Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oxenhope... thrush "super trek" 13-10-2009

Pre sunrise sky.... (c) Howard Creber 2009

Festooned with Contrails (c) Howard Creber 2009

From Whence they came! (c) Howard Creber 2009

Oxenhope, Bradford (West Yorkshire,England)

Tuesday 13th October 2009

Counting Period - 07.30 hrs - 12.30 hrs

Weather: NW F1, 4degC, 65km, 7/8 reducing 4/8 late am altocumulus stratiformis - velum and altocu floccus later, excellent viewing condx made possible by the cloudcover - far better than yesterdays "blue out" , QNH 1030 rising

Moving Birds:
Meadow Pipit - 315 W
Wood Pigeon - 134 W
Starling - 346 NW (19 squadrons)
Chaffinch - 79 mainly SE
Goldfinch - 11 SE
Golden Plover - 4 SE
Greenfinch - 52 NW
Redwing - 3770 NW & W
Fieldfare - 189 NW
Siskin - 8 SE
Alba Wag sp. - 6 W
Common Gull - 7 W
LBB Gull - 5 W
GBB Gull - 2 WNW
BH Gull - circa 80 W
Reed Bunting - 2 NW
Brambling - 10 NW
Stonechat - 1 W
Snipe - 6 W
Pintail - 1 W
GS Woodpecker - 1 W
Blackbird - 4 NW
Mistle Thrush - 6 NW
Skylark - 9 W
Magpie - 2 W (high)
Hobby - 1 SE
Lapwing - 9 W

Individuals : 5060. Species : 27. Observation time : 5 hours

Local Birds :-

Kestrel - 3
Carrion Crow - 12
Pheasant - 2
Red Grouse - 1
Mistle Thrush - 1
Heron - 1

Slightly later start this morning due to birthday jollifications !. HEY, but what a birthday !. A stunning thrush tsunami - hordes and hordes, which according to Dave were uncountable in some locations. Locally, they were coming through on a broad front, as Andy Hanby near Harrogate, Martin Priestley at Low Moor and Brian at Queensbury MOT were getting thrushes streaming over. Andy had had several thousand before he had chance to pick up a scalpel, Martin a trungeon and Brian a spanner - say no more !.

Initially, there were two distinct streams on view from Oxenhope watchpoint - flocks going through very high NW (500/600 feet) above the watchpoint ( thats c 2000ft asl) and flocks going west through the Soil Hill col into Calderdale - ratio 50:50 for first half hour and then all pretty much NW after that. I counted 65 flocks of Redwing (including a few mixed flocks) and 15 exclusively Fieldfare flocks. Some of the larger flocks (largest circa 200) had finches in their wake, some of which proved to be Brambling as some alighted on the tree`s in the wood and were scoped. Blackbirds were also in with the movement, as were some Mistle Thrushes.

As some flocks approached high over the waterkeepers house, hundreds of birds literally dropped like stones out of the sky into the wood,a spectacle in itself, much to the chagrin of the local Mistle Thrush - it didn`t know if it was punched,bored or countersunk - it went berserk !.

I must say it was great to hear the sustained and evocative seeps and chacks of our much loved winter thrushes once again. One Redwing incidentally, came along the banking at an incredible rate of knots and literally passed within 6 inches of my right leg - I could feel the downdraft from its wings - quite nice actually (shut up).

Other highlights were a great Spotted Woodpecker going high W over the moor, an unexpected Pintail steaming through Soil Hill coll into Calderdale and a Hobby coming in low and fast over the banking at the Worth Valley end and directly over my head, no more than 20 feet - it certainly put the frighteners on the thrushes - it headed of SE. Note, interestingly no Jackdaws today.

So, what a birthday - couldn`t have asked for more. An exhilarating vis-mig morning - the type we all long and wait for.

Howard Creber

Stainburn Moor, Harrogate... vis of biblical proportions 13-10-2009

Dear All,
If you can get out get out!

A quick look before work at the new vis site mentioned last time (SE of old by about 1k) appeared to be disappointing for the first 10 mins and then an absolute torrent of thrushes came though both very high and low going SW into the Wharfe. If only I could have stayed!!! - I feel I would have raced passed 10k, but sadly it wasn't to be. They were moving so intensely I neglected other species- the dangers of being singlehanded.

3778 birds in 50 minutes!

Stainburn Moor, Harrogate (N Yorks, England)
Tuesday 13 October 2009
Counting period: 7:35-8:25
Weather: w1-2 4 oktas cool.
Observers: A Hanby

Moving Birds:

Greylag Goose 12 -
alba wagtail sp. 1 -
Greenfinch 6 -
Lapwing 15 -
Fieldfare 743 -
Goldfinch 1 -
Common Snipe 7 -
Redwing 2666 -
Siskin 7 -
? 18 -
Jackdaw 15 -
Linnet 13 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1 -
Starling 199 -
Lesser Redpoll 1 -
Woodpigeon 30 -
Chaffinch 7 -
Crossbill 4 -
Skylark 1 -
Brambling 1 -
Meadow Pipit 15 -
finch sp. 15 -

Totals: 3778 individuals, 22 species, 0:50 hours

Present: Golden Plover 200, Lapwing 80, Dunnock 1

Andy Hanby

Caldene Fields, Low Moor... redwings surge! 13-10-2009

Caldene Fields, S Bradford

13th of October 2009 Watch 07.00 –010.30
Weather: A dry start with a drop in temperature to 1c and no real wind of note. 20% thin high cloud to the E giving excellent visibility to beyond 10 miles. Around 09.00thin high cloud increased to around 50% to the W.

