Saturday, November 03, 2007

Oxenhope Watchpoint 03-11-2007

First visibility after the Fog (c) 2007

A Gap in the Clouds!! (c) 2007

0630 - 1030hr (Dave Barker / Howard Creber)
NW F3 reducing NW F1, 10degC reducing, 100m initially, becomming 60km, 8/8 reducing 4/8, Fog and light drizzle initially soon clearing, QNH 1030 steady.

A morning of amaising contrasts, deep fog stratus initially with drizzle clearing magically at 0745hr as if net curtains were being drawn to become a medium high stratus ceiling with a clear edge approacing from the northeast, soon becomming stratocumumlus before breaking yet further. Birdwise it was wild from the very start with many groups of Redwing and a few Fieldfare going over and through in the half dark fog stratus (cloudbase at c 1100feet at the Dog and Gun). As the fog cleared / cloudbase lifted bird movement became phenominal with a whole wall of migration pent up behind it. Woodpigeons, Fieldfare, Starlings with (now it was light) just a few Redwings mixed in with the Fieldfares flooded through. Concurrent with the crearing of the fog a Curlew came to life and went off southeast followed by another flythrough SE shortly after. Woodpigeons were the most prolific movers with flocks of upto 500 going through at all levels, some exceptionally high and others just skimming the hill tops. On several occasions flocks were seen to penetrate in and out of the lower scud rapidly clearing. Probably many were missed until we noticed that many high groups were going through high above the open moor to our NW..... very unusual at this site where woodies are nearly always more active in passage to the east of the Pennine hills, over Bradford and beyond. Several flocks of Lapwings were noted moving north through out the morning and at 0840hr a Dunlin was seen spear heading a large group of Starling as it powered to the northwest. The "Two Star" birds were a pair of Whooper Swans which went SW at 0843hr bugleing low overhead (time from the camera Bryan as they were photographed) these continued away in that direction making fast progress and gaining height all of the time!! The "Three Star" bird or birds (as they were not seen) was a trilling Snow Bunting (s) as they more often trill in flocks?? and "teoo" in singles?? passing NW to SE at 0930hr. And finally to end on a sad note a female Sparrowhawk was noted soaring at a great height towards the end of the watch. Suddenly it stooped groundwards for a great distance and into a flock of migrating Starlings where it was lucky and made a catch before tumbling out of sight towards the ground with its prey................

Moving Birds:
Curlew 2 > E
Starling 550 > NW
Fieldfare 710 > W
Redwing 22 > W
Woodpigeon 2560 > SW
Greenfinch 12 > W
Chaffinch 49 > W
Reed bunting 5 > W
Redpoll 23 > S
Lapwing 110 > N
Dunlin 1 > NW
Whooper Swan 2 > SW
Blackbird 3 > W
Snipe 2 > W
Mipit 19 > N
alba wagtail 3 > W
Snow Bunting 1 + > SE
Skylark 1 > W
Kestrel 1 > W
Sparrowhawk 1 predating migrating Starlings


Woodpigeons Migrating SW (c) 2007

Whooper Swans Migrating SW (c) 2007


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