Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oxenhope 30-10-2008

0700hr....A raw start to the day.... bbrrrrrrr (c) HC 2008

Altocumulus castellatus and velum to the north (c) HC 2008

0700 - 1030hr HC
ESE / NE F2, -1degC, 60km, 8/8 reducing 6/6, QNH 999 rising.

A very raw morning with "in your face" easterlies - bitterly cold with ESE F2. 8/8 comprising stratocumulus and stratus initially moving to 6/8 later with clear visibility out to the 3 peaks.Dull and hazy out to east.

Upon arrival at 07.00hrs, immediately heard Redwing calls overhead as I neared top of embankment - 13 birds heading East. Of the total 977 thrushes seen this morning, about 40% were re-orientating and unusually for here, going in all directions - I would say these birds came in over night and started to "have a gander" initially before moving off W & NW. The main thrust of the movement (both single species groups and mixed groups) was in a north westerly direction. Very few Woodpigeon today that I could see thro` my scope - Martyn may well have had another good day - he had an awesome day yesterday and per his report, he had some very large flocks way out to his SE - that is way beyond our Oxenhope watchpoint limits even with scopes - I think I`ll ask NASA if they could loan us the Hubble telescope for next year - we may then have a chance. Incidentally, the flock of 35 Woodies reported below came in over the res and directly crossed the flightpath of 30 Fieldfares going in the opposite direction - it was chaos - "ger art ot bloody roaad" they were saying to each other (I guess!!).

By 1030hr bird movement had gone quiet…. Terrific deep cloud bank with serious precipitation visible and seen coming in on approach over the North Sea from the east over Lincolnshire, Humber and S Yorks regions…. Now getting close….. Maybe there are birds pent up behind this??

Other observations of note : good movement of Starlings this morning and a single Buzzard south over Aire vally.

Given last nights radar reports from Skeggy, I would say there are still lots more Fieldfares (especially) to come - today was definatly not a mega thrush day, at least not at Oxenhope, so fingers crossed for Friday and the weekend. Second to us, and Skeggy, I guess our next, more local barometer of mega thrush movements, will be Queensbury MOT station - Brian will be the man to give us our 4 minute warning !!

Birds seen today :-

Redwing - 424 (21 groups) various directions but with main thrust to N W
Fieldfare - 553 (22 groups) ............................ditto..................................
Starling - 372 (21 groups) N Wt
Woodpigeon - 40 South east (5 & a 35),in from North west
Goldfinch - 4 SE
Greenfinch - 20 SE
Chaffinch - 2 SE
Mipit - 3 W
Lapwing - 3 very high birds NE
Teal - 2 into res from E
Buzzard - picked up being mobbed by 3 corvids coming in from north, over Baildon and out south over Bradford
PF Goose - small skein of 32 birds moving west - picked up high over Rombalds moor and tracked all way through Watersheddles coll into Lancashire.
BH Gull - 12 through S

Howard Creber


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