Comments: An excellent movement of Redwing was noted moving in the main over the Morley and Dewsbury areas and to the S/W. The movement was on a broad front stretching from around Morley to Low Moor and birds were travelling fairly high. There were 2 main waves noted one from around 07.15 – 07.45 which was the strongest movement giving the highest count of 300 then a period of inactivity and then second around 08.30 – 09.00. A small party of Fieldfare were my first and Greenfinch again surged through. An increase in Mipits moving S and 3 Snipe to the N/W capped an excellent watch.

Snipe > 3 N/W
Black Headed Gull > 77
LBB Gull > 1 W
Wood Pigeon > 101 S/S/W
Collard Dove > 1 N + 2 S/W =3
Meadow Pipit > 19 S + 9 W = 28
Alba Wagtail > 7 S
Starling > 68 S/W
Redwing > 3,507 S/S/W
Fieldfare > 3 S/W
Mistle Thrush > 3 W
Carrion Crow > 9 W/N/W + 11 S = 20
Jackdaw > 4 S/W
Chaffinch > 6 S/W
Greenfinch > 138 W/S/W
Goldfinch > 4 S + 1 N/W = 5
Siskin > 1 S

Martyn Priestley

Timble Ings... awash with birds! 13-10-2009

Today was awash with birds at Timble - literally thousands of redwings coming in at tree top level (ringed 50).

Xbills, redpolls and siskins are everywhere up there, jays seem to have influxed and yesterday it was like a coastal fall of goldcrest. Why cant it always be like this?

Someone on vismig group mentioned "plague proportions" - couldnt have summed it up better. Up there again tomorrow. A swedish ring would be nice.

There was also a lap bunt, 2 brambling and a few hundred fieldfare.


A telephone call also from Simon and Sarah Goodwin also sampling the joys of vis at Timble. Simon says that between 1000 and 1030am (when we know the vis was beginning to slacken) that he counted c1000 redwings W and NW through in that half hour period! By the period 1130 to 1215 however only 330 were counted over Lippersley Pike so the migration here was coming to and end!


Hunter Hill, Calderdale... a truely great day! 13-10-2009

Hunter Hill, Calderdale.

Vis Mig 07:00 till 12:00 noon
4 degrees c and no wind at 07:00 rising to 9.5 degrees c with a light W wind at noon - good visibility throughout

5,942 Redwings >SW (a couple of minutes from recieving a text from BS at 07:45 (thanks Brian) they came over from Queensbury/Swales Moor heading towards the Calder Valley and they didn't ease off until c11:00)
690 Starling >SW
754 Fieldfare >W (but they started coming through from Soil Hill area from 09:30 until 11:30)
196 Meadow Pipit >SW
127 Jackdaw >SW
116 Woodpigeon >S
58 B H Gulls >S
44 Greenfinch >SW
41 Chaffinch >SW
12 unidentified finch >SW
25 Mistle Thrush >W - mainly with Fieldfares
12 Goldfinch >SW
12 Skylark >W
11 alba Wagtails >SW
8 Goosander >N
6 Blackbirds >W (with Fieldfares)
5 Linnet >SW
4 Snipe >S
2 L B B G's >S
4 Common Gull >S
2 Cormorant >N
1 Grey Heron >W

Other birds present - 1 Pheasant, 1 Little Owl, 7 Magpie, 1 Wren, 1 Great Tit, 2 Stock Dove, 3 Kestrel, 3 Sparrowhawk, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Canada Goose with 1 Barnacle Goose and 2 Greylag Geese came from Cold Edge into Mixenden Res'r, 6 Jay, 1 Green Woodpecker, c20 Carrion Crows and 6 Rooks.

Dave Sutcliffe

Queensbury... the smell of the vis! 13-10-2009

The Smell of Vis Mig
The sweet scent of vis mig was in the air as I set off walking to work at 0730 hrs,it was one of those mornings when vis miggers know that its just right.
Meadow Pipits were the first birds over >S followed by a continous flow of Redwings also > S.

By the time I got to work Jackdaws and Woodpigeons were coming over in droves directly >S and then came the Fieldfares also >S. A few phone calls soon determined that HC at Oxenhope and DJS at Hunger Hill were swamped with birds coming over in swarms.

Unfortunately cars were queueing up for repair so it was head down time for me although every time I looked out they were still coming over. My dog walk up Foxhill at lunchtime saw empty skies as if it had never happened. I think DJS and HC are still at their watchpoints now counting by torchlight. What a Day.

Casual observations to and at work, hundreds missed.

Meadow Pipit...........c 180 >S
Redwing....................c 350 >S
Fieldfare...................c 250 >S
Woodpigeon..............c 200 >S
Jackdaw....................c200 >S

Brian Sumner

Paul Clough... 13-10-2009

Paul Clough 0730 - 0900,
High cloud this morning winds light, Early activity with movements of Redwing and Wood Pigeon.

Redwing 484 (includes approx 200 birds in and around the Clough at 1500hrs )
Wood Pigeon 127
Fieldfare 25
Mpipits 30
Bullfich 8
Chaffinch 25

Brian Vickers.

MONSTER Thrush Arrival this Morning... 13-10-2009

Full details later but get out if you can! Sites in inland E England between North Yorks and Bedfordshire reporting massive thrush passage, between sunrise and now albeit slackening over our region since noon.


A truely GREAT day!

2130hr 13-10-2009 Just a footnote to put the West Yorkshire Redwing counts into perspective....

Over Sandy Pinnacle (Bedfordshire):

So the morning REDWING total is 28,982 west (0655-1125hrs)

Observers: Steve Blain, Mark Thomas, Mat Burgess, Mark Gurney, Col Campbell...



for further details!!!