Saturday, May 21, 2005

Watchpoint 21-05-2005 pm

Members only watchpoint 21-05-2005pm
Saturday 21st May 2005
1415 - 1700hr
Weather and Sky:
Heavily overcast 9ok initially after a bright mainly sunny morning. Heavy rain approaching from SW, and falling by 1430, to reduce and become slowly dry by c1550. Then cloudbase lifting and gradually breaking to 4ok. Wind: initially SW F2, becoming calm, then light and variable F1 after cessation of rain. Temp: c10 dp 8. Visibility: variable with conditions but 19km max NNW and 60km max E. Cloud: some cumulonimbus, mainly to east with a little distant thunder. Pressure: falling 1004 initially to 1002 by 1700hr. Towards 1700hr, several cumulonimbus and still developing noted at varying ranges and appearing to be closing in with light becoming yellow over the Pennines and thunder growling round.


No visit this morning due to other birding commitments. So here is the first afternoon report for a while.

Flies abysmal, even in the rain!! Very little in the sky immediately prior to the rain, but by 1500hr a total of c45 Swallows had dropped in from somewhere, all feeding avidly, back and forth along the embankment and over the edge of the water. As the rain slackened and air calmed even more Swallows arrived in conjunction with a further worsening of flies. In addition to the midges, the first St Mark’s of the season noted. A definite need for the "forgotten" midge net this afternoon!! Ok, you can keep your mouth shut but great difficulty with ears and eyes! About 60 Swallows were present at max but as soon as the rain stopped all were off, with few to be seen. Flat calm coincided with the rain stopping, prior to a light mostly southerly air picking up. This was enough to bring Swifts circling higher, ever higher out of the valleys and gradually drifting on south into the breeze. Many were so high / distant as to be only visible by scoping. It was notable that the majority of Swifts to the west were moving south, whilst the ones to the east, out towards Bradford were going north! This may well have been due to the difference in air flow direction, but who can be sure. Also as the rain was ceasing a little group of three Ringed Plover were heard and then seen approaching low over the water, to leave, low but gaining height over the north end. Many Meadow Pipits, back and forth carrying food.

Moving birds:
Swift 200 – 300 various
Swallow 60 + 10 > N
Ringed Plover 3 > N

Dave.

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