Friday, October 23, 2009

Oxenhope Sentry... deep "korrp" SW 23-10-2009

deep "korrp" going through SW... Raven... a montage! (c) 2009

The Sunken Lane... in the fog! (c) 2009

Oxenhope Sentry in the fog! (c) 2009

The White Moor coming into view (c) 2009

HC over there... twixt Wolf and Crow! (c) 2009

A Skylark Sky! (c) 2009

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Friday 23 October 2009
Counting period: 7:45-13:30
Weather: SSE F1/2, 9degC, 60m improving 45km, 9/8 fog stratus improving 3/8 cu sp, QNH 1003 rising 1006
Observers: Dave Barker

Moving Birds:

Sparrowhawk 1 -
Meadow Pipit 64 -
Raven 2 -
Golden Plover 4 -
Fieldfare 441 -
Starling 609 -
Common Snipe 5 -
Redwing 45 -
Chaffinch 32 -
Black-headed Gull 132 -
Magpie 2 -
Goldfinch 6 -
Common Gull 14 -
Jackdaw - 5
Siskin 3 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1 -
Rook 1 -
Linnet 3 -
Skylark 32 -
Carrion Crow 3 -
Lesser Redpoll 5 -

Totals: 1410 individuals, 21 species, 5:45 hours

Comments: Oxenhope Sentry this morning! An influx of Dunnocks noted in the garden this morning at c0715, the first of the autumn. A poor morning initially weatherwise but "the right kind of Fog" together with strongly rising pressure lead to much initial activity even through the very dense fog stratus (base c 1100ft asl). Right from arrival during the first foggy part of the morning big flocks of Fieldfare were making good progress east, some within only feet of my head above the watchpoint. Several flocks swirled overhead possibly trying to reorientate above the hill top, but all went on east... a few Redwings could be seen and heard to be amongst them. 14 flocks > E were counted but few were seen. In addition to the thrushes, finches were prevailent, with flock after flock coming up from the gloom of the Worth basin below the cloudbase and onward south east into the fogs.... Siskins, Chaffinch, Redpol, Goldfinch and even a Linnet or two went by... some overhead! These early flocks were difficult to enumerate so all that could be done was to count each flock registration as one... a dramatic undercount! Whilst the cloudbase hovered at around watchpoint level, the first vertical visibility soon followed by the real thing came at 0929hr... this was immediately followed by the first Starlings, in small and large flocks all powering NW. Quite a few of the larger flocks were today high over the Black Moor at c watchpoint height and could be seen to be skirting the edge of the fog stratus still receding. HC at Wycoller Ark diddent come into view until c 1030hr so you can tell how murky it was at this side of the Pennines! The best birds came just after 1200hr in the form of two Ravens first picked up way out to the NE, travelling SW... it was obvious they were going to come fairly close! deep "korrp"ing all the time they made a total flypast, going on without deviating as far as the scope could see! A couple of well spaced high Magpies also went SE and most interestingly after 1200hr a moderate Skylark passage commenced and was still going when I left at 1330hr. Starlings kept going in small flocks NW right up until the end of the watch. All in all, despite the low numbers of birds, a very enjoyable morning!!


Wycoller Ark... east-west weather divide! 23-10-2009

Beyond The Ark!... HC off roading but on station as seen from Oxenhope Sentry.... accident black spot!!! (c) 2009

Wycoller Ark, Trawden (Lancashire, England)
Friday 23 October 2009
Counting period: 7:45-11:15
Weather: SSE F1/2, 9degC, 2000m E - 10km W improving 20km, 4/8 see comments, QNH 1004 rising 1005
Observers: Howard Creber

Moving birds:

Black-headed Gull - 8
Redwing 48 -
Greenfinch 12 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 2
Jackdaw - 12
Goldfinch 41 -
Herring Gull - 1
Carrion Crow 2 -
Siskin 18 -
Meadow Pipit 2 -
Raven 2 -
Lesser Redpoll 2 -
alba wagtail sp. 2 -
Starling - 1077
Reed Bunting 1 -
Fieldfare 156 -
Chaffinch 31 -

Totals: 1417 individuals, 17 species, 3:30 hours

Comments: Weather - Early fog stratus clearing throughout morning with Altocumulus Floccus and Cirrocumulus Floccus, late morning. Murky conditions prevailed towards the Oxenhope watchpoint, but much clearer and brighter NW into Lancashire, with Colne clearly visible. Whilst driving up to the watchpoint, the portends were not good, with our chief enemy fog stratus dominating the hills. However, very pleasingly, the murk lifted rapidly as soon as I arrived on site, to provide quite manageble viewing (Dave at the Oxenhope watchpoint was fogged out rather longer). Another quite "birdy" morning, dominated by 25 squadrons of Starlings literally hurtling through NW. Not all following the same path as yesterday and two flocks were particularly low - one flock of 40 NW was no more than 20 feet above my head and it was the sound of their wingbeats which first got my attention - awesome speed. A few feet lower and they would have parted my hair !!. Two ravens came over the moor from my East and came within 50 feet of my position - they headed off SW and just kept going. The BH Gulls and Jackdaws were extremely high.

Howard Creber

Caldene Fields, Low Moor...surprisingly good! 23-10-2009

Caldene Fields, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Friday 23 October 2009
Counting period: 7:30-9:15
Weather: : A warm damp start, temp 9c with a F1 E/S/E wind and 100% low cloud and fog giving visibility to only 1 mile. These conditions remained throughout the watch.
Observers: Martyn Priestley

Moving Birds:
Shelduck - 5
alba wagtail sp. 22 -
Starling 98 -
Mallard 3 -
Blackbird - 3
Chaffinch 14 + 11
Black-headed Gull 21 -
Song Thrush 3 -
finch sp. 4 -
Common Gull 2 -
Redwing 145 -
Greenfinch 11 -
Woodpigeon 19 -
Mistle Thrush - 4
Goldfinch 9 7
Skylark 1 -
Carrion Crow 2 + 2
Bullfinch 2 -

Totals: 388 individuals, 18 species, 1:45 hours

Comments: Given the weather and viewing conditions it was a surprisingly good watch with a noticeable increase in passage of birds. All my sighting came from birds moving over Caldene fields due to fog suggesting that there could well have been a larger movement going on. Low numbers of Redwing and Starling moved and there was a slight movement of Alba Wags and Chaffinch to the E. Finches had a better day and a single party of Siskin was a good find. 2 high flying Bullfinch were thought to be genuine moving birds and the days highlight has got to be a party of Shelduck ( a rarity here ) which flew low to the N/W

Martyn Priestley