Sunday, August 14, 2005


It is the equivalent report for this time last year – just shows how the years can change as well as the SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME!! and before too much longer!!!

Members only watchpoint 15-08-2004
Sunday 0735 - 1120hr (DCB, JS, RHP, EP.)
Weather and sky:
Initially a deteriorating morning from a clear dawn after a dry night, to low stratus and cloud block over the Moor and the hills to the west by 0700hr and then improving. Wind: W F1 @ 0630, increasing SW F3 – 4 by 0730 then WSW F3 – becoming 2 for remainder of morning. Vis: 1000 - 1500m @ 0745 (at times 600m to the SE and 200m to the NW and W). Then improving c5500m general, but always with cloud block over the western end of the Aire-Calder and higher Lancashire – Yorkshire watershed. Further improving 18km general by 0930 (cloud block gone), and 40km NW (Settle), 65km E (Drax) by 1130hr. Temp: 14 dp 14 @ 0630, 16 dp 16 by 0745, 17 dp 16 by 0900, 18 dp 15 by 1000 and 20 dp 14 by 1130hr. Cloud: c0615 1ok with slight cirrus, by 0730 low translucent stratus with lower fractus, always more dense to west and north-west over the Worth basin and forming an initial cloud block just to the west of us. The sun was almost always visible through the stratus, with blue sky vertically above us. By 0930 the stratus had burnt off and heavy cumulus congestus 6ok was prominent to the W and NW with much lesser cumulus mediocris / humilis 2ok to the far east. The morning remained more or less similar to this. QNH, a gradual fall over night with 1016 @ 0630 and 1015 by 1130.

The first really lively morning of the autumn, with the sound of "vis" on the wing nearly always prominent, initially quite a bit of it unseen in the clear sky and brilliant sun above the low stratus, which was moving quite fast in the wind. However the stratus cloud base soon lifted above our elevation and the mipits were with us coming in wild groups, one after another, or several together, often alighting on the wave wall or in the sand pits of the old works, then on either west or south-west. The largest group was about 30, with groups of c10 being regular. Most of the mipit movement was in the first two hours and by 1030hr the movements of this species had almost stopped. In comparison to the uninterrupted onward movements of the "big pipit" days of late Sept / early Oct these movements were more leisurely but nevertheless clearly defined and to an identified direction. The cloud block at our elevation and site, quite possibly held back some of the earlier movement which would otherwise have been missed. A total of four Tree Pipits were detected with two straight through south-west, one in the old filter sand pits, being chivvied on by aggressive mipits and one later leaving the wood.

The first Swallows of the morning came with a group of 16 arriving and then on SE at c0820hr (almost two hours sooner than yesterday). This pattern was repeated time and time again and it was specifically noted that the birds were using the old treatment works roof and wires as almost a gathering ground before moving off and away to the S or SE in a larger group. Another stream of birds was noted coming south out of the valley to the west of us, over the moor behind the reservoir and away to the south. In addition a more general broad front movement of birds going c WSW was noted. At times the sky above the moor to the west was alive with both mipits and Swallows heading for and through the col to the west of us and away SW. Later in the morning after these low flying routes seemed to have dried up (they never really dried up) we noted some large groups of Swallows going very high south-west, just below the cloudbase above the col to the east of us. Many of the birds seen were young birds with little tail. We scrutinised as many as we could and did not detect any additional House Martins or any Sand Martins. This morning we only had thirteen House Martins and no Sand Martins at all. Again no Swifts were seen.A peak count at one time detected 16 Wheatears, on the broken walls, on the screes, on the old buildings, in the sand pits, on the stone pile and on the wave wall.There were lots of bombus bees and butterflies (if anyone wants to know the butterfly species, please mail).

Swallow 378 > SE – S – SW (most S and SE)
Meadow Pipit 278 > SW – W
Tree Pipit 4 (2 > SW)
Pied Wagtail 5
Grey Wagtail 5 > W
House Martin 13 > SE
Linnet 9
Yellow Wagtail call heard once.

Wheatear 16 + 2
Warbler sp 1
Stock Dove.
Gulls – very few.
Lapwing c 200 still in in-bye to SE.

Message to everyone – get out if you can, its on the go!

NOTE: The report above is not live – it is the equivalent report for 15th August 2004 (last year), reproduced here for comparison and to show "the shape of things to come" Yes get out next week and see. The fields full of pipits as reported by the farmer (see Leeshaw 11-08-2005) are one of the first signs along with the grouping of the Swallows as described above. Swifts now have nearly all gone, so we don’t have to worry too much about them now, but latest sightings are still important. Details of any pipit / Swallow congregations or movements, in fact movements by any species of common bird, seen by anyone will this year be most welcome and given full credit.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home