Friday, October 03, 2008

Oxenhope 03-10-2008

Dawn over the Dales Today.... the "Three Peaks" looking NNW (c) 2008

Dawn to the East Today.... deep stratus moving off south (c) 2008

The First of Many Hail Squalls (c) 2008

0705 - 1000hr DB
NW F3 rising NNW F4, 1.7degC dew point below -0 rising 4 dp 1, 65km, frequent hail squalls, 4/8 open to W stratus to E, QNH 1008 rising 1011.

A morning of dramatic skys with few birds, very typical of the transitional period prior to the main arrival from the Continent. The birds that did pass through had a distinct northerly flavour and were however what made the hypothermia (despite double socks, long johns, three fleeces, two coats, double gloves and a hat) worthwhile......... No shelter from a NNW wind with hail here! Starlings were the first birds over this morning hugging the ground and all hard west, a sign of things to come...... whilst only three groups totalling twelve were seen it is likely that these were the first real passage birds of the autumn? Barely double figures of mipits over this morning, obviously very much on a down today. A single group of Goosander went high south fast, quite different to those leaving the roost north and north east 50 minutes sooner. At 0755hr the first better bird of the morning was picked up... a Merlin very high and batting south in level flight. Then an almost birdless gap until 0845hr when a series on single well spaced "tue" calls was heard from a rapidly approaching bird.... a Snow Bunting! It came moderate hight over the embankment from the NNW dropped low over the water, straight on and off low over the moor to the SSE. Then appart from a Reed Bunt and a couple of Chaffinch another long birdless period until c 0927hr when a large bird was picked going south, up way out high over Denholme to the east..... thanks to the scope sight, snapped on to it straight away...... an asio owl...... zoom in to 60 and the collar could just about be seen.... No Gulls, Geese or Swans were seen at all this morning.

Moving birds in order of appearance:

Starling 12 > W
alba wagtail 7 > W
Goosander 16 > S
Meadow Pipit 15 > S
Redpoll 12 > S
Merlin 1 > S
Snow Bunting 1 > SSE
Reed Bunting 1
Chaffinch 2
Short eared Owl 1 > S


Hail Squall Overhead (c) 2008

Rapidly Developing CuNim and Hail Strorm on Approach.... looking NNW (c) 2008


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