Sunday, August 02, 2009

Lower Wharfedale... an army of Swifts 02-08-2009

Decided to test a new lowland area with wide vista along the river, up and across Lower Wharfedale including the Chevin, Ilkley Moor and Riffa Ridges,(though just out of the BOG area). The idea was to see movement along this main E/W dale, especially as migration or in this case dispersal is known to follow water courses and roads.
Whilst the first 45 mins were quiet with just local house martin and swallow, a broad front of swifts appeared moving west-north west both along the river (taking water) and along the ridges taking advantage of the wind, most low down. There were so many it was impossible for me to get accurate numbers as the skies were full, but I guess easily in excess of 1000. By 11:45 all had moved through. Also interesting were movement of wood pigeon (west and east) and finches (west) following the line of the river. Definitely one I'll try again.

09:00 - 12:00 W F3 15C >15m, 4/8

Swift 1000+W-NW
Chaffinch 6W
Goldfinch 2W
Greenfinch 2W
Woodpigeon 15W 12E
Swallow 5W (though many local)
House Martin 12W (though many local)
LBBG 5NW, high
BHG 70W, low

J. Blacker

Thruscross... poor weather, increasing vis 01-08-2009

Thruscross 01/08/09
S F2-3, 14C, drizzle, 1-3m, 8/8

Some interesting vis perhaps beacause of the poor weather, pushing things low and into the valley. Highlight was 3 arctic tern but also curlew, hirundines, 60 mistle thrush grounded and 2 fieldfare moving S.

Mistle thrush 60 initially S but then returned presumed resting-up locally
Fieldfare 2 S
Starling 8 S
Sand Martin 2 S
Swallow 13 S
House Martin 10 S
Grey Wagtail 1 S
Wood Pigeon 6E 2W
Cormorant 2 S
Arctic Tern 3 SSW
Curlew 6 S
Linnet 4 S

Crossbill 5
Bullfinch 2
Blackcap 2
Oystercatcher 4
Greylag Geese numerous
Canada Geese 1

John + Andy

Oxenhope.... contrail vis! 02-08-2009

It really is surprising what moves in the upper skies unseen. This morning in c30 minutes when the cloud was on the way out many high jet liners cruised high west, west north west and north north west, all displaying beautiful individual tail patterns and livery. Contrail photography was irresistible! Nothing unusual but non the less interesting. We are fortunate here that we are on a meeting of the ways... thus when the skies are "open" there is always lots to see and all going over Oxenhope!

Here are some snaps.....

Virgin Atlantic NNW (c) 2009

Austrian Airlines NNW (c) 2009

Delta Airlines (USA) NNW (c) 2009

I'm still working on this one NNW (c) 2009

Here is an additional albeit very poor shot of the above unidentified aircraft approaching which nicely confirms it as one of theTurkish Airlines fleet! (c) 2009

Lufthansa NNW (c) 2009



Oxenhope... steady away! 02-08-2009

0750 - 1300hr D Barker, S Lilley
W F3 increasing W F4, 15degC at 0800hr, 65km, 6/8 cu sp, QNH 1010 rising.

Initial open skies overdrawing from the west, then beginning to break again.... nevertheless an improving morning with little in the sky to start off with but by mid morning things beginning to improve with Swallows, Swifts, LBBGulls and Cormorant all on the move albeit in small numbers. Swallows were flying low and fast virtually all below eye height, mainly west but with a few higher ones (max group 10) going south. Swifts were high in the sky with ones and threes all going SW. Two lots of two Cormorant went high west as did a single Curlew. A hand full of Linnets also went west along with two mipits. Not an exciting morning but the Swallows were moving with intent. It is worth noting that not a single BH Gull was seen! Mistle Thrushes and Blackbirds cleared off since last weekend and virtually no other species blogging here now. The moors are silent!

Moving Birds:
Meadow Pipit 2 > W, 1 > N and 1 > 4
Swallow 71 > S and W
Starling 40 > W
Curlew 1 > W
Swift 21 > SW
Cormorant 4 > W
Common Gull 1 > W
LBB Gull 186 > NW and a few SW
Linnet 8 > W