Saturday 30th July 2005
1400 - 1600hr
Weather and Sky:
A Dry but darkly overcast afternoon following a similar morning. Wind: NE F2. Temp: 14 dp 12, Visibility: Leck Fell / Drax. Cloud: low stratus but no blocking with base at c2000ft asl to the west. Pressure: steady 1012.
Empty skies, not a Swift or hirundine to be seen throughout the two hour period. Neither was there much gull movement with a fairly static congregation at the reservoir. No wading birds seen. Jobs this morning ment a pm visit.
Black headed Gull 76
Lesser black backed Gull 91
Common Gull 7
Green Woodpecker 1 ad and 1 begging juv on open moor.
Just before sending this I thought I’d have a look outside at home (1700 - 1745hr – conditions similar to this pm but just before the onset of gentle rain) and quite surprisingly immediately found a vast difference to this afternoons watch on the moor with Swifts milling about in numbers – apart from a very few, the first real activity for almost a week. One scan, counted about 150 Swifts in ¼ of sky visible, most being at moderate height and at all ranges when scoped. No real movement apparent. In addition to the Swifts distant gulls could be seen going NW and a skein of 21 Golden Plovers approached from the distant west to continue due east high overhead. A conversation with BV at the watchpoint this afternoon confirmed that Swallows had been moving SW this morning over the Leeshaw area (Worth Valley) with 50 / 60 being seen in a 15 / 20 minute period around 1000hrs. Despite me not seeing much Swift movement, this late afternoon, the above birds may well have been moving (or being pushed) gradually in front of the rain band as when I look outside now at 1830hr, again, not a Swift to be seen, with cloudbase now down to c1400ftasl and rain ceased.