Sunday, October 09, 2005

Watchpoint 09-10-2005

Members only watchpoint 09-10-2005
Sunday 9th October 2005
0655 - 1100hr (DCB, JS, HC)
Weather and Sky:
A gradually improving but cold morning with heavy dew, decreasing, then improving visibility, increasing cloud and wind swinging from west to south-west. Wind: initially W F3 at 0555hr, similar at 0830hr becoming SW F3 by 1045hr. Temp: 5 @ 0555hr, 6 by 0845hr and 8 by1045hr. An exceedingly heavy dew first thing and a further optic drenching fall at 0830hr. Visibility: 15km NNW / 60km E @ 0655hr, becoming 19km E by 0800hr and finally 53 km NNW / 60km E by 1100hr. Cloud: initially altostratus (some lenticular) / altocumulus 3ok with low fractus streaming off the moors to the SW and W, becoming altostratus 7ok by 1100hr, translucent cirrostratus throughout. Pressure: rising steadily over past 18 hours and through morning with 1017 @ 0555 and 1018hpa by 1100hr.

Yet another, long awaited!!!!!!!! (must mean something!!) wonderful morning with interesting skies and lots of birds on the move to go along with them. Meadow Pipits were again the birds of the day with 602 (more than a third of the total count) streaming through going fast south in the first hour between 0700 and 0800hr. The biggest Meadow Pipit party seen was 45. Also a good count (for the time of year) of Swallows, with a small push in the first twenty minutes and then nearly all of the rest towards the end of the watch. Albas also very strong today, with a very good count (for here), with formations and trains of upto six birds being usual, again together with the "grey" call some of the nearer passing birds, fleetingly looked very pale and interesting. At c0930hr strong "pseep" calls from a well spaced couple of pipits immediately alerted us to rock / water, both birds came down on the stone pitchings, "rocks at the edge of the water" before moving off towards the NW. An interesting encounter! And from past experience here – bang on time!! Woodpigeons, despite the small numbers, were seen on more occasions than in the near past, with a bigger single group counted and all going south. Starlings were the same as well! A skein of Pink Feet on approach, nearly chopped our heads off, almost too close to photograph! Interestingly the skein included two smaller birds, which we never got to grips with. The only sad point about the day was that we diddnt have a single thrush, either seen or heard – perhaps just as well, as today, there were more than enough birds for one day!!

Pink-footed Goose 59
Cormorant 1 > SE
Kestrel 1 > S
Merlin 1 > S
Lapwing 4
Snipe 3 > S
Curlew 1
Black-headed Gull 22 > SW
Common Gull 10 > SW
Lesser Black-backed Gull 41 > SW
Woodpigeon 16 > S
Skylark 4 > W
Swallow 17 > S
House Martin 1 > S
Meadow Pipit 1,578 > S / SW
Rock Pipit 2 > NW
alba Wagtail 51 > SE / S SW
Jay 2 (1 > W and 1 > N)
Jackdaw 10
Carrion Crow 45 with quite a few SW and S
Starling 159 > S
Chaffinch 77 > S / SW
Greenfinch 36 > W
Goldfinch 146 > SW / S / SE
Siskin 5 > S
Reed Bunting 3 > W and S

Total: 2295 individuals, 26 species, 4:05 hours, three observers.



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