Friday, October 31, 2008

Oxenhope 31-10-2008

Snow Showers Forming Over Airedale (c) HC 2008

Snow Arriving !! (c) HC 2008

0700 - 1100hr HC
N F4, 0 degC, 65km, 4/8 - 8/8, Snow Showers, QNH 1010 rising.

Quite a bright morning, punctuated by several snow showers, causing retreat to the hide. N F4. Good visibility out to snow clad 3 Peaks and Drax to the east. Not a spectacular morning by any means - some thrush and Starling movement. Despite constant checking of the sky, where no cloud cover permitted, no high thrush groups seen.

Have just read Martyn`s Caldene Fields report for today - another really great vis-mig watch! Mine just didn`t compare - I believe Martyn`s birds carried on low and kept to the valleys - I am sure they were avoiding today`s northerly blast and snow showers at 1250ft asl, Oxenhope like the plague. I have a feeling some may well have gone thro` via the Calderdale valleys as some of my observations were of Starlings and Thrushes coming off the Ovenden Moor/ Fly Flatts area low behind the "bumps" and down into the Worth Valley.

Birds seen :-

Starling - 337 NW in 21 groups
Alba Wag - 3 S
Redwing - 15 NW (some in Fieldfare flocks)
Fieldfare - 352 NW in 8 flocks (largest 134 birds)
Wood Pigeon - 91 SW in 9 flocks
Greenfinch - 5 SE
Goldfinch - 2 SE
Chaffinch - 1 SE
Skylark - 1 E

Other birds :-

Cormorant (probably local)
Green Woodpecker in wood.
Heron over res east

Howard Creber

Rich Autumn Colours From The Hide and Snow on The Three Peaks (c) HC 2008

Caldene Fields Watchpoint 31-10-2008

Another Record broken here as Starlings power through!

I'm Shattered thanks to you Dave!

Caldene Fields, Low Moor, Bradford.

31st October 08 Watch 06.45 - 09.30
Weather: A cold damp start with a F3/4 N/W and 60% heavy rain clouds to the N/W with clearer skies to the E/S/E. There was intermittent light showers which started around 08.00 and lasted till 09.30.Temp -0 Visibility to 11 miles slowly decreasing

Comments: It was a day of Starlings and Thrushes as they poured in from the E/S/E. The first Starlings came through well before dawn with 54 parties noted throughout the watch with the majority in groups of 40-70. The majority of the birds moved W on a broad front and some moved through very low down to 1 metre! My ID skills were tested as on some occasions Starlings/Redwings and Fieldfare came through together ! With such a westerly bias today I look forward toHoward 's report as I bet he should have some excellent counts. The highlight of the watch however, was when I picked up a 150 strong party of Starling some 8 miles to the east of my watch point only for the group to drop to around 2 metres and land and start to feed only feet away from me! ( there were also some Fieldfare andRedwing in the flock as well). After about 5 minutes they all got upand headed of west again !

Moving Birds:

Black Headed Gull > 4 S/S/W
Wood Pigeon > 159 S/S/W
Meadow Pipit > 2 W
Alba Wagtail > 3 S +10 W/S/W = 13
Starling > 2,634 W to S/W A site record!
Mistle Thrush > 1 S/W
Redwing > 755 W
Fieldfare > 549 W/N/W
Carrion Crow > 5 S
Chaffinch > 5 W
Greenfinch > 47 W/S/W
Redpoll > 8 S

Martyn Priestley