Sunday, March 13, 2005

Watchpoint 13-03-2005

Members only watchpoint 13-03-2005
Sunday 13th March 2005
0820 - 1045hr
Weather and Sky:
A deteriorating morning, just as yesterday but with initially open skies overdrawing only slowly, brilliant sun, clear, cold, and frosty with temperatures just creeping above zero towards the end. Lying snow appraisal essentially as yesterday, but slightly less on south Dales hills. Wind: initially W F2 @ 0640 hr, increasing WNW F3 by 0830 and NW F3 / 4 by 1045hr. Temp: initially –1 dp –4 @ 0640, then –0 (-2 @ wp) dp –4 by 0830 and still only +3 (-0 @ wp) dp –5 @ 1045hr. Visibility: Leck Fell max NNW, Cleveland Hills max NE, Humber Bridge max E, Lincolnshire Wolds max ESE and remaining similar throughout. Cloud: initially open sky 0ok with milky cirrostratus towards horizons and very little contrailing (a very small amount of altostratus), becoming cumulus humilis / mediocris 2ok, mostly to S and W by 1000hr and continuing to overdraw 4ok by 1045hr. Pressure: more or less static overnight and 1009 throughout am.

Another pretty birdless morning with little moving and empty skies (or maybe I wasn’t up soon enough, see: BS, Cold Edge – before 0800hr). Nevertheless the morning saw the first appreciable movement of alba wagtails here with a total of eleven seen going north during the morning + whatever I missed before 0820hr. No Skylarks today at all, not even the few locals up and singing and only one Meadow Pipit going low > W during the late morning. Starlings were again interesting with a total of 88 going east – west is the normal expected direction here as they disperse from the Bradford roost. Only a few gulls on the move as well. A congregation of 23 Curlew, peak to date was in and around the in-bye. A single Reed Bunting went north later in the morning. Woodpigeon was displaying upon arrival over the wood and a total of five Stock Dove went west during the morning. Generally, here, still a dearth of passerines on the moor.

Moving Birds:
alba Wagtail 11 > N first appreciable move here.
Meadow Pipit 1 > W
Lapwing 31 N and NW
Carrion Crow 12 W and NW
Rook 1 > W
Chaffinch 2 > W
Starling 88 > E
LBB Gull 7 > NW
Common Gull 4 > NW
Reed Bunting 1 > N

Stock Dove 5 > W

Curlew 23
Lapwing 55


Cold Edge 13-03-2005

Thanks for that Brian - herewith:

----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Sumner
To: D Barker
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 12:10 PM
Subject: [vismig] Cold Edge Dams

Cold Edge Dams 0715 - 1100 hrs

A cold but bright sunny morning with very little cloud and good visibility. Wind WNW 3-4 . Very little snow left now but still ice on dam outlet.

Moving birds:
Fieldfare 90 >N
Stonechat 2 on deck
Lapwing 9 >NW
Mipit 12 >NW
Skylark 5 >NW
Starling 72 >NE very high and direct
Cormorant 1 >N
Reed Bunt 1 >NW
Pied Wag 12 >NW mostly before 0800hrs
1 PF Goose in from S and stayed on dam 1045
Most of this movement was before 0800hrs

1pr Goldeneye
1pr Tufted
4 Greylag


Dave, Can this go onto your Bfd page please.

The privilege to comment

Hi Theo,
Thanks for that Theo. I diddnt really intend that this should be a forum as that facility exists elsewhere……. But I will as you suggest turn on the "comments" feature as a trial, as, as you know I quite enjoy that sort of stuff and feedback is of great interest especially if it adds to our knowledge, gets others interested or promotes the interest. I have seen previously "happy" bird clubs split asunder by the cold light of and assassination by the web forum and I would not wish this to happen here!! Please everyone keep to topic [visible migration and things associated]. If this, or any abuse occurs the "comments" privilege will be immediately and unconditionally withdrawn.

These pages are intended for local consumption but please everyone participate. The more feedback the better and if you can add any vis sightings or general / specific information from elsewhere, as comments appended to the appropriate day reports, from any location (Bradford or elsewhere), to help us appreciate, these will be very, very welcome!!

Yes Theo, good idea, I can see there is much scope here to get a much better picture of what goes on with the vis, day by day, to add to and support what the movements we get here in Bradford.

Best wishes,

----- Original Message -----
From: Theo
To: [vismig]
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 9:15 AM
Subject: Re: [vismig] New Bradford OG vis pages

Looks really good Dave.

Any chance you could turn the 'Comments' feature on in the Blogger software then we can add comments.


----- Original Message -----
From: David Barker
To: [vismig}
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2005 9:56 PM
Subject: [vismig] New Bradford OG vis pages

The new link to the Bradford Ornithological Group vis report pages is at the moment:

but nothing new at the moment.

The new website is currently being developed and will be ready very soon!


Visible Migration over the Bradford Area.

