Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oxenhope 28-10-2008


0715-1200Noon HC
NW F2 / Calm, -1degC, 80km, 3/8 increasing 7/8, QNH 1011 rising.

Initially, NW F2, diminishing to dead calm by mid to late morning - the res was like a millpond. An excellent vis-mig day was backed up by an ever changing skyscape, initially 3/8 to 7/8 with superb visibility out to N & NW - the 3 peaks were in bold relief. Out to the east, the tops of the cooling towers at Drax and Eggborough could be seen poking out of a pollution haze over the upper Humber / Yorkshire Wolds - eventually, the white horse of Kilburn and York Minster came into view. What was most noticeable was a bank of Cumulonimbus (calvus) out to sea stretching down the whole of the NE coast and also some south of Huddersfield. Locally, cloud forms ranged from Stratocumulus to Velum, Altostratus translucidus and mama below Stratocumulus.

Birdwise, as predicted yesterday, the frosty, clear and calm conditions this morning produced a very impressive move of Woodpigeons. The vast majority of these were to the east of Bradford and 95% of my observations required my scope (32X wide angle) - without the scope, the woodies would not have been picked up, even in bins. Martyn would have had a superb time at his M606, Low Moor watchpoint. My count of 4880 is a minimum count as the bulge of Queensbury and Soil Hill prevented me from seeing lower birds. 2925 woodies were seen in the first half hour - 07.15 hrs to 08.15 hrs. They eventually petred out (as far as I could tell) at c10.30 hrs. None all morning and then 6 flocks of Fieldfare between 10.30 hrs and 11.05 hrs, totalling 320 birds (all silent) all travelling NW at 200 - 300feet above ground ie 1450 - 1550ft asl. All were coming in level and not up the valley...... Other birds of note were a pair of RB Mergansers South and two skeins of PF Geese SE totalling 105 birds.

Sightings in order of appearance :-

Woodpigeons - 4880 SSW (72 groups).
Starling - 76 W
Chaffinch - 12 W
Greenfinch - 8 SE
Redwing - 24 NW
Mipit - 8 W
Jackdaw - 35 high W (2 groups)
Red Breasted Merganser - pair from high N to S
Siskin - 2 W
Mistle Thrush - 3 SE
Golden Plover - 9 NW (a 6 and a 3)
Goldfinch - 8 NW
Reed Bunting - 3 NW
Mixed corvids - Carrion Crows and Jackdaws - 38 high NW
Pink Footed goose - 105 SE
Grey Lag Goose - 4 NE
Fieldfare - 320 NW
Peregrine - 1 SE
Alba Wags - 5 W

Howard Creber


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