Saturday, October 18, 2008

THRUSH INVASION Queensbury 18-10-2008

18/10/2008 0715-0930hrs
Casual observations walking to and at work only.
Walking down Chapel Lane this morning Redwings were skimming low over the top of the buildings all moving either > N, NW,and W. This heavy movement continued whilst watching as much as I could at work but many were missed with thoughtless customers bringing their cars for mending.

All the Redwings were low, several coming out of the trees down Queensbury Station, but the Fieldfares that passed were very high up in the blue sky, these were all moving >W.
By 0945hrs the tap was turned off and all was quiet.

Linda at home said large flocks were moving >W over Foxhill Park.

REDWING...................... c 900


Massive Thrush Movement CFWP 18-10-2008

Caldene Fields Watchpoint, Low Moor, Bradford.

Hi David
Log for Saturday
All the best

18th October 08 Watch 07.15 – 10.30
Weather: A dry start with 60% high cloud cover with clearer skies to the S/W. There was a S/W F2 wind with gust to F3. Around 08.00 cloud cover reduced to around 40% again with clearer skies to the S/W. There was some ground mist to the S/E reducing visibility to around 8 miles.
Temp 7c

Comments: An unprecedented watch due to a massive thrush movement here. At times I was swamped and struggled to cope !!! as a record count of Redwings was logged with birds poured through to the S/W some at head height and some higher. I noted 2 low flying Song thrush and feel there could well have been many more mixed in with higher flying birds. Fieldfare also showed well again to the S/W. Record counts of finches could well have been recorded today as many birds were not logged due to heavy thrush movement.

Redwing Log
07.20 6 low flying birds flew S/W and rested in a nearby tree
07.30 Birds pouring through counts of 260, 150, 160, 200, were common all low flying. Many birds were observed at this time leaving overnight roost from the wooded areas around Gomersal.
08.10 Counts reduced after first wave to counts of 50, 25, 20, low flying
08.30 Counts increase again as 2nd wave begins with counts of 120, 230, 120 etc flying higher
09.00 Counts slow down to 44, 40, 17, 32 etc birds flying higher
10.00 Counts remain steady no large numbers noted

Black Headed Gull > 82 S/S/W
Wood Pigeon > 169 S
Meadow Pipit > 4 S
Alba Wagtail > 1 W + 8 S = 9
Starling > 28 S/W
Mistle Thrush > 1 S/W
Song Thrush > 2 S/W
Redwing > 4,229 S/W a site record !
Fieldfare > 517 S/W
Collard Dove > 2 S
Carrion Crow > 8 S/S/W
Chaffinch > 7 S/W + 53 N/W= 60
Greenfinch > 67 S/W + 4 N = 71
Goldfinch > 8 S/W
Redpoll > 2 S/W

2 unidentified Geese flew high to the east
2 unidentified Swans flew south

Martyn Priestley

Redwings... Thousands of them! 18-10-2008

Ogden Vis Mig 7.30-10.00am
Wind WSW F4, Overcast at first, sunny intervals later.

Ogden was my birding choice this morning. I knew there were going to be plenty of Redwings as I could hear loads of them going overhead in the dark as I left home. Arrived at Ogden at 7.30am and immediately started seeing flocks of Redwing typically in groups of 50 to 200 or more. This stream of birds continued on to about 8.30am when it tailed off to nearly nothing until about 9.30am when groups of up to 100 or so started up again. Eventually left Ogden at 10.00am.

Total Redwing count was 2360 but I will have missed many birds as I was in amongst the trees alot. There were plenty of Fieldfare about too. Some mixed in with the Redwings and others in single species groups up to 30 birds. Total Fieldfare count was 410. The fieldfares were easy to pick out in the mixed flocks by their larger size alone. On their own, it was more tricky but I was able to see the grey rump and white flash of the underwing on the birds that came in close.

The thrushes were all moving in a SW, W to NW direction typically low to the ground (less than 50m). Only a few groups were high up.

Chris King

Redwings!!!....Paul Clough 18-10-2008

Arrived at the top of Paul Clough 0730, Two groups of thrushes came up, about 70 then nothing, but I could see flocks passing through low over Leeming Res. At 0810hr I moved down near the bottom of Hill House Edge Lane, where I could see flocks passing low over the village and some directly over my head all very low into the wind tracking west, groups of forty to sixty with larger groups of 100+, containing both Fieldfare and Redwing with a ratio of about 70% to 3o%.

Abandoned the watch at 1015hr with a count of approx 2400 mixed thrushes passing through.

I will try and get out tomorrow morning after which I will be giving up early morning watches for this year , (its an age thing you know ) will be in touch.

Brian Vickers.

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