Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oxenhope... thrush "super trek" 13-10-2009

Pre sunrise sky.... (c) Howard Creber 2009

Festooned with Contrails (c) Howard Creber 2009

From Whence they came! (c) Howard Creber 2009

Oxenhope, Bradford (West Yorkshire,England)

Tuesday 13th October 2009

Counting Period - 07.30 hrs - 12.30 hrs

Weather: NW F1, 4degC, 65km, 7/8 reducing 4/8 late am altocumulus stratiformis - velum and altocu floccus later, excellent viewing condx made possible by the cloudcover - far better than yesterdays "blue out" , QNH 1030 rising

Moving Birds:
Meadow Pipit - 315 W
Wood Pigeon - 134 W
Starling - 346 NW (19 squadrons)
Chaffinch - 79 mainly SE
Goldfinch - 11 SE
Golden Plover - 4 SE
Greenfinch - 52 NW
Redwing - 3770 NW & W
Fieldfare - 189 NW
Siskin - 8 SE
Alba Wag sp. - 6 W
Common Gull - 7 W
LBB Gull - 5 W
GBB Gull - 2 WNW
BH Gull - circa 80 W
Reed Bunting - 2 NW
Brambling - 10 NW
Stonechat - 1 W
Snipe - 6 W
Pintail - 1 W
GS Woodpecker - 1 W
Blackbird - 4 NW
Mistle Thrush - 6 NW
Skylark - 9 W
Magpie - 2 W (high)
Hobby - 1 SE
Lapwing - 9 W

Individuals : 5060. Species : 27. Observation time : 5 hours

Local Birds :-

Kestrel - 3
Carrion Crow - 12
Pheasant - 2
Red Grouse - 1
Mistle Thrush - 1
Heron - 1

Slightly later start this morning due to birthday jollifications !. HEY, but what a birthday !. A stunning thrush tsunami - hordes and hordes, which according to Dave were uncountable in some locations. Locally, they were coming through on a broad front, as Andy Hanby near Harrogate, Martin Priestley at Low Moor and Brian at Queensbury MOT were getting thrushes streaming over. Andy had had several thousand before he had chance to pick up a scalpel, Martin a trungeon and Brian a spanner - say no more !.

Initially, there were two distinct streams on view from Oxenhope watchpoint - flocks going through very high NW (500/600 feet) above the watchpoint ( thats c 2000ft asl) and flocks going west through the Soil Hill col into Calderdale - ratio 50:50 for first half hour and then all pretty much NW after that. I counted 65 flocks of Redwing (including a few mixed flocks) and 15 exclusively Fieldfare flocks. Some of the larger flocks (largest circa 200) had finches in their wake, some of which proved to be Brambling as some alighted on the tree`s in the wood and were scoped. Blackbirds were also in with the movement, as were some Mistle Thrushes.

As some flocks approached high over the waterkeepers house, hundreds of birds literally dropped like stones out of the sky into the wood,a spectacle in itself, much to the chagrin of the local Mistle Thrush - it didn`t know if it was punched,bored or countersunk - it went berserk !.

I must say it was great to hear the sustained and evocative seeps and chacks of our much loved winter thrushes once again. One Redwing incidentally, came along the banking at an incredible rate of knots and literally passed within 6 inches of my right leg - I could feel the downdraft from its wings - quite nice actually (shut up).

Other highlights were a great Spotted Woodpecker going high W over the moor, an unexpected Pintail steaming through Soil Hill coll into Calderdale and a Hobby coming in low and fast over the banking at the Worth Valley end and directly over my head, no more than 20 feet - it certainly put the frighteners on the thrushes - it headed of SE. Note, interestingly no Jackdaws today.

So, what a birthday - couldn`t have asked for more. An exhilarating vis-mig morning - the type we all long and wait for.

Howard Creber


Blogger AndyC said...

Northowram halifax-----
Redwings were every where from first light,7.30 -8.30 at least 2000 were heading s/w... from 8.30 - 9,15 ...another 1875 were counted,700 + Starlings west,550 woodpigeon west.2 Great spotted woodpecker together north,a flock of 20 Chaffinch n/w,20+ Mipits s/w ,1 fieldfare north,8 blackbirds west.Amazing ....33 a minute or 1 every 2 seconds for nearly 2 hours thats a lot of counting and i missed loads cos of the sheer numbers of birds moving.Brilliant...AndyC

October 13, 2009 8:27 pm  
Blogger Dave Barker said...

A Fantastic day Andy... almost everyone that was out getting em. I will see if I can get your counts put on Trektellen for you if you havent go a logon.... will post again here when its done, so you can see.


October 14, 2009 6:16 pm  
Blogger Brian Sumner . said...

Happy Birthday Howard, 5000+ birds is,nt a bad present, well done.
Not a bad count for a man of your senior years !

October 14, 2009 6:35 pm  

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