Sunday, July 24, 2005

Watchpoint 24-07-2005

Members only watchpoint 24-07-2005
Sunday 24th July 2005
0845 - 1200hr
Weather and Sky:
An initially deteriorating morning with onset of driving drizzle from low cloud. Then improving, with cloudbase lifting and drying up again. Wind: initially E F3, rising E F4 by 1200hr. Temp: 11 dp 10 @ 0730 with 14 dp 10 @ 1200hr. Visibility: initially @ 0630hr moor visible from home but soon reducing to less than 1000m with onset of rain @ 0750hr. Once on moor 5.5km E below cloudbase @ c1300ft asl and 800m W into low cloudbase. Becoming c 10km by 1200hr. Cloud: low stratus and fog stratus 9ok, remaining similar but cloudbase lifting to c2500ft asl. Pressure: falling gradually overnight with 1007 at 0630 and 1006 by 1200hr.

Horrendous typical easterly conditions initially, with low cloud and associated very wetting driving drizzle at first. Initially, Meadow Pipits seen congregating at roadsides and in fields along private access road enroute, just below cloudbase level. Watchpoint just at cloudbase level with reasonable visibility on approach from east below the base but cloud well down as block over the moors to the west and south-west. Upon arrival Meadow Pipits in ones and two’s seen flying past west and especially just as conditions were improving, with a total of at least 25 > west in the first hour and then no more. Curlews were still moving in the first hour with several singles west and then at 0945 a larger group of 14 seen on approach from the east under the cloud. These appeared to become unsure, almost disorientated upon reaching and penetrating the cloudblock, but they soon went on low and to the west. Initially moderate numbers of Gulls were present and still arriving from the east and south-east. Probable build up initially due to blocking conditions to the west. When conditions improved, many moved on. Species were as yesterday but seemingly with an ever increasing proportion of juveniles, with juv BHG’s, Commons and LBBG’s all present with some even still "begging". There is a photograph of a juv BHGull appended to the end of this mail on the Bradford weblog. Unfortunately the other juvis were all too far away to photograph, with the drizzle and low cloud persisting. Otherwise in the first part of the morning a Grey Wagtail and two Pied’s went west, with Linnet, Greenfinch and goldfinch all heard in the vicinity. At 1045hr the first Swallow was seen, low south-east, probably in conjunction with the cloudbase lifting and visibility improving. After this a total of about 30 were seen passing on, up to 1200hr, but during this period 1120 – 1210, conversations with KM, RHP and EP distracted attention and birds would have been missed. Interestingly, I did not get any of the earlier moving Swallows, that Brian were getting going west and, battling with the mist and drizzle. All of my Swallows were later on, after conditions had improved and all going strong south-east. Not a single Swift was seen.

Moving birds:
Curlew 18 >W
Meadow Pipit c25 > W (all before 1000hr)
Starling 12 > W
Pied Wagtail 2 > W
Grey Wagtail 1 > W
Swallow c30 > SE (all after 1045hr)

Common Sandpiper 3
(incl juv BHG many, juv common 1 and juv LBBG 3)

Black headed Gull (juv) (c) DCB


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