Visible Migration over the Bradford Area.
From 12th March 2005 I will be responsible for the up keep of the Visible Migration report section of the Bradford Ornithological Group website. These pages are for use by those with an active interest in visible migration of birds. For those "new" to it I will in due course also be developing a more generalised Visible Migration section on the main site (not even started yet!).

Visible migration is essentially bird movement that can be counted - e.g. 355 Redwings north-west in 1 hour. It does not include stopovers of ducks and geese at reservoirs, or falls of night migrants (warblers and the like) as their migration is mostly invisible. However these species can still be included as "others" as they are often indicative of big movements or "falls" and are still of interest to the migration watcher.

Anyone counting in the Bradford Ornithological Group area or nearby and wishing to have their reports included on these report pages should mail them to me (Dave Barker) direct or preferably via any of the existing reporting systems currently in use, with a clear note confirming authorisation to include on these local Group pages. Specific counts of "vis" species or events / activity irrespective of whether complete reports or not can also be included as in fact can anything of interest to the "vis" watcher. I will then upload to do a daily - or more frequent update often when I open the info, very much in the fashion that we have become to expect. Anyone needing mailing instructions should get them from me at one of the monthly Group meetings.

For those new to Visible Migration watching, very briefly the important points are *:

* Select a suitable site and give it a name. Have knowledge of local movements. A locality with low resident populations is possibly most reliable.

* Watch and count for a specific time period and record the length of period.

* Record very briefly the weather conditions applicable and the affect they seem to be having on the birds. Just to put a face to the day.

* Identify and count all of the moving birds you see or hear at any distance and note their main direction of movement.

* Write a very brief diary report to enhance the points of interest as you appreciated them. When you’ve been doing it for a while and got into the hang, there will be lots to say here! This makes the presentation of your efforts more interesting and informative to every one at all levels. It also gets away from the bald lists of species and counts which mean very little to anyone except those with photographic and statistical minds or documentation to complete.

* List the species seen, their counts and directions of flight. As a generalisation its very much like sea watching, just as enjoyable and even more addictive without doing miles and miles to get there.

* If you don’t like doing reports or have no time for diaries just mail the bald counts as it is still of great interest to the "vis" watcher with his nose to the ground – or in the air as the case may be!!!! What has been found to date is that it all fits together, how ever sparse as a local picture and very often as a national one as well, but that’s another story.

There is already a well developed network of Visible Migration counters across the Bradford area but if you feel that your area is under represented, then why not have a go!!

These pages are experimental and hopefully will assist all to appreciate the background behind the movements and induce even more enjoyment from this compulsive birding activity.

One final point to remember is that whilst background levels of movement continue throughout the year which the "vis" freaks will continue to count, the true season is in the autumn and on selected days (its not always at peak or even moving much at all). But those special days in the Pennines just could not be missed, not even for a years watching at Flamborough or the like! So be warned!!!

Why not get out and join in now!!

Best Wishes,
Dave Barker.

Watchpoint 12-03-2005

Members only watchpoint 12-03-2005
Saturday 12th March 2005
0825 - 1045hr
Weather and Sky:
A deteriorating morning, with initially open skies soon overdrawing, but another mainly sunny, cold, and frosty morning with temperatures just creeping above zero towards the end. Snow still lying locally only behind the walls, in the south Dales on hill tops and in gullies but Cleveland Hill high tops still well covered. Wind: initially W F4 @ 0630, becoming WNW F4 by 0830 and finally NW F4 by Temp: initially –1 dp –4 @ 0630, +2 (0 @ wp) dp –3 @ 0840hr and finally +4 (0.5 @ wp) dp –3 by 1045hr. Visibility: +Leck Fell, NNW; +Cleveland Hills, NE; Humber Bridge, E and remaining similar throughout. Cloud: initially open sky 0ok. Translucent cirrostratus towards the horizons and little contrailing. Fractus soon forming locally together with heavy cumulus in and spreading from the far west. Becoming stratocumulus 4ok to the west and cu humilis / mediocris 2ok to the east by 1030hr (base c3000ft asl). Pressure: static overnight at 1006 and remaining similar all morning.

Another wonderful morning to be out but still little moving locally, probably all suppressed by low temperatures, generally -0 and F4 wind. Bitter cold. The few birds that were in the sky were notably higher than last week, with still little passerine activity. Two large flocks of Starlings totalling c760, put up by a raptor combined and made their way off unusually high to the east. A few Skylarks were again noted after 0900hr moving > W. All the Curlews were moving E and NE with 2 > NW and Lapwings in singles and fews were trickling N and NW and were probably more than counted.

Moving Birds:
Meadow Pipit 4 > NW
Skylark 9 > W
Golden Plover 16 > SW
Carrion Crow 25 mainly > NW
Starling c760 > E
LBB Gull 13+ > NW
Lapwing 9 > N and NW
Goosander 10 > N
Goldfinch 3 > W
Curlew 5 > E - NW

Golden Plover 55
Lapwing 64
Redshank 3
Skylark 1 distant in song flt.