Sunday, February 26, 2006

Norr Hill 26-02-2006

Norr Hill 26-02-2006
Sunday 26th February 2006
0845 - 1035hr
Weather and Sky:
Another gloomy, cold and deteriorating morning with full cloud cover and snow showers. Light snow cover over the South Dales, limestone country. Wind: NE F2 / 3. Temperature: +2degC rising slowly. Precipitation: several wet snow showers, one of them very heavy leaving the western South Pennine moors whitened. Visibility: a hazy +60km E. Cloud: stratus 8ok. Pressure: 1028hpa steady.

An unpleasant morning to be out but a change of watchpoints to Norr Hill, Wilsden at c875ft asl thought to be for the better this morning. Norr Hill is located on the south side of the main Aire valley and is the lowest and northenmost outpost of a low (1000 – 875ft asl) northward running ridge. It overlooks the whole of Airedale, between Esholt to the east, over Shipley, Bingley and Crossflatts to the north-west. In addition it overlooks the full length of the Harden Beck and Wilsden valleys from north-west to south-west, including the "flat" lands beyond as well as the Cottingley / Sandy Lane valley to the south-east. In addition it has a view, west through the (previously much deeper – has been subject to past waste landfill) Sugden Gap col to Coumb Cross col and other western moors on the Lancashire - Yorkshire border. It has an uninterrupted almost level horizon to the sky, through 360deg. The top of the northen most scarp of the ridge was selected as it has maximum unrestricted overview of the valleys and lands below.

For skyscapes and landscapes from "The Norr" see:

Sorry for the unattractive photographic record but couldent alter the sky and associated dark light which persisted throughout.

From this vantage point - Gulls on the move this morning, especially the Commons, nearly all going north-east and east and sometimes with birds (singles / small groups) to be seen at all ranges. From recollection the big move starting just a bit early? but probably the taste of things to come. The considerable and widespread gull field clutter was ignored but very definitely an influx to the area and most likely part of the same movement, some of which could have been roost associated. A group of six Herring Gulls together with some of the Black heads also went north-east. A few single Lesser black backs were noted going high north-west as well as quite a lot of Black heads. A Cormorant passed east, high over Airedale. The only moving passerines seen were a group of three Stalings north-east and a single Pied Wagtail west. Skylarks were everywhere, initially up and singing over most of the fields I walked through but none seen on the move. When back home again and washing the car, high gulls manly going north through to east were still on the move.

Moving birds:
Lapwing 1 > W
Goose sp 3 > NW
Lesser black backed Gull 23 > NW
Herring Gull 6 > NE
Common Gull 327 > E / NE
Black headed Gull 65 > NW / NE
Fieldfare 26
Greenfinch 1 > W
Carrion Crow 2 > E
Cormorant 1 > E
Starling 3 > NE
Canada Goose 1 > SE
Pied Wagtail 1 > W



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