Friday, April 15, 2005

New Weather Links

To the right hand side of this screen I have today installed some essential weather links. In sequence these are as follows:

This link provides current (up to the minute) weather data in chart form for most of the UK. It also provides 24 hour rolling archive charts. It is ideal for determining current conditions, prior to setting out on your watch, early morning or whenever. It gives a brilliant insight into the day and its bird movement potential.
The fields covered are:
Wind Direction
Wind Strength
All are essential information for the migration counter and are the best presentations of this kind of information that I think are available. Of specific local interest the presentations include and enumerate full data from weather stations at Bingley and Leeds and Bradford Airport. I let the charts load and then just scroll through them with my wheel mouse.

00hr Plotted Data – FU-Berlin
This is the analysis chart from the 0000hr (midnight) plotted data for the North Atlantic and Europe. In addition to the frontal systems, the chart includes the "Adopt a Vortex" names designated to the various weather systems. These are very handy if you wish to refer to a specific weather system, without confusion and don’t really know how to describe it.

Latest Surface Pressure – Met Office
The latest available Surface Pressure Analysis Chart from the Met Office.

A 24hr surface pressure forecast chart with T being the time that the chart was prepared.

A 36hr surface pressure forecast chart ditto.

A 48hr surface pressure forecast chart ditto.

UK and North Sea –
This is an Icelandic weather site. The link opens on current cloud cover with wind direction arrows, but the presentations can be set to any weather type, a good range of forecast times and also very useful animations. Many geographical areas are available. Some very essential information for the migration counter can be gleaned here.

Surface Pressure 3 day forecast animation – Met Office.
A good presentation, the charts can also be viewed individually.

Snow and Ice – NOAA
A presentation of current Snow Cover and Ice over Europe and Asia. Essential for appreciation of associated cold weather bird pushes.

Good weather watching and vis forecasting.

PS. The weather section of these Visible Migration pages is almost ready to install. It will explain much of what you will see here and how it might apply to the birds.

Osprey > NW / Wheatears 15-04-2005

Excellent news and great vis Brian. I was incidentally the car behind you at the "Dog" crossroads this morning. I bet I could have scoped it if you had rung me!! That would have been a first!
Great stuff Brian,

----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Vickers
To: David Barker
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2005 8:16 PM
Subject: vismig

7 wheatears opposite Trough Bottom Farm Trough Lane 08.15

3 Wheatears Leeshaw Res 0900
3 Swallows " " "
2 Stonechats " " " (a pair)
1 Osprey " " 0840 hrs
I arrived at the reservoir @ 0840, the Osprey was flying low over the res, it then made several attempts at diving for fish, then at 0850 it gained height before departing west towards Harbour Lodge, turning NW before disappearing over the moor. I was fortunate to have excellent close views for 10 minutes.

Watchpoint 15-04-2005

Members only watchpoint 15-04-2005
Friday 15th April 2005
0840 – 1020hr
Weather and Sky:
A static grey and bitterly cold morning with biting north-easterly wind and a little drizzle / sleet. No rise in temperatures at all throughout. Some rain overnight and ground very wet. Wind: initially NNE F4 @ 0630, remaining similar well into the morning but by 1000hr it had increased to NNE F5. Temp: initially 4 dp 3 @ 0630hr and remaining similar throughout. Temperature at watchpoint variable +1.4 to +2.4 degC throughout. Precipitation: frequent drizzle and increasing sleet. Visibility: initially +53km NNW (Ingleborough), 64km max (Drax, upper Humber) and remaining similar throughout, except to the ENE c19km with onset of showers. Cloud: low stratus 8ok, with no change locally throughout, base however quite high and stable @ c2000ft+ with no blocking at all. Clean edge to stratus visible to the north-west with Bowland Fells, Settle area, Ingleborough etc often brilliantly illuminated with sunlight. Pressure: rising overnight and throughout the morning with 1004 @ 0630 and 1007 by 1100hrs.

Bitterly cold, easterly blocking? weather seemingly playing its part, with very few birds moving in the sky at all. An odd but interesting selection of birds today. Only fourteen Meadow Pipits were seen going north and no wagtails at all. Carrion Crows however, were at least on the shuffle here throughout the morning, with every bird seen moving in a general variety of northerly directions (dare I say "the birds of the day"). Whether these were just coming off the dead sheep on the moors, or searching for more, or really moving I don’t know, but you can only record what you see. Again, few gulls with only single LBBG and Common Gulls seen going north-west. Unusual birds were 1+ Bullfinch calling from the wood and a Ring Ouzel in the plantation. The Ring Ouzel soon disappeared, assumed to have moved on. As might be expected, little in the upper sky with only two Cormorants > S, very high and a single heron, also very high > S. No hirundines.

Moving Birds:
Meadow Pipit 14 > N
Carrion Crow 40 > N ish
Ring Ouzel 1
Bullfinch 1+
Linnet 4 > W
LBB Gull 1 > NW
Common Gull 1 > NW
Heron 1 > S
Cormorant 2 > S
Golden Plover 2 > S

Nothing interesting enough.

Wheatears 14-04-2005

Thanks Brian, Dave.

----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Vickers
To: David Barker
Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2005 11:14 PM
Subject: vismig
5 Wheatears Leeshaw Res pm
2 Wheatears Trough Lane pm