Monday, September 26, 2005

Watchpoint 26-09-2005

Members only watchpoint 26-09-2005.
Monday 26th September 2005
0710 - 1000hr (DCB, JS)
Weather and sky:
A cold and overcast morning with open sky very far out to the east but other wise low flat grey cloud. Wind: SW F3 initially at 0550hr, then SW F 3, by 0730hr, then dropping SW F2 and remaining similar. Temp: 10 @ 0550hr, remaining similar until 0950 when 11. Visibility: initially 10km, then Flasby Fells (NNW) / Drax (E). Cloud: initially low stratus with much fractus streaming off the moors and out over Airedale before dissipating. Broken stratus and open sky to far east, with blocking stratus to west total 7ok, remaining similar but becoming 8ok. Pressure: almost steady overnight but falling slightly during the morning 1011 @ 0550hr, 1012hpa at 1000hr.

Initially a terrific morning with both Meadow Pipits and several alba wags streaming south overhead at the gates, just after 0700hr even before I started to count at the watchpoint. Again contrary to yesterday, not a hint of the first quiet period today, with passerine movement even more urgent and from before the word go, rapidly increasing and peaking between 0800 and 0815 hr with 422 birds of various species passing generally south at countable ranges during that count period after which it rapidly reduced (to almost nothing just after 0900hr!!) See the table below. Pipits were on similar lines and fronts to yesterday, in slightly reduced but similar wind, but with more out to the east. Hirundines, many more than expected were all during the first part of the watch and were flooding through, both over the water and through the col to my south-east. In addition to this both the hirundines and pipits were very prominent going south and some south-west, but slightly higher over and out of the valley to my north-west, these remained for the most uncounted as attention was paid to where the birds were easy to count ie looking into the dark morning light from the east. The Snipe and Golden Plover movement of the recent days continued but to a lesser extent?? But today there were many more both Snipe and Golden Plover contact calls from unseen birds overhead, suggesting that there were more than seen and counted. The shorescape was virtually empty. After 0900hr there was an exceedingly rapid decay of numbers in the sky, with the whole area as well as the sky becoming deserted of birds, with the exception of a very few gulls. Silent skies once more. A text message from Simon Johnson this am to say he had even noted mipits over his tram stop in Prestwich, Manchester this am.

Moving Birds
Swallow 141 > S
Carrion Crow 24
Golden Plover 37 > S / SE
House Martin 280 > S
Chaffinch 65 > S / W
Lapwing 50
Meadow Pipit 924 > S / SE
Greenfinch 8 > W / SW
Snipe 28 > 28 > S / W
Grey Wagtail 2 > W
Goldfinch 64 > S / SE
Curlew 4 > W
Alba wag 26 > S / SE / SW
Siskin 42 > S / SW
Black-headed Gull 155
Blackbird 1 > S
Lesser Black-backed Gull 90
Rook 2 > NW
Canada Goose 17

Total: 1960 individuals, 19 species, 2:50 hours

All Species / time distribution this morning:
Before 0730hr >245
0730 –0745hr 252
0745 – 0800hr 350
0800 – 0815hr 422
0815 – 0830hr 170
0830 – 0845hr 127
0845 – 0900hr 249
0900 – 0915hr 67
0915 – 0930hr 5
0930 – 0945hr 20
0945 – 1000hr 47



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