Sunday, July 24, 2005

A Plea for information on common birds

A Plea For Information on common birds.
During this transitional period from Summer to Autumn, the dispersal and associated movement of nearly all species of common birds is not well known.

For example where do Skylarks go when they disappear (vanish) from the moors in mid July, to when presumably a different origin of birds start passing through in numbers during September? The same applies to the pipits and………

With continually watching and counting moving birds with equal effort throughout the year we are now beginning to pick up the often sparse clues to these long standing local puzzles! One very important thing is to learn where your local birds roost along with how they both entre and leave in the morning.

There really is countable local movement of birds throughout the year in Bradford!!!
Because these species are generally common, they are often ignored by the watches and not reported at all. They are even more ignored by most websites, which seem to dwell on the less common species only.

These visible migration / movement pages are specifically for the benefit and inclusion of these more common species of bird. So if you note the very obviously increasing congregations or minor movements of whatever the species may be. PLEASE JOT THEM DOWN AND SEND IN A MAIL TO ME, for inclusion in these pages. All, as described above, is of interest and will be included within the pages, with full credit. If you should have any photographs, then so much the better! It is these minor dispersal’s which will build into the mass visible migrations of autumn and early winter – so why not get out and start to practice now, in preperation. Whether you see movement / congregation from your window (lucky), garden, or just from where you watch birds - let me know! Even birds away from their breeding haunts (showing dispersal) are of interest. For instance a conversation with Keith Moir this morning revealed that he had had a Redstart juv, mear the watchpoint here on 21st July (just a few days ago). It all fits together, for another instance a conversation with Rod Procter this morning revealed that on most days last week he had noted Linnets trickling west through the Leeshaw area of Oxenhope, obvious dispersal. In addition, yesterday he counted about fifty Meadow Pipits congregating in one small area along Lee Lane, with many more loosely in the general area. Also, most interestingly Swifts, going east were noted above Oxenhope yesterday afternoon (23rd), this tying in with the approaching weather pattern of today.

Watchpoint 24-07-2005

Members only watchpoint 24-07-2005
Sunday 24th July 2005
0845 - 1200hr
Weather and Sky:
An initially deteriorating morning with onset of driving drizzle from low cloud. Then improving, with cloudbase lifting and drying up again. Wind: initially E F3, rising E F4 by 1200hr. Temp: 11 dp 10 @ 0730 with 14 dp 10 @ 1200hr. Visibility: initially @ 0630hr moor visible from home but soon reducing to less than 1000m with onset of rain @ 0750hr. Once on moor 5.5km E below cloudbase @ c1300ft asl and 800m W into low cloudbase. Becoming c 10km by 1200hr. Cloud: low stratus and fog stratus 9ok, remaining similar but cloudbase lifting to c2500ft asl. Pressure: falling gradually overnight with 1007 at 0630 and 1006 by 1200hr.

Horrendous typical easterly conditions initially, with low cloud and associated very wetting driving drizzle at first. Initially, Meadow Pipits seen congregating at roadsides and in fields along private access road enroute, just below cloudbase level. Watchpoint just at cloudbase level with reasonable visibility on approach from east below the base but cloud well down as block over the moors to the west and south-west. Upon arrival Meadow Pipits in ones and two’s seen flying past west and especially just as conditions were improving, with a total of at least 25 > west in the first hour and then no more. Curlews were still moving in the first hour with several singles west and then at 0945 a larger group of 14 seen on approach from the east under the cloud. These appeared to become unsure, almost disorientated upon reaching and penetrating the cloudblock, but they soon went on low and to the west. Initially moderate numbers of Gulls were present and still arriving from the east and south-east. Probable build up initially due to blocking conditions to the west. When conditions improved, many moved on. Species were as yesterday but seemingly with an ever increasing proportion of juveniles, with juv BHG’s, Commons and LBBG’s all present with some even still "begging". There is a photograph of a juv BHGull appended to the end of this mail on the Bradford weblog. Unfortunately the other juvis were all too far away to photograph, with the drizzle and low cloud persisting. Otherwise in the first part of the morning a Grey Wagtail and two Pied’s went west, with Linnet, Greenfinch and goldfinch all heard in the vicinity. At 1045hr the first Swallow was seen, low south-east, probably in conjunction with the cloudbase lifting and visibility improving. After this a total of about 30 were seen passing on, up to 1200hr, but during this period 1120 – 1210, conversations with KM, RHP and EP distracted attention and birds would have been missed. Interestingly, I did not get any of the earlier moving Swallows, that Brian were getting going west and, battling with the mist and drizzle. All of my Swallows were later on, after conditions had improved and all going strong south-east. Not a single Swift was seen.

Moving birds:
Curlew 18 >W
Meadow Pipit c25 > W (all before 1000hr)
Starling 12 > W
Pied Wagtail 2 > W
Grey Wagtail 1 > W
Swallow c30 > SE (all after 1045hr)

Common Sandpiper 3
(incl juv BHG many, juv common 1 and juv LBBG 3)

Black headed Gull (juv) (c) DCB

Swallow Movement 24-07-2005

Thanks for that Brian, Interesting that all my Swallows today (all after 1100hrs following lifting of cloud and later than yours) all went south east!
----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Sumner
To: Dave Barker
Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2005 11:28 AM
Subject: [vismig] Swallow Movement

24/07/05 am
Cool > E F2-3 Heavy Drizzle, Early dense fog clearing to mist.

Cold Edge Dams: Swallows 10 > W.
Leeshaw Reservoir: Swallows 25 > SW.
Fly Flatts: Dense fog. Loadsa blogging Mipits.