Sunday, November 20, 2005

Watchpoint 20-11-2005

Members only waychpoint 20-11-2005
Sunday 20th November 2005
0735 – 1120hr (DCB, PS, JR.)
Weather and Sky:
Another very cold but less clear and more cloudy, anticyclonic morning, initially clear and frosty but variable shallow rolling fogs soon forming with deepening temperatures. Wind: initially W F2 @ 0615hr, dropping to F1 at times, then becoming WNW F3 by 1115hr. Temp:1 at 0615hr, reducing –1 by 0730 and –2 by 0750, then remaining very cold for a long period with air temperature in shade only 1.2degC by 1100hr. Visibility: initially 20km, reducing c100m in fogs at worst, then improving 20km again. Cloud: very translucent cirrostratus 5ok with cirrocumulus 1ok, essentially hardly noticeable, with deep blue totally open sky much in evidence. Pressure: steady for last 24hr with QNH 1031hpa throughout.

Furry white and glassy roads meant a slow trip to site with pounding fear of missing the sunrise but in the event there was plenty of time to get the shots……………….. Also initial pre arrival despondency of another birdless morning was soon banished and before getting to the watchpoint as well, with Fieldfare, zeeking and chuckling, over flying high above the gates, these even prior to sunrise!

As it came, the morning gave everything an upland vis counter could wish for in (late?) November. White frost and brittle air, a wonderful sunrise, with black skies opposite, shallow rolling fogs, little wind, and later, cold open skies and brilliant sun prevailing, all with easily enough birds to stop the cold from biting through, even taking account of the 1100hr 1.2degC air temperature!! What a difference a day makes…………

Birdwise, after the initial waves of Fieldfare, which provided much of the early interest all mainly going west, Starlings came today in both large and small groups and nearly all going through WNW – hardly Johns "moving carpets" of birds, but nevertheless the biggest group was around 400. As the morning went on gulls became strong with nearly all over flying south or south-east. Again most notably no small passerines seen moving except for the Reed Buntings and a significant influx of Stonechats. All of the local passerines, now appear to be long gone. As yesterday no raptors seen.

Fieldfare 533 > W
Redwing 6 > W
Lesser black backed Gull 12 > S
Herring Gull 4 > E
Starling 1010 > mainly W and WNW
Black headed Gull 296
Common Gull 212
Stonechat 6 influx
Reed Bunting 4
Carrion Crow 16
Jackdaw 6
Snipe 2 > W
Pink footed Goose 19 > SE
Cormorant 2 > SE
Golden Plover 43
Wren 2
Blue Tit 4
Goosander 26 > S
Mallard 21
Goldeneye 3
Teal 14
Robin 2

No sign or sound of Collared Dove, or in fact any other pigeons today.

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