Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oxenhope... after the storm! 11-11-2009

Pre sunrise... looking east... lowest thrushes in the open bands of sky above the inversion (c) 2009

The Soil!... milked out this morning! (c) 2009

Clean edge to cloudbase out to the north. (c) 2009

Basecamp this morning... doing the thrushes! (c) 2009

Clear edge to the cloudbase out to the east! (c) 2009

Block over the Ark! mid am (c) 2009

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Wednesday 11 November 2009
Counting period: 7:00-10:30
Weather: ENE F1/CALM becoming ESE F2 at 0945, 4degC (frost at lower altitudes), 65km reducing 15km, 5/8 reducing, QNH 1007 falling
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber

Moving Birds:
Golden Plover 4 -
Blackbird 1 -
Lapwing 23 -
Fieldfare 395 -
Black-headed Gull 50 -
Redwing 486 -
Common Gull 5 -
Starling - 148
Lesser Black-backed Gull 3 -
finch sp. 48 -
Woodpigeon 181 -
Greenfinch 10 -
Meadow Pipit 1 -
Goldfinch 3 -
alba wagtail sp 6 -
Grey Wagtail 1 -

Totals: 1355 individuals, 16 species, 3:30 hours

Comments: Yesterdays masses now moved through and no doubt today someone elses vis! Nevertheless a terriffic morning to be out from first light with almost calm conditions allowing much bird movement at very high altitudes. Sky was 5/8 overdrawn (open to the NE) with stratocumulus startiformis perlucidus with a sharp edge gradually moving SW but later considerable fractus forming and visibility reducing dramatically. From our first arrival small tight ball parties of thrushes (up to 70) could be seen exceptionally high whilst scoping out and up in to the distant east all were moving SW. No doubt they were moving overhead and to our west as well but only the silhouette against the back lit dawn upper sky allowed these exceptionally high birds to be seen. Most of the initial parties were pure Redwing, but some were Fieldfare and some were mixed with ballance in favour of Redwing. The height was difficult to estimate but a constant cloudbase level of 4000ft was established and some of the flocks would not be much below that as they entered its overdraw from the NE! most were just invisible through 10x binoculars! From 0800hr an increasing number of the parties were seen to just whiffle drop like stones out of the upper sky in one fall into woods on the edge of the moor at various distances and beyond.. a stimulating experience and the obvious end to a night migration! Also noted in the high early upper sky was a very good movement of finch sp.. considered due to exceptional height and direction of movement to be fresh arrivals. After 0830hr there was very little in the sky at all and it seemed to get colder as the wind swung into the ESE bringing with it the obnoxious chemical odours from industrial W Yorks... chokeingly terrible! There was almost no surface or even medium ht movement at all this morning. After a run of reducing numbers over recent days gull sp were almost absent!


Caldene Fields, Low Moor... a site first! 11-11-2009

Caldene Fields, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Wednesday 11 November 2009
Counting period: 6:45-8:45
Weather: : Dry with 80% low cloud with always clearer skies to the E/N/E, Temp 3c and a F1 N/E wind. Visibility to around 5 miles to the E/N/E.
Observers: Martyn Priestley

Moving Birds:
Mallard 5 -
Jackdaw 3 -
Black-headed Gull 26 -
Carrion Crow 13 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2 -
Starling 27 -
Woodpigeon 175 -
Chaffinch 2 -
alba wagtail sp. 16 -
Greenfinch 57 -
Fieldfare 2 -
Goldfinch 19 -
Redwing 32 -
Snow Bunting 1 -

Totals: 380 individuals, 14 species, 2:00 hours

Comments: After grumbling that it was a quite day and hoping for thrushes on a slight N/E wind, I got a major surprise when at 08.10 a calling single male Snow Bunting flew low to the E basically over my head ! providing a site first! and a bird I never thought I would get over the low lying industrial areas of Low Moor and Caldene Fields. Given I had constant good views to the E/N/E I can say with some certainty that there was very little moving here ( apart from my rarity ! ) although some Greens and Golds did move to the W/S/W. Alba wagtails were noted moving to the W as apposed to their recent movement to the E and very few BH Gulls moved S for the second day running.

Martyn Priestley