Thursday, November 05, 2009

Oxenhope... fieldfare special! 05-11-2009

Velum over Airedale... (c) Howard Creber 2009

Rain front from the north west (c) Howard Creber 2009

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Thursday 5 November 2009
Counting period: 7:00-11:00
Weather: W F1, 2degC, frost, 65km throughout despite straocumulus overdraw, heavy drizzle after 1030hr,3/8 to 7/8, QNH 988 rising
Observers: Howard Creber

Moving Birds:
Pink-footed Goose 110 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 3
Starling - 152
Greylag Goose - 20
Woodpigeon 747 -
Chaffinch 8 -
Golden Plover 2 -
Meadow Pipit 3 -
Greenfinch - 6
Lapwing 17 -
alba wagtail sp. 5 -
Goldfinch 8 -
Black-headed Gull - 215
Fieldfare 1750 -
Reed Bunting 2 -
Common Gull - 18
Rook 2 -

Totals: 3068 individuals, 17 species, 4:00 hours

Present: Lapwing 200

Comments: Stratocumulus overdraw. Cumulonimbus and Cumulus Congestus over North Sea, Velum, Stratocumulus Stratiformis Opaqus late watch with Virga. A fine morning with excellent visibility out to East. Became overcast with heavy drizzle 10.30 hrs.... What a difference a day makes !. Calm and bright conditions gave excellent visibility to the East and in turn 27 flocks of Fieldfare and 33 flocks of Woodpigeon.Some Fieldfare flocks were stunning with up to 300 in a single group. All were moderately high, some very high and significantly traversed exactly the same flight path SW into Calderdale. I heard from DCB and BS that DJS over the hill (so to speak) near Cold Edge was also connecting. A single skein of 110 pinkies appeared over the Aire Valley and moved off very high over towards the Tinshill area of Leeds and beyond. Again, plenty of scanning for Whoopers, but still to no avail. A most enjoyable watch !.

Howard Creber


Blogger Brian Sumner said...

Nice one Howard , a good count there,you deserve a good day after the weather you,ve had to put up with during the past week.All that came over my way was 1 flock of 72 Fieldfare >S at 1430 in the pouring rain.
Your cloud info is a bit deep in for me, Im still with cloudy, clear or grey.

November 06, 2009 7:38 pm  
Blogger DJSutcliffe said...

I was surprised why the Woodpigeons were missing from Cold Edge when you had such a good count there Howard? I wonder if they headed down to the east of Soil Hill and towards Shibden Valley instead of coming my way(?) or perhaps they went more over Fly Flats way - any ideas?

November 06, 2009 8:28 pm  
Blogger Dave Barker said...

Our woodies generally with the exception of a few small / insignificant flocks are seen moving on a south or south westerly track to the east of Queensbury and often far beyond... from our watchpoint we can scope out far into the east with the dawn sky as a backdrop and we can if conditions are right both to see them and also for the birds to move (anticyclonic cold still frosty mornings) see many many flocks, often very large, moving very high. They dont normally like the uplands to move over, much preferring the flater eastern plane and foothills. Thats why Martyn at Caldene usually beats us hands down with this species! In saying that we do sometimes get some gynormous flocks south over the high Pennines to our far west... just like big thick snakes in the sky going on for ever but only when movement is at a peak and on a good woodie day.

Not sure how much of a view you get from Hunter Hill out over the eastern plane / flat lands.. can you see any looking SSE or South? Howard and myself were talking the other day, we will have to come and have a look one day when the season quietens down.


November 06, 2009 9:11 pm  
Anonymous Howard Creber said...

Just seen your comments Brian and Dave(S).Cloud types are something Dave and I have added to the armoury - with our Montana style "big skys" at the watchpoint,we see some amazing sky scapes and identification of the various cloud genie/species is an interesting adjunct to the birding.
DCB has covered your question Dave - sorry I didn`t see it earlier. I reckon that "hellish hill" (aka Soil Hill) is your nemesis when it comes to viewing the flat lands.Maybe,if you ask them nicely, the Queensbury birding fraternity will take up their spades and scrape a few metres off the top of the hill.That might make all the difference.Just a suggestion. Regards H.

November 08, 2009 11:48 am  

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