Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oxenhope... transition tsunami! 27-10-2009

Many record photos of thrush flood, migrating pinkies and whoopers to follow as havent got time to process them tonight!!

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Tuesday 27 October 2009
Counting period: 6:30-9:15
Weather: SE F2, 9degC, 60m reducing 30 at times, 8/8 Fog stratus base at c750ft asl, QNH 1017 falling
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber

Moving birds:
Fieldfare 150 - Redwing 30 -

Totals: 180 individuals, 2 species, 2:45 hours

Present: Wren 1

Comments: A terrible morning here with very poor visibility brightened indeed brillianced by the news coming in from c0730hr, first from the Netherlands and then from a stretch our east coast of exceptional and ongoing thrush arrivals on a terrific scale..... right on que and on the front of the transitional conditions now over the North Sea. Howard initially at the Ark in similar abysmal conditions soon joined me at Sentry after news started coming in and at 0915 we decided to move down c 300ft to the Harrop Edge watchpoint to see if visibility was any better....

But it was abysmal there too... see report!!

Late Morning / Afternoon Count:

Counting period: 11:30-17:15
Weather: S F2 becoming SE F4, 12degC, 6km increasing 35, 6/8 becoming 8/8 fog stratus lifting and becoming shallow rolling fog with fractus still coming off the moor, QNH 1016 reducing 1014
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber

Moving birds:
Whooper Swan 3 -
Woodpigeon - 5
Rook 1 -
Pink-footed Goose 150 -
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 -
Starling - 188
Lapwing 130 -
Skylark 1 -
Chaffinch 3 -
Common Snipe 1 -
Meadow Pipit 24 -
Siskin 3 -
Black-headed Gull 100 -
alba wagtail sp. 6 -
Snow Bunting 1 -
Common Gull 14 -
Fieldfare - 6164
Red Admiral 3 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2 -
Redwing - 125

Totals: 6925 individuals, 20 species, 5:45 hours

Comments: A brilliant afternoon with Snow Bunting heard (SE), Great Spotted Woodpecker (W), Whooper Swans ( in from the N, then W going out over the Ark) and pinks (W en route to Martin Mere) all on the move, totally eclipsed by an increasingly intense thrush migration, obviously resultant from the overnight and continuing arrivals from Norway! Between 1412hr this afternoon Howard and my self had 6289 Thrushes c only 2% Redwing if that, seen from Oxenhope Sentry... movenment directions as follows. Initially the migration was light and scattered, all exceptionally high and mainly in tight balls travelling NW. All was well above the rolling mist and fractus still remaining from this morning and some as high as the intermittent cloudbase. From c 1540 the visibility and long vision had improved greatly and also the migration increased greatly after this, with still very high flocks in tight balls and thick strings travelling SW down the eastern flank of the Pennine Hills.... many went very high over the Causeway Foot col. After c1600 a massive migration was in progress all coming out of the south east... a different stream, still very high in tight balls and bands. All went due NW with many coming overhead and just the ocasional flock lower and one flock c 500 right between the cars and to the side of us on Sentry. By 1630 the light was getting thicker but we could still pick flocks up moving at distance and increasingly often overhead. At 1700hr they were still coming over but much lower... only the ones overhead and to moderately close either side could be detected, at 1710 a very large flock of c500 which went on for ever, came very low out of the dark gloom of the in-bye almost at ground level and onward NW past either side and out over the Worth basin... yet another vis experience I will never forget. We had 54 flocks, the biggest of which (3 No flocks) was c500. A skien of Goosanders coming in to roost at last light contained the first seen white male of the autumn. All in all a wonderful afternoon... cant wait for the morrow now!

Dave and Howard

Harrop Edge... abandoned! 27-10-2009

Harrop Edge, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Tuesday 27 October 2009
Counting period: 9:35-10:00
Weather: SSE F2, 10degC, 30m, 8/8 fog stratus base at c750ft asl, QNH 1017 falling
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber

Totals: 0 individuals, 0 species, 0:25 hours

Present: Little Owl 1

Comments: Decided to give it a try here to escape the abysmal visibility at the Sentry but to no avail... even thicker fog down here at c 1000ft asl. Abandoned at 1000hr, to reform later at c1130 back at Sentry in time to catch the forecast improving conditions and hopefully the invading birds!

Dave Barker

Wycoller Ark... NIL return today! 27-10-2009

Wycoller Ark, Trawden (Lancashire, England)
Tuesday 27 October 2009
Counting period: 7:45-8:45
Weather: SE F2, 9degC, 30m, 8/8 fog stratus down to ground level, QNH 1017 falling
Observers: Howard Creber

Totals: 0 individuals, 0 species, 1:00 hours

Comments: Noah birds on the Ark today !!. Ground level Fog Stratus once again dealt a body blow to the nether regions - ouch !. However, according to Dave over at Sentry via our radio link, there is, metaphorically, some light on the horizon. Manfully manning the Ox Op`s centre (as he does), Dave advises that all lines of communication ranging from telephone calls, text messages and radar observations, confirm a massive arrival of thrushes on at least the east Yorkshire Coast and also in the Netherlands and beyond. Dave is also badly fogged off but the forecast is for things to clear after lunch. So, the Ark is abandoned and off to Sentry I go to wait in anticipation - see Dave`s report for what happened next - JACKPOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Howard Creber

Caldene Fields, Low Moor.... 27-10-2009

Caldene Fields S Bradford

27th of October 2009 Watch 06.45 – 07.45
Weather: Damp with a temp of 9c and a E/S/E F1 wind. 100% thick low cloud and fog giving visibility from quater mile to 75 metres.

Comments: Today I wanted to ask a question. Would any migrating species carry on their journey in extremely poor visibility ?

The answer was yes only 1 species the Alba wagtail Sp. I watched for 1 hour and recorded anything I heard or saw. And the Alba's seemed unaffected the moved like normal in the main from half light for about 25 minutes. Also like on the 22/10 when visibility was poor the birds moved E. The increased count consisted of small parties which could be seen, other single calls were counted as one but these also may have been in small parties thus the final figure count could well have been higher.

All birds seen or heard

BH Gull > 16 E very low
Alba Wagtail > 8 S + 23 E = 31 Low and high
Wood Pigeon > 1 N low
Redwing > 2 calls
Greenfinch > 2 calls probably S/W
Chaffinch > 1 call
C Crow > 1 W low +
Magpie > 1 W low local bird

Grounded birds 2 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing and 1 Common Snipe

Martyn Priestley