Saturday, May 09, 2009

Oxenhope 09-05-2009 Further Swift Influx

Milky Lenticular Sky.... looking south east (c) 2009

2/3rds of The Vis Team Today (c) 2009

0650 - 1130hr D Barker, H Creber, R Procter
SW F4 swinging SSW F4, 7degC, 65km, 2/8 becoming 7/8, Dry, QNH 1013 rising then steady and falling.

Weather wise, the first better morning this week. Another "wader" day especially first thing with Ringed Plover and Dunlin on the move again. A flock of five Ringed Plover picked up at close range went WNW at 0715, followed by a flock of seven Dunlin, this time high, again WNW at 0746, a single Ringed Plover came low straight through WNW at 0755, more Ringed Plover calls (c min two birds) were heard from moving birds at 0824, at 0930 more wader calls (thought to be) Ringed Plover from a passing bird and another 4 Dunlin went NW at 1130 just as I was leaving. Two Dunlin were present on the shore throughout. Swallows were quite strong all moving low NW as were three House Martins. At 1030 the first Swift of the day came through, followed by another two in the hour upto my departure. A resurgence of Lesser black backed Gulls! 15 Wheatears were along Trough Lane

Moving Birds in order of appearance:

Ringed Plover 9 > WNW and NW
Swallow 77 > NW
Wheatear 3 + 15 = 18
Black headed Gull 8 > NW
Golden Plover 1 > N
Lesser Black backed Gull 71 > NW
Dunlin 11 > WNW + 2 = 14
Siskin flock over head heard c 3 min
Lapwing 1 WSW
Carrion Crow 1 > NE
House Martin 3 > NW
Jackdaw 4 in single group > E
Herring Gull 1 > NW
Sand Martin 1 > NW
Swift 3 > NW


1530 - 1730hr D Barker
W F5, 12degC reducing 10, 2000m - 65km, 8/8 improving 2/8, Heavy band of rain crossing NW > SE, QNH 1013 rising.

Following a telephone tip off from Mick Cunningham, west of Huddersfield, W Yorks that Swifts were fronting NW down there this afternoon. Another trip up to the watchpoint. When I arrived at Oxenhope the first birds in the Sky that I saw were indeed Swifts rocketing low / above the horizon, cross wind NW into the band of approaching rain and low cloud. Birds were mainly in singles but the biggest diffuse group was six. As the rain band approached Swifts still continued to front NW into it..... by 1545 it was pouring down but the rain was patchy and was well on its way out to Leeds / E Yorks by 1615. With the optics out again Swifts were still pushing NW and continued to do so at a decreasing rate until I left at 1730hr. LBBG's were still on the move NW, battling into the wind but the Swallow movement had long stopped! During the lunch time period whilst I was away from the watchpoint BH, without specifically watching the sky had noted Swifts on the move. Other birds noted over the lunch time period were a further five Dunlin arrived and at the south end, 37 LBBG,s NW and eight Wheatears in addition to our three this morning. Also a probable influx of Common Sands from the two pairs to three?...... Tried to snap the Swifts but with no success!

Moving Birds:
Swift 53 > NW
Dunlin 5
Jackdaw 2 > SE very high
LBB Gull 45 > NW



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