Friday, March 25, 2005

Watchpoint 25-03-2005

Members only watchpoint 25-03-2005
Friday 25th March 2005 (Good Friday)
0805hr - 1130hr. (Reduced version).
Weather and Sky:
A deteriorating, then improving morning, with early mist, very low cloud and sheets of driving drizzle. Not much wind. Becoming warmer and visibility improving after 1000hr.

Initial prolonged silence with hardly a bird to be seen or heard in the sky, with only c20 mips over, all going N – NW before 1000hr. No congregations of mipits at all were noted in the general area. Then, all change and in obvious conjunction with the mipit broad front arrival and movement over Cold Edge (of which Brian, on the front line, gave timely warning), we were getting them over here as well. Visibility to the SSE had improved to Emley Moor, with clearing skies, the direction from wence the pipits came. The arrive of the move was immediately detectable by the frequent sound of overhead vis on the wing. Binocular and scope exploration of the sky revealed mipits on the move at all ranges as well as overhead. In addition there was a good spread in the flight levels of the moving birds All were moving in a northerly direction but to be more accurate between N – NW. Most were in threes to tens with the largest group being over twenty. By 1100hr this movement had slowed considerably and by 1130 had almost stopped. Notably today only a very few gulls and waders seen to be on the move. The most interesting birds of the day were firstly, two Collared Doves flying past to the NW @ 0940hr and three Long-tailed Tits, striking out, west and continuing on over the open moor at 1120hr. Could this NW movement by Collared Dove, which has been seen here before be continued range expansion? As you Brian, we had Herons, today. Last year I just discounted them but this year I intend to enumerate even if they are only just commuting between the froggeries on the moor and the heronries in the valleys, to which the flight lines are obvious. Last year, after making the decision to discount, I did regret it as I am certain that there was some very high movement of uncertain nature / direction and definitely not related to heronries known by me. Herons are very big birds and can be seen and followed for very long distances with the optics of today. With the exception of long feeding flights, anyone got any experience of Heron movements at all?

Moving Birds:
Meadow Pipit 302 > N – NW
alba 6 > N
Chaffinch 3 > NW
Goldfinch 2 > W
Collared Dove 2 > NW
Long tailed Tit 3 > W
BH Gull 5 > N
LBB Gull 10 > NW
Lapwing 3 > N
Golden Plover 18 > NE
Grey Heron 1 > NW and 1 > NE
Starling 165 total > northerly
Jackdaw 17 > N

Goldeneye 4
Redshank 2
Oystercatcher 1
Curlew, most now moved on.
Golden Plover – very noisy and seem settled on high moors
Mips and Sky’s, continued increase in local numbers on territory. Some handy early warnings of overflyers here!


Have made decision to publish reduced version of report on this site - more suited to general interest. Anyone wishing to see full version, please let me know as full details are available.


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