Friday, April 08, 2005

Watchpoint 08-04-2005

Members only watchpoint 08-04-2005
Friday 8th April 2005
0825 - 0950hr
Sorry this post is late but uploading problems this morning.
Weather and Sky:
An improving morning with cloud reducing / increasing sunshine, visibility improving but wind increasing and temperature falling. Bitter cold. Wind: initially NNW F4 @ 0645hr, NW F5 by 0830 and NW F5 gusting F7 by 0945hr. Temp: initially +2 dp –3 @ 0645, +2 (+1 deg C @ wp) dp –4 by 0830 and +3 (+0.4deg C @ wp) dp –5 by 0945. Precipitation: none but lying snow appraisal: Yesterdays good covering over the South Pennines now thawed totally but snow cornice still present around summit of Ingleborough. Otherwise south Dales without snow except for a light sprinkling around the Great Whernside / Grimwith area. Visibility: 60km max NNW (Leck Fell), 64km max E (Drax, upper Humber). Cloud: initially cu humilis with lower fractus 4ok (more especially to west with same but including milky cirrostratus and altostratus to east and withdrawing east. Cloud remaining similar but continuing to reduce 2ok by 0945hr. Pressure: rising overnight and now increasing rapidly with 1007 @ 0645 and 1011 by 1000hr.

A bitterly cold morning, even with full thermal attire and more! The strong winds (max NW F5 gusting F7) with –5degC dew point. penetrated everything despite the frequent sunshine. Birdwise, despite the conditions pipits were moving strongly with a total of 95 noted, all going north – north west in the c 80minute watch – more than one a minute! And that only takes account of the ones I could see. The birds were initially picked up coming low over the ridge to the south. The majority then would dip to hug the ground or contour the hillside, still appearing to keep to the same direction. A few however would rocket up into the strong wind at the ridge and continue northward high overhead. All were struggling and some shearing cross wind but all including the high ones were well in control and very determined. Closer to hand a frequent stream of birds intercepting the wave wall and the lee of the wind further east, immediately adjacent to the watchpoint were passing. Again some of these were rocketed upwards and into the wind when the cover ran out a few metres away from me. The only other birds seen to be on the move were a total of three albas, all going low north and again a total of 31 BH Gulls likewise going N – NW. Coincidence ? that these abysmal mornings seem to induce the vis??

Moving Birds:
Meadow Pipit 95 > N – NW
Alba 3 > N
Black-headed Gull 31 > N – NW.

Dave. (off to work now!)


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