Sunday, August 14, 2005

Watchpoint 14-08-2005 eve.

Members only watchpoint 14-08-2005 eve
Sunday 14th August 2005.
1750 – 2015hr
A dramatically improved late afternoon, with light to almost calm, improved visibility and little cloud. Wind: light and variable NNE F1 to calm. Temp:15. Visibility: improving to >Leck Fell / Humber Bridge. Cloud: initially stratocumulus 3ok reducing to cu humilis 1ok. With some altostratus. Pressure: still rising 1023 by 2000hr.

A magical evening of almost calm, along with the birds as well! Only problem being the flies which were horrendous. Initially little in the sky until c1900hr when a well marked, but well spaced, wave of Swifts passed north-west all were high and on a broad front. A total of 35 were counted, but with full attention there would have been more. By 1945hr all had gone. In addition during this period a group of five Sand Martin came down to feed over the tranquil water and several more were noted in the sky out to the west, all going south or southish. At 1928hr three Common Terns crossed the water but kept on going, climbing away to the west, followed by a distant Cormorant out to the north, going east. Between 1940 and 2000hr several groups of Meadow Pipits passed quite high going west and more Sand Martins were seen. Finches assumed Linnets were also seen bounding west high up. In addition since this morning a large group of 51 Canadas had arrived, the most for some while. Whilst Swallows were noted, out high over the valley, none seemed to be moving. During the period of swift movement and upper sky searching, exceptionally high groups of gulls, probably mostly Lesser black-backs were noted on several occasions, all were going west and north-west, all probably with the coast well in view. Curlews were the only waders seen.

Moving birds:
Swift 35+ > NW
Sand Martin 13 > Southish
Common Tern 3 > W
Cormorant 1 > E
Meadow Pipit c40 > W
Curlew 6 > W

Wheatear 3
Canada 51

Flat calm and tranquility (c) Posted by Picasa



It is the equivalent report for this time last year – just shows how the years can change as well as the SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME!! and before too much longer!!!

Members only watchpoint 15-08-2004
Sunday 0735 - 1120hr (DCB, JS, RHP, EP.)
Weather and sky:
Initially a deteriorating morning from a clear dawn after a dry night, to low stratus and cloud block over the Moor and the hills to the west by 0700hr and then improving. Wind: W F1 @ 0630, increasing SW F3 – 4 by 0730 then WSW F3 – becoming 2 for remainder of morning. Vis: 1000 - 1500m @ 0745 (at times 600m to the SE and 200m to the NW and W). Then improving c5500m general, but always with cloud block over the western end of the Aire-Calder and higher Lancashire – Yorkshire watershed. Further improving 18km general by 0930 (cloud block gone), and 40km NW (Settle), 65km E (Drax) by 1130hr. Temp: 14 dp 14 @ 0630, 16 dp 16 by 0745, 17 dp 16 by 0900, 18 dp 15 by 1000 and 20 dp 14 by 1130hr. Cloud: c0615 1ok with slight cirrus, by 0730 low translucent stratus with lower fractus, always more dense to west and north-west over the Worth basin and forming an initial cloud block just to the west of us. The sun was almost always visible through the stratus, with blue sky vertically above us. By 0930 the stratus had burnt off and heavy cumulus congestus 6ok was prominent to the W and NW with much lesser cumulus mediocris / humilis 2ok to the far east. The morning remained more or less similar to this. QNH, a gradual fall over night with 1016 @ 0630 and 1015 by 1130.

The first really lively morning of the autumn, with the sound of "vis" on the wing nearly always prominent, initially quite a bit of it unseen in the clear sky and brilliant sun above the low stratus, which was moving quite fast in the wind. However the stratus cloud base soon lifted above our elevation and the mipits were with us coming in wild groups, one after another, or several together, often alighting on the wave wall or in the sand pits of the old works, then on either west or south-west. The largest group was about 30, with groups of c10 being regular. Most of the mipit movement was in the first two hours and by 1030hr the movements of this species had almost stopped. In comparison to the uninterrupted onward movements of the "big pipit" days of late Sept / early Oct these movements were more leisurely but nevertheless clearly defined and to an identified direction. The cloud block at our elevation and site, quite possibly held back some of the earlier movement which would otherwise have been missed. A total of four Tree Pipits were detected with two straight through south-west, one in the old filter sand pits, being chivvied on by aggressive mipits and one later leaving the wood.

