Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Caldene Fields Watchpoint 28-10-2008

Sunrise over Caldene Fields this morning (c) MP 2008

Wood Pigeons POURING South (c) MP 2008

Caldene Fields, Low Moor, Bradford
Woody Record Smashed as birds pour through here !

28th October 08 Watch 06.30 – 09.15
Weather: A cold dry start with a heavy ground frost. 30% high patchy cloud with clearer skies to the east. There was only a slight hint of a N/W wind and a temp –1c. These conditions changed little for the whole watch apart from a slight increase in heavy cloud coming in from the S/W around 08.45. Visibility to 11 miles reducing slowly to around 8 miles around 08.30.

Comments: I thought after yesterdays mini watch that Woodies would be on the move, but I never thought my previous daily record would be ‘ Smashed ‘ as birds poured through to the south in vast numbers. Birds were flying purposely because of the drop in temperature and a slight tail wind. The movement here was not on a broad front as only 2 parties flew directly over the watchpoint all other birds were moving over the farmlands of East Bierley, Birkenshaw, Gomersal , Heckmondwike and beyond. The majority of birds were travelling fairly high and in some very large parties.

A breakdown of events :
A total of 42 parties were observed, large groups were 3 x 650+, 1 x 400+, 5 x 300+, 3 x 200+, 9 x 100+

First birds seen at 06.51=2
06.51 to 07.13 = 1,232
07.13 to 07.37 = 3,970 including 2 parties of 650+
07.37 to 08.20 = 2,006 including 1 parties of 350+
08.20 to 09.15 = 261 including 1 party of 100

Greenfinch were also moving in excellent numbers, and a single party of 20 Jackdaw was interesting.

Black Headed Gull > 47 S/S/W
Wood Pigeon > 7,469 S A new site record!
Alba Wagtail > 8 S
Starling > 118 W/S/W
Redwing > 25 N + 18 S/S/W = 43
Mistle Thrush > 1 N
Jackdaw > 22 N
Carrion Crow > 23 S/S/W + 4 N/W = 27
Skylark 1 S first passage bird this autumn!
Chaffinch > 13 S
Greenfinch > 109 S/W A new site record!
Goldfinch > 4 S
Redpoll > 11 S + 2 N/W = 13

100+ unidentified Geese N ( probably PFG )

Martyn Priestley

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