Monday, August 31, 2009

Stainburn... Hero to zero in an hour! 31-08-2009

0610-0950 SW/WSW F3/4 at first rising F5 later. 8/8 to 4/8 cloud. Andy Hanby only- John needed a rest after yesterday.

Well a morning where the dynamics of Meadow pipit migration were really under scrutiny.

Meadow Pipit. 401 S or SSW ( mostly). First thing these were everywhere and I thought yesterdays count would be eclipsed, however as the first 6No 20 minute counts show the drop off in numbers was dramatic -- 240, 44, 34, 11, 41, 29( 0810 hrs) with the remaining 25 till watch end. I called up Dave during the watch and was surprised by his low number, but but was clear that the wind was stronger there. As the morning wore on though it became stronger at Stainburn. I wonder if the birds were going lower and more to the E where winds were less intense (we are both lower and further E than Daves spot).

Swallow; after yesterdays milling around I thought these were moving but nothing like the numbers posted and I suspect, again the main thrust was on lower ground to the East

Swallow: 93 S

Sand Martin 2 S

Snipe 8 WSW in two groups of 4

Golden Plover 10 SW plus 40-50 local birds


Common Gull 34 SW mainly to SE of me

BHG 10W interesting that the three gull species have diff movement vectors

Merlin 1 w

Linnet 6W

Cormorant 1 blogging up and down Crimple valley all morning.

I think next time wind picks up like this I will go to Hay a Park near Knaresborough to vis mig to see if stuff is moving lower in vale of York.

Interesting that white wag is so rare in Bradford area- at Nosterfield double digit numbers are common in spring and several are seen in Autumn- maybe this is a low level alluvial plain migrant too.


Oxenhope... a quiet but windy morning 31-08-2009

Open skies to the east... just after sunrise (c) 2009

Deep cloud to the west and over the Pennines (c) 2009
Double click these photos to make them bigger!!

0555 - 1200hr D Barker H Creber
SW F6 becoming S F6, 15degC, 100km+, 4/8 becoming 8/8, more or less dry, QNH 1007 falling

Just too windy up here for much movement but never-the-less things were trying and there was still a bit albeit exceedingly thin... The first mipit, a single diddent come until 0643 then followed by a few more all low and going W and SW. The first Swallow came at 0707, with just a very few following on up until c0900 when a wave of movement first noted by BS over the hill at Ogden was noted obviously fringing us. We did suspect however that all Brians Swallows at Ogden were approaching him low from out of the Worth basin to our NW as we could see very few in the onslaught of the winds. A single Cormorant went west at 0923 and a single Snipe at 1027 followed by a very high and fast whisp of seven all going west at 1030hr were today the best birds on offer. The distant horizon views to the east however were impressive and kept us occupied in the famine... so nothing was lost!

Moving birds in order of appearance:

Meadow Pipit 73 > W and SW
LBBGull 79 > SW and NW
Swallow 122 > SW
Sparrowhawk 1 > W
Cormorant 1 > W
Grey Wagtail 3 > W
Snipe 8 > W
BH Gull 1 > SW


Oxenhope Chats.... 31-08-2009

Nab Water Lane,
1 Wheatear,

Trough Lane,
4 Wheatear,

Fly Flatts,
6 Wheatear,
2 Whinchat.

Brian Vickers & Alan Trem....

Oxenhope... the extreme horizons! 31-08-2009

Our Upper Humber wind sock and anenmometer.... Drax power station at 65km distant and the Humber Bridge beyond at c100km distant.... both as seen from our watchpoint this morning just after sunrise!
Double click the photo to make it bigger and see the bridge!! (c) 2009

York Minster as seen from our watch point this morning just after sunrise... you dont normally get this amount of contrast but the mist over the plane of York and Yorkshire Wolds beyond formed a white albeit sun tinted backdrop (c) 2009

Pudsey church in the foreground with Selby Abbey just below the far horizon mid picture... again the dackdrop of sun tinted mist made for the contrast (c) 2009

The "Coal Works" horizon.... somewhere in South Yorks... with Lincolnshire beyond does anyone recognize it? because we dont!... nb it might not be a coal works... thats just what we call it (c) 2009

The Scunthorpe Steel Works horizon in North Lincolnshire... Morley Town Hall is the clock tower building with the domed roof on the middle horizon!
Double Click the photograph to make it bigger and see the detail! (c) 2009
All these far horizon shots taken this morning just after sunrise from our watchpoint.
Dave and Howard

Back Lane Ogden... and how they came! 31-08-2009

Back Lane Ogden.... looking South (c) Brian Sumner

Back Lane Ogden... looking North (c) Brian Sumner

Back Lane Ogden... looking West (c) 2009

Back Lane Ogden... looking East (c) Brian Sumner

0730-1000hrs SW > 5 Some drizzle.

A quiet start with nothing but the usual on the water and very little in the skies.
By 0845 Swallows were starting coming from the north down the valley above the
plantation ,some low skimming the ground, others high above the wind turbines.
By 0855 the flood gates had opened and Swallows were now pouring through at a ridiculous
rate with up to 50 being counted in one sweep of the bins. A call to alert DCB at Oxenhope found that he was getting them but in smaller numbers meaning that they must have been skirting up Paul Clough and to the west of Daves watchpoint using the Ogden valley as a shelter from the wind. By 1000hrs the flow had slowed down. All birds passed to the west of me with nothing to the east between me and Soil Hill where yesterdays birds came through.


887 SWALLOW.................> S
78 MEADOW PIPIT.........> SW
4 ALBA WAGTAIL...........> W
2 GREY WAGTAIL..........> W
32 LBB GULL....................> SW

1 Merlin licking its lips over the moor.

B Sumner
Great Stuff Brian... FANTASTIC!!
Here at Oxenhope we got next to nothing all morning (0555 - 1200hr) we were just too high and it was too windy at SW F6 becoming S F6. Agree that the Swallows wernt coming through Causeway Foot col and we couldent see any to our W coming over the moor... or to our NW and as you say that means they must have been coming low up the Worth and exiting via either Paul or Nan Scar which would be sheltered or alternatively a long shot coming over Coombe Cross col from Lancashire (from the NW) and skiring round the moor on its north flank, which would also be sheltered before striking up over the watershed and into the Ogden valley. There were watchers at Paul but I havent heard anything yet.... will post details later on if I get any.