Escaping the winter

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Escaping the winter

Category : Living

The first really cold weeks have arrived here in London. A thick layer of snow turning streets, houses and trees into a winter wonderland. Unfortunately, this peaceful scenery only lasted for a few days as the wind started blowing and a freezing chill made me shiver to the bone. How good would it be if I now was in a country with comfortable temperatures doing nice outdoor activities. Being flexible instead of stiffened by the cold, drinking a nice glass of wine and eating some fresh sea food. Taking a long stroll after dinner without getting frostbite…

Bird migration is a seasonal phenomenon undertaken by many birds annually. These birds breed on one location and than escape the cold winter in a place with more favourable temperatures and food conditions. Like these birds more and more people flee the cold northern European winters and head south. It is not fully understood how birds navigate during their migrations. The ability to successfully perform long-distance migrations can probably only be fully explained with the cognitive ability of the birds to recognize habitats and form mental maps. Satellite tracking of day migrating raptors such as Ospreys and Honey Buzzards has shown that older individuals are better at making corrections for wind drift. This better navigation of older birds may explain the popularity of spending the winter months in Portugal. Portugal is an excellent retreat to escape the cold winter months, with a minimum average temperature of 14 degrees. This means no stiff joints during the winter months and not being chilled to the bone! The primary motivation for bird migration seems to be food. Migrating along with the birds to a warmer Cascais also means delicious fresh food.

One day I’m going to flee our cold winter and migrate with the birds to enjoy the climate of Cascais.