Friday, October 09, 2009

Pennine Night Skies Alive! 09-10-2009

2045 -2145hr. ESE F3, low cloud and drizzle, recent rain now ceased.
There must have been a continuing arrival of Redwings today or at least an onward movement as overhead here in the foothills the skies are currently alive with the seeeping calls of migrating Redwings. Classic conditions to bring them lower with low diffuse ceiling of presumed fog stratus with light none wetting drizzle. As soon as I got out of the door they were there... sometimes with calls heard in short succession and suggesting some larger diffuse flocks. 23 contacts in one hour not too bad! There is a low col in the hills near where I live with very bright lights on the west side most probably visible through the col to the approaching birds, below the cloudbase and assumed to be coming from the east.... just walked back and forth along the same stretch of road for most of the time as have found in the past that this is where the local overhead action is most prominent!


Caldene Fields, Low Moor... first siskins 09-10-2009

Caldene Fields, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Friday 9 October 2009
Counting period: 7:00-8:45
Weather: Weather: A dry start with a temp of 1c and no wind of note. 80% thin high cloud with clearer skies to the E creating overall misty dull viewing conditions with visibility to around 6 miles.
Observers: Martyn Priestley

Moving birds:
Lesser Black-backed Gull 41 -
Carrion Crow 13 + 7
Woodpigeon 99 + 7
Starling 3 -
alba wagtail sp. 15 + 1
Chaffinch - 4
Blackbird - 1
Goldfinch 10 -
Redwing 1 + 4
Siskin 8 -
Jackdaw 1 -

Totals: 215 individuals, 11 species, 1:45 hours

Comments: A poor watch mainly due to viewing conditions. Greenfinch were still moving but their flight seemed relaxed and many were seen later in the watch to drop down and feed in local bushes. There was an increase in Woodpigeon numbers and their behaviour like in other years in early October appear to be restless, moving in all directions, then some dropping to feed, then setting off in a different direction. Highlights were my first Siskins of the autumn which flew S.

Martyn Priestley

Oxenhope... redwing surge! 09-10-2009

From out of the Dawn came Redwings! (c) Howard Creber 2009

Basecamp today (c) Howard Creber 2009

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Friday 9 October 2009
Counting period: 7:05-11:05
Weather: S F3 rising S F4, 4degC at 0700hr, 65km, 8/8 stratus but initially open sky out to far east, cloudbase c2200ft, cold and grey, QNH 1021 falling
Observers: Howard Creber

Moving Birds:
Cormorant 2 -
Fieldfare 20 -
Lapwing - 88
Redwing 661 -
Common Snipe 5 -
Jackdaw 1 -
Woodpigeon 164 -
Chaffinch 2 -
Swallow 1 -
Greenfinch 2 -
Meadow Pipit 51 -
Siskin 9 -
alba wagtail sp. 3 -
Lesser Redpoll 2 -

Totals: 1011 individuals, 14 species, 4:00 hours

Present: Lapwing 220

Comments: MOVING BIRDS Alba Wag sp. - 3 W Mipit - 51 W Woodpigeon - 164 W (largest flock 61) Redpoll - 2 S Siskin - 9 W Greenfinch - 2 S Chaffinch - 2 S Swallow - 1 S Lapwing - 88 N (3 flocks moving high) + flock of circa 220 blogging over Billing Hill area. Redwing - 661 W into Calderdale (in 13 flocks, largest 148 birds) Fieldfare - 20 W into Calderdale Cormorant - 2 S Snipe - 5 W Jackdaw - 1 S (very high & head down) COMMENTS After an inauspicious start (1st hour pretty much birdless - single Swallow came through in this period), things started to happen from the East.... Last nights thrush forecast spot-on Dave! At 08.35, scoping into the distance of the dawn, beyond the White Horse pub, revealed a flock of 82 Redwing , which immediately set the adrenalin pumping. Between 08.35 and 09.50 hrs, 11 flocks (maxima 148) totalling 606 birds passed through high from out in the direction of Leeds and all except one flock passed through the Soil Hill col into Calderdale. It is worth noting that these birds were hardly detectable in the bins, emphasising the importance of a good vantage point and "scoping out" at an elevated angle into and across the flow - in fact, the early high flocks simply would not have been seen. I got the impression that the birds were using Soil Hill radio mast as a beacon as several parties were seen to re-orientate towards the mast as they came in from the East. One party went NW towards the Bowland Fells. There was also a group of 20 Fieldfare following a leading party of Redwing into Calderdale. There was then a lapse of 50 minutes before two further flocks of Redwing were found in quick succession, coming from the East (29 + 26 birds). So, a meagre beginning with a spectacular end!!

Howard Creber

Hunter Hill, Calderdale... 09-10-2009

Hunter Hill, Calderdale

Vis mig 07:00 till 10:00
Wind light SE - 7c with good visibility
Birds > S unless stated otherwise

Meadow Pipit - 56
Woodpigeon - 224 (they nearly all came down into Mixendedn Res'r plantation)
Greenfinch - 2
Pied Wagtail - 5
Siskin - 2
Grey Wagtail - 1
Chaffinch - 4
Goldfinch - 4
Cormorant - 2
2 Grey Heron >W

1 Crossbill over headed down from Ogden direction towards Mixenden plantation at 09:15

Redwing - 160+ at 09:05 were seen over Ogden, dropping into the plantation en mass. Then at 09:30 they headed down towards the Ogden golf course to feed in the fields. They were spooked by a Sparrowhawk and headed back into the plantation at Ogden at 09:55.

Other birds:
8 Grey Partridge
62 Jackdaws and c80 B H Gulls heading towards Wheatley Valley (from the roost)?
1 Canada Goose and 1 Barnacle Goose flew over from Cold Edge and dropped into Ogden
1 Pheasant
6 Jay
3 Kestrel
2 Sparrowhawk
1 Wren
9 Carrion Crows

Dave Sutcliffe