Sunday, September 04, 2005

Watchpoint 04-09-2005

Members only watchpoint 04-09-2005
Sunday 4th September 2005
0730 – 1600hr (DCB, HC, MD)
Weather and Sky:
A slowly improving damp morning, initially with fog stratus but always hazy together with increasing wind. Wind: initially SE F2 @ 0620, becoming SE F4 by 0830, then becomming variable between E and S F4 – 5 for the rest of the time. Temp: initially 14 @ 0620, similar @ 0830, becoming 16 by 1100hr, 18 by 1200hr. Visibility: initially 300m and remaining similar until partial but intermittent clearance by 0815hr to 1000m, remaining similar until 0920 when 2000m max, but with fogs still lingering in the valleys. The first vertical visibility to cloudless open sky came intermittently by 0815hr and continued to improve. Hv never more than 5500m all day until 1600hr. Cloud: initially variable fog stratus 9ok, becoming variable fractus and scud, whilst breaking and for a good part of the morning, then becoming translucent alto st / alto cu, but still with some lower fractus. Pressure: at 0620 had been falling for last 18 hr (I think) with current 1024, continuing to fall all day with 1019hpa by 1630hr.

An outstanding morning but with a very slow start. Very few birds at all until c0910hr and nearly all in this initial period were going west. In addition to what could be seen, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Meadow Pipit, and Siskin calls could be heard above the fogs. However by 0930hr the situation had changed completely in conjunction with strengthening winds, clearing skies and improving visibility. Swallows were streaming in a South-easterly direction out of the valley to our NW, especially along the ridge to our immediate NE / beyond and through the low col immediately to our NE. The stream was initially quite localised with no birds being noted, behind us to our SW. (Probably something to do with the cloudbase and the fogs, relative to the height of the land?). Nearly all were lowish and after using the lee of the land to best advantage, nearly all went on struggling low into the blast of the wind (which would have been less than recorded by us in our exposed location). During the morning, even though the sky had improved the air was very damp, to the extent of making "book pages" almost soft and at one time difficult to write on. The Swallows kept coming SE out of the valley with the front becoming a little broader, together with initially, Meadow Pipits and as the morning approached lunch time and became afternoon, the hirundines included more House Martins and a few Sand Martins. Swallow movement peaked between c 1035 and 1115hr. A further two Grey Squirrels were seen on well spaced wall tops along with one on Trough Lane at lunch time. At lunch time a small wave of Wheatear passed, stop – start, below the watch point. Lots more to write about but no more time….. The following totals were counted, split into the following time periods: (0730 – 1230) + (1230 – 1500) + (1500 – 1600) = Total

Moving Birds:
Swallow 1152 + 235 + 11 = 1398 > mainly SE
Meadow Pipit 207 + 57 + 2 = 266 > mainly SE
Reed Bunting 3 + 1 + 0 = 4 > W
Tree Pipit 1
Greenfinch a few above fog
Chaffinch 12 + 3 + 0 = 15 > mainly SE
Yellow Wagtail 1 + 1 = 2 S and WSW
Linnet 22 + 5 + 0 = 27 > mainly SE
House Martin 88 + 44 + 31 = 163 > mainly SE
Starling 149 + 0 + 50 = 199
Snipe 19 > W and SE
Siskin calls above fog
Alba 3
Sand Martin 10 > SE
Wheatear 5
Grey Wagtail 2
Grey Squirrel 2 + 1 on Trough Lane = 3
Spotted Flycatcher in res keepers garden.

Small Copper
Red Admiral
Clouded Yellow (1)


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