Saturday, August 29, 2009

Oxenhope... the day of the Cormorants! 29-08-2009

Sunrise over the Yorkshire Wolds beyond Cookridge Tower 0608hr (c) 2009

The team today in the rare mid morning sun! (c) 2009

Cormorants > SE (c) 2009

Cormorant overhead! > SE (c) 2009

Cormorants going South (c) 2009

0555 - 1230hr D Barker, F Stones, M Stones
WSW F2 initially soon rising WSW F5 increasing F6, 10degC at 0600, 65km, 1/8 increasing 8/8 then reducing 5/8 cu sp always more cover to the west, QNH 1014 rising.
Again a wonderful clear autumnal start to the morning with many Meadow Pipits on the move west from at least ten minutes before sunrise up until c0730 when the move slackend off. Much more pronounced in the first 1/2 hour after sunrise but the biggest group was c65 > W at 0700hr. A large compact group of 27 Goosander flew very high SW across the Worth Basin at 0630, obviously on the move S after possibly overnighting at the next roost north from us. They continued overflying the Nab and away over the moor top south. Three alba wags this morning all going west... things are picking up! Next at 0643 came a couple of Chaffinch > W.... the first of the autumn. The first Swallow was at 0645 and after that there was a very thin low movement both south and west throughout the morning. The biggest swallow group was 16 > W. Possibly the star birds came next at 0651 with a couple of flava wags coming up the Stubden Beck Valley, past me at close range and away to the west. The approaching tsweeps drew my attention but I would probably have seen them anyway as they came past so close!! The morning will remain memorable however for the considerable Cormorant movement between 1051 and 1125 with all birds seen coming in high from the north or north west and continuing on south or south east... the best so far this year and possibly a new site record of bird on the move... I cant remember exactly. Skeins comprised a 3, 2, 4 and a 6 totalling 15! The sun came up belshing and flaming over the ENE horizon of the Yorkshire Wolds at 0608 and the sky in that direction was open. Just after 0700hr deep cloud advancing from the W and SW overdrew, the sun went out and the wind picked up considerably with a few spots of rain up sluffening the passerine movement... and things never really recovered. By 1100hr the sky was opening again with various cirro sp advancing from the west and also the contrails began to appear indicating colder air advancing up there!
Moving Birds:
Meadow Pipit 241 > W
Goosander 27 > S
LBB Gull 48 > S and SW
alba wagtail 3 > W
Chaffinch 2 > W
Swallow 67 > S and W
Golden Plover 3 > N
flava wagtail 2 > W
Snipe 2 > W
Goldfinch 4 > W
Cormorant 15 > S and SE

Open sky at dawn.... pre sunrise 0555hr (c) 2009

Cumulus and Cumulus fractus streaming off the moor just after sunrise (c) 2009