Sunday, August 23, 2009

Denholme Clough 23-08-2009

Had my first visit of the season to Denholme Clough today, not as early as I'd like to have but still managed to be there from 07.30.

Virtually nothing moving except for a lone Sand Martin and a single Tree Pipit. Not enough cloud in the sky for a decent movement.

By contrast with the last two years which have been poor breeding seasons the bushes were alive with Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs.
A Spotted Flychatcher was also found along the old railway bridge.

Mark D

Oxenhope... Sandwich Tern > SSW 23-08-2009

Early morning sky... more open to the east (c) 2009

Early morning sky... more open to the east (c) 2009

Stratocumulus becoming sc lenticularis and invading from the west (c) 2009
0645 - 1200hr D Barker, C King, H Creber
S F5 increasing F6, 14degC at 0700hr, 65km, 7/8 reducing 4/8 then 8/8, QNH 1015 falling.
Not as much on the move as yesterday. Most movement "early on" this morning, unusually also including the Swallows. It seemed today that when the sun got out, so did the insects and thus the Swallows dropped out of the vis! All our immediately local Swallows seem to have gone early this year so assessing the vis was easy... we first noted last week that there were non about and again during the last three visits. All of the mipits in evidence along Trough Lane had gone today, possibly moving on yesterday. Many fewer were moving W over the watchpoint but most interestingly most of the ones that were, were going at moderate height! Two groups of four Snipe went WSW early on and a Peregrine went west. Grey Wagtails well represented again with at least eight going west. Only a single Tree Pip today despite the wind and going SW. The star bird was however a juvenile Sandwich Tern first picked up by HC above the near horizon coming in from the NE, travelling SW towards the Denholme mast at 0920hr... We all got onto it almost immediately as it passed the reporting point with scopes varying in power between 40 - 60x... obviously a large-ish tern! it continued not high > SW with deep powerful, languid but fairly quick wingbeats on long thin narrow angled wings in direct but snaking route... obviously struggling a bit in the face of the wind but making the best of the topography. Over the village it flew, dropping low in front of the church before raising up again. At closest the dark upper wing / body plumage inclusive of the brownish scaling, white triangular secondary wedge, dark primaries and paler rump were very striking at 60x (the sun was not shining)... the black elongated crown hood along with the long head and neck structure was most striking! Nothing dainty about this... it was a brute! Going away now still low, it passed over the Farm Shop and continued SSW, gaining height all of the time to exit firstly low with Speak as a back drop, then away high in the sky between the north east flank of Soil Hill and Mountain... and away over the watershed, high over Calderdale. An exillerating experience for all of us.... any tern here is rare! If it had of been heading for the Causeway Foot col we would have contacted BS at Ogden but it was obviously going out of his range round the back of Soil! Virtually nothing on the move after 1000hr, with even the gulls slowing down!
Moving Birds in order of appearance:
Swallow 131 > between S and W
Snipe 8 > WSW
LBB Gull 98 > NW and SW
Meadow Pipit 34 > W
Grey Wagtail 8 > W
Pied Wagtail 1 > W
BH Gull 15 > SW
Peregrine 1 > W
Stock Dove 1 > E
Tree Pipit 1 > SW
Linnet 15 > W
Sand Martin 1 > SE
Sandwich Tern 1 > SSW
House Martin 5 > W
Goosander 1 > SSE

Back Lane Ogden 23-08-2009

23/08/2009 0745- 1000hrs Cloudy start with specks of rain then bright. S F4

Back Lane, Ogden, Vis Mig

78 Swallow > SW
3 Snipe > WSW
18 Meadow Pipit > W
2 House Martin > SW
3 Jay > W very high
11 LBB Gull > SW
4 Grey Wagtail > W
Still some blogging Swallows.

B Sumner.