Monday, August 29, 2005

Watchpoint 29-08-2005

Members only watchpoint 29-08-2005
Monday 29th August 2005
0800 – 1430hr (JS, PC, DCB, BV – a joint effort for various periods)
Weather and Sky:
A rapidly deteriorating morning, with low stratus (fog) and horizontal driving drizzle setting in and not reducing until 1030hr when rapid clearance arrived by 1100hr. Wind: SW F4 @ 0720, then WNW F 4 @ 1100hr. Temp: 17 throughout. Precipitation: horizontal driving drizzle ceasing c1030 and becoming fine. Visibility: After 1100hr Ingleborough max / Eggborough max. Cloud: low stratus initially, clearing to east, followed be altostratus (total 8ok) also clearing to east, then a mixture including cu humilis and various cirrus (1ok). Back edge of frontal cloud overhead at c1300hrs. Pressure: rising 1019 @ 0720, with1021 by 1430hr.

No complete counts this morning owing to totally unsuitable conditions. Swallows obviously held back by the conditions started moving, mainly low, almost as soon as an improvement came, with a total > SW of 63, between 1050 – 1145hr, then only a few more (these uncounted, but still W or SW). Prior to 1100hrs, fifteen Snipe in two groups went SW / NW and at 1250hrs a further 25 went high WSW, the group as it went overhead was strung out in a compact broad front line, with some calling from the last two which were lagging behind. It was the calling which drew attention to these birds! This giving a day total of 40 snipe, excluding the ones at the pools. About fifty Meadow Pipits were seen congregating around the embankment area, but none were seen moving in the early part of the morning. A Cormorant was seen out to the north. By 1300hrs the back edge of the frontal cloud was overhead in a relatively, variably clean NE to SW edge, see photograph. During this period two Swifts passed south-west almost overhead along with several parties of House Martins. After 1315hr however several well spaced small groups of Meadow Pipits passed by and continued for the rest of the visit, again these remained uncounted. PC disturbed a Yellow Wagtail whilst leaving, the bird stayed around, favouring the un-mown derelict lawns and sand pits. None avian visible migration was a Grey Squirrel, calling loudly from the wave wall, in the middle of nowhere!! A Stoat was also seen rabbiting but without success.

Moving Birds (not complete counts):
Swallow 63 > SW
Meadow Pipit c25 > W (in afternoon)
Snipe 40 > westish
Yellow Wagtail
Swift 2 > SW
House Martin 33 > SW
Wheatear 1

Lesser black backed Gull 23 but increasing
Black headed Gull 15 increasing
Yellow legged Gull 1


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