory but we at Tiggys remember trying to save wild animals in winds of 120mph. Even I was literally blown off my feet, time and time again. And believe me to be blown to the ground in the dark, snow and cold of that winter was something I still have nightmare about.

These nightmares took place in the Shetland Isles in the early 90s. Massive winds of 120mph had smashed the oil tanker Braer against the rocks spilling over 100,000 tons of fuel oil into the pristine waters around the Islands.

Our team, with others from Holland and Britain all descended on the hell of that time to rescue wild otters, birds and seals caught in the oil.

That hurricane wind howled and howled, battering us and the islands for day after day. The authorities had no power to remove the brown sludge of oil that covered the beaches.

But that wind that had caused the disaster then came to the rescue and gradually broke up and cleared all the oil. Isn’t nature a strange being.