Saturday, October 18, 2008

Redwings!!!....Oxenhope 18-10-2008

Dawn This Morning.... looking east (c) 2008

Post Sunrise..... looking east (c) 2008

Oxenhope this Morning... looking NW (c) 2008

A Bright "Redwing" Daytime Moon! (c) 2008

0655 - 1100hr
WSW F3 rising F5, 7.7degC rising 9.7, 20km, 4/8, QNH 1014 falling 1012.

Despite the rising wind a storming morning here today.... Even well before first light at 0515 when I was getting the milk in many Redwing calls from the sky were heard from birds going over... setting the scene for the day! By 0640 when I was setting off with just a hint of glimmer of first light in the sky the same was still happening and in addition a good few Redwings were disturbed from the bushes in my garden... these went off west. Immediately upon arrival at Sentry Hill (a few hundred yards from the watchpoint) at 0655hr masses of Redwings were both heard and some seen going over mainly low but some well up. All were "seeping" past coming out of the gloom, some from the valley below and some out of the sky to the east. All were striking out high west over the Worth basin. It was so good here that I thought I'd stay for a while, aiming to get up to the watchpoint by sunrise. Between 0655 and 0730 I managed to count / estimate at least 1763 mainly Redwing > W in the half darkness..... never seen it quite like this before, really under seige!!... obviously the tail end of a night migration continuing into the day. Many were coming down briefly in to the wood and small trees lining the access road. As I drove to the watchpoint I was even putting them up from the roadside verges. Once at the watchpoint most birds were coming in low up the valley and low across the fields, many were meeting the leading line of the embankment, following it and passing me close in at or below head height.... totally oblivious and almost through my trypod legs!!! Some massive flocks went by, maximums 500 and 475 which went on for ever but most larger ones were up to 320 with may many smaller ones. Very interestingly three single species Fieldfare flocks went through silently in ths way flashing grey rumps and white underwings. Only two Fieldfares were heard calling this morning!!!! Mixed thrushes continued to come until c0900hr when the briefly dried up for a while but continuing with avengence after 0920hr. By 1100hr things had quietened down a lot but birds were still coming all were low over the fields and up the valley from the east. Other birds some of which were "good" ones just melted into insignificance this morning.

Mixed Redwing / Fieldfare breakdown:
0655 - 0730 1763
0730 - 0830 3196
0830 - 0930 1280
0930 - 1100 1685

Total 7924

Moving Birds in order of appearance:

Redwing / Fieldfare (c less than10% FF) 7924 > WSW, W, NW but mainly W
Fieldfare in single species flocks 205 > W
Snow Bunting 1 > SE at 0810hr
Snipe 15 > W
Pinkfeet 31 > W
Dunlin 4 > W
Meadow Pipit 12 > S
Greenfinch 62 > W
Whooper Swan 3 > S


Mid Morning Sky.... looking north (c) 2008


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