Sunday, March 27, 2005

Watchpoint 27-03-2005

Members only watchpoint 27-03-2005
Sunday 27th March 2005
0755 - 0955hr
(NOTE: clocks +1hr last night and all times are in BST = UTC +1).
Weather and Sky:
A deteriorating and atrocious morning, with cloudbase dropping, existing fog becoming more dense, temperature falling and driving drizzle setting in. Wind: initially NNE F3 @ 0630, remaining similar but increasing F4 from c0900hr. Temp: initially 5 dp 5 @ 0630, still 5 (4degC @ wp) dp 5 @ 0800hr and reducing 6 (2degC @ wp) dp 6 by 0955hr. Precipitation: dry initially with intermittent rain and then very heavy driving drizzle setting in. Visibility: initially 300m at watchpoint, reducing 100m until c0930 and then further reducing 20m min for rest of visit. Cloud: 9ok throughout, initially low stratus / fog above cloudbase @ c700ftasl after a very dark and late dawn due to deep cloud cover here, remaining similar but with light deteriorating, with deepening cloud rather than improving. Pressure: gradual fall overnight and continuing with 1007 by 0630hr and remaining similar.

A dog of a morning with very little bird movement (that could be seen) – a great disappointment after news of big passerine movements yesterday from elsewhere. However all not quite lost as even from the fogs and through our variable 1/2 sphere of visibity came forth a regular stream of passing birds and many more could be heard on the move in the low cloud but out of visual range. All movement was to the NW (as noted before in these conditions – and probably using the wave wall as a leading line). By 0920hr the movement had virtually stopped. A good selection of wading birds were heard through the fog including Dunlin and many Golden Plover. Only the birds we actually saw are listed below but even the Meadow Pipit count for today exceeds that of yesterday when visibility was normal.

After 0920hr a look at the wood was essential as unseen through the fog could be heard both Goldcrest and Willow Warbler. Fourteen Goldcrest (not present yesterday) were located- a biggish fall for here (Lighthouse affect?) and the Willow Warbler was seen but nothing else seemed unusual.

Despite three coats and an outsize Barbour, in total giving the look and feel of a "Mitchelin Man" it was bitter cold on the embankment with dropping temps, increasing wind and very wetting drizzle. The combination of many layers of coat and penetrating cold made it almost impossible to raise glass to eye! It’s a good job we diddnt need to use them much today. Early mobile conversations with Brian and Nick, also out on "the vis" (better than the booze) confirmed their conditions were the same and back / elsewhere for an early bath!

Moving birds:
Meadow Pipit 26 > NW
alba 7 > NW
Reed Bunting 1 > NW
Starling 10 > NW
Jackdaw (heard) several > N

Goldcrest 14
Willow Warbler
Golden Plover

its got to be better tomorrow!


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