Saturday, September 24, 2005

Watchpoint 24-09-2005

Members only watchpoint 24-09-2005.
Saturday 24th September 2005
0725 - 1100hr (DCB, JS, HC and later MD, SJ)
Weather and Sky:
A fair weather morning following an early hard frost, lying in the hollows until c0845hr. Open skies with no significant cloud and little early wind. Wind: W F2 @ 0600hr, becoming calm by 0730, then light and variable until 0945hr, when picking up E F3 and finally S F2 by 1100hr. Temp: initially 3 @ 0630, becoming 1.5degC by 0715hr, then gradually rising 11 by 1100hr. Visibility: initially Ingleborough / Kippax @ 0730, becoming a hazy max > Leck Fell / Drax by 1100hr. Cloud: initially open sky 0ok until c 0900hr when a small amount of altocumulus, altostratuus and various very interesting cirrus began to become prominent, all very translucent but 6ok. Pressure: rapid rise during the early part of the night, but almost steady from midnight onwards with 1019 @0600 and 1018hpa by 1100hr.

Against the norm a poor morning initially with skies becoming busy, with lots moving from 0915hr onwards to 1030hr when notable drop off in activity. All of this later activity was high and determined, with most today passing to our south-east and heading south. Meadow Pipits upto 0915hr were poor with only 152 logged by then, but after this the floodgates opened out to the east with many large, dramatic long and raggling groups passing through going south, the largest of which being 172 which took several minutes to work through. Hirundines all came later on with the exception of some very very high early ones, barely visible with 10x binoculars. The morning was most notable however for the first real autumn push of Golden Plovers. A total of 132 were noted in 15 groups, spread across the morning. All were high / very high and were intent on going south or south-east in direct flight. The movement appeared to be broad front with just as many passing to either side of us, many being way out over Airedale as well as high over the moors. Jays again in the 0830 –0900hr time slot with a group of four passing NW high over the moors at the earlier time. These were estimated to be at about 1800 / 1900ft asl as they crossed the watershed to the south. They just kept on going out over the valley. The other group of three, crossed the col to our NE, going off ENE. Two Coal Tit were, one seen, the other heard going west, a sign of things to come? Skylark, a respectable count and as usual later in the morning, with the first being seen just after 0930hr. Red Admirals were noted also going south from 1030hr, a phenomena that often comes with the better moves of passerines.

Moving Birds:
Golden Plover 132 > S / SE
Meadow Pipit 879 > mostly S / SE
Chaffinch 91 > W / S
Reed Bunting 4 > W
Starling 4
Alba 23 > S / SE
Black Headed Gull 70 > S
Lesser black backed Gull 46 > S
Goldfinch 54 > S / SE
Swallow 50 > S
Curlew 6 > W
House Martin79 > S
Redpoll 31 > W
Siskin 10 > SW
Carrion Crow 6
Greenfinch 7 > S / W
Jay 4 > NW, 3 > ENE = total 7
Coal Tit 2 > W
Skylark 13 > NW / W
Snipe 5 > NW / W
Mallard 9 > SW
Sparrowhawk 2
Kestrel 4
Stonechat 1
Mistle Thrush 1 > SE
Lapwing 22 > S
Great Tit 1
Linnet 21 > W

Red Admirals regular > South from 1030hr.
Weasel 1
Stoat 1 perusing rabbit



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