The first Swallows of the morning came with a group of 16 arriving and then on SE at c0820hr (almost two hours sooner than yesterday). This pattern was repeated time and time again and it was specifically noted that the birds were using the old treatment works roof and wires as almost a gathering ground before moving off and away to the S or SE in a larger group. Another stream of birds was noted coming south out of the valley to the west of us, over the moor behind the reservoir and away to the south. In addition a more general broad front movement of birds going c WSW was noted. At times the sky above the moor to the west was alive with both mipits and Swallows heading for and through the col to the west of us and away SW. Later in the morning after these low flying routes seemed to have dried up (they never really dried up) we noted some large groups of Swallows going very high south-west, just below the cloudbase above the col to the east of us. Many of the birds seen were young birds with little tail. We scrutinised as many as we could and did not detect any additional House Martins or any Sand Martins. This morning we only had thirteen House Martins and no Sand Martins at all. Again no Swifts were seen.A peak count at one time detected 16 Wheatears, on the broken walls, on the screes, on the old buildings, in the sand pits, on the stone pile and on the wave wall.There were lots of bombus bees and butterflies (if anyone wants to know the butterfly species, please mail).

Swallow 378 > SE – S – SW (most S and SE)
Meadow Pipit 278 > SW – W
Tree Pipit 4 (2 > SW)
Pied Wagtail 5
Grey Wagtail 5 > W
House Martin 13 > SE
Linnet 9
Yellow Wagtail call heard once.

Wheatear 16 + 2
Warbler sp 1
Stock Dove.
Gulls – very few.
Lapwing c 200 still in in-bye to SE.

Message to everyone – get out if you can, its on the go!

NOTE: The report above is not live – it is the equivalent report for 15th August 2004 (last year), reproduced here for comparison and to show "the shape of things to come" Yes get out next week and see. The fields full of pipits as reported by the farmer (see Leeshaw 11-08-2005) are one of the first signs along with the grouping of the Swallows as described above. Swifts now have nearly all gone, so we don’t have to worry too much about them now, but latest sightings are still important. Details of any pipit / Swallow congregations or movements, in fact movements by any species of common bird, seen by anyone will this year be most welcome and given full credit.


Cold Edge Dans 14-08-2005

Great Stuff Brian, it does look as if your Canadas might be moving / return birds?
----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Sumner
To: daveb
Sent: Sunday, August 14, 2005 2:44 PM
Subject: [vismig] Cold Edge Dams

0730-1045 hrs

A strong NW > F4-5 decreasing > F3 then increasing back to > F4-5 mid morning. Heavy drizzle showers early on clearing to leave some sunshine then cloud and drizzle again near the end of the watch. Good visibility.

Moving Birds:

Other.... 4 Linnets on seed 32 Mallard and an unusually high count of Canadas with 103 coming in from the > E and landing on the water and in the fields. These were,nt like the usual resident birds which are reasonably tame, instead they were very mobile, moving from one dam to the other and into the fields with the least disturbance.

Watchpoint 14-08-2005

Members only watchpoint 14-08-2005
Sunday 14th August 2005
0800 - 1115hr (HC, DCB, RHP)
An improving, then deteriorating morning following early rain, with clearing skies soon heavily overdrawn but with wind reducing and rain approaching from the north. Wind: NW F4 @ 0800, becoming NNW F5 by 0830, slowly swinging north, with N F3 by 1100hr. Temp: 12 @ 0800, 15 by 1100hr. Visibility: Ingleborough / Ferrybridge, both max. Cloud: after clearance of early rain, stratocumulus 5ok, developing stratocumulus stratiformis 7ok by 0930, with visible evidence of approaching rain from north and north-east, with Sandwith Moor, the Barden Fells and Moors and then Halton Height gradually being lost from view. Cloud base often down over Ingleborough and Penyghent but south Dales remaining well dappled with sunlight throughout. Notably for much of the morning, the sky far out over the eastern plane of Yorkshire, remained very bright as seen below our very much lower cloudbase. Pressure: Rising swiftly for the last 6 – 8 hours with 1014 @ 0800, becoming 1017 by 1100hr.

Little early movement but a few pipits were noted going west upon arrival at the second gate, then not much at all until skies became brighter! when Swallows started to be seen in low numbers and interestingly House Martins as well, all generally going west. A couple (2) of Swift also went south-west fairly early on. After the cloud had overdrawn, initially, the stratocumulus stratiformis had a very distinct edge, out to our east and north. Between 0945 and 1015 aligned with this edge a total of ten Swifts were noted, all were moving between west and north-west. All were well up towards the cloudbase. A group of ten Canada Geese were noted going south-west, these could have been returning birds? Anyone else getting Canadas, moving out of context? Despite frequent scans of the shorescape, no wading birds were seen. A family party of Pied Wagtails, still with begging young being fed was seen.

Moving birds:
Swallow 28 > W
Swift 12 > W and NW
Canada Goose 10 > WSW
Meadow Pipit 11 > W
House Martin 12 W

Willow Warbler 2+
Pied Wagtail family
Carrion Crow 15 (mobbing party)
Lesser black backed Gull 55
Black headed Gull 21
Common Gull 2
Mallard 2 (last weeks big numbers all gone)


Leeshaw 13-08-2005

With many thanks to Rod Procter for the info.
Early eve 1915hr
Wheatear 2
Whinchat 1
Also a report from one of the local farmers re: Thursday 11th August of "hundreds" of small birds in one of his fields am, which he considered to be Meadow Pipits.