Sunday, July 11, 2010

Oxenhope.... mass gull dispersal! 11-07-2010

Barwit male in from east... at distance through the heat shimmer (c) 2010

Ditto... (c) 2010

Dunlin at distance... (c) 2010

Ditto... (c) 2010

Med Gull (1s) on the tarn... (c) 2010 Brian Vickers

Med Gull.... ditto... (c) 2010 Brian Vickers

Weasel... "The Killer".... (c) 2010

Lessers on the move... backdrop Chevin Plantation... (c) 2010

Lessers on the move.... backdrop Penyghent big end... (c) 2010

Black heads on the move... (c) 2010

More lessers on the move... (c) 2010

Report is a big one and not time to do it tonight... so it will follow when possible.

Photos, all taken at great distance... that is except the Weasel which nearly bit my toes off!!... photos BV and DCB.

Here is the report...Sorry its late!

WSW F5 increasing F6, 15degC, 65km, 8/8, QNH 1011 rising after troughing in the early hours at 1008hPa

A tremendous morning with exceedingly lively skies throughout and especially over the lunchtime period. Upon arrival over 1000 passage gulls were on the shore… these moved quickly on as more came to take their place but many were counted straight through at various altitudes in the sky. Started near the hide but later moved to the watch point with a better overview as to what was going on. Gulls well and truly on the move and in total difference to yesterday the vast majority of black heads at low level carpeting the moor in the strong wind as they passed and came in from the north, east and south east. Lessers and more distant BHG’s counted were somewhat higher. An obvious flow down the Pennine Chain from the north and also cross it from the east, using the shelter and topography of the Aire-Calder watershed and Airedale as well. Groups of up to 150 BHG were counted but most were much smaller. At 1210 a Common Tern crossed the water in front of me from the east, half circled and then straight on west and another a little later but initially out over the fields. Dunlin, Herring, Common and Yellow legged were also in the mix of movers but only in very low numbers.

Moving birds:
BH Gull 2025
LBB Gull 1047
Common Gull 3
Dunlin 3
Herring Gull 1
Yellow legged Gull 1
Common Tern 2

W F5 reducing CALM, 17degC, 65 increasing 100km, 5/8 becoming 8/8, QNH 1015 rising.
1500 – 2130hr

Just about the first bird seen was a godwit sp in from the east. It looked like a barwit but settled amongst the blackheads and promptly went to sleep facing me…. It had a very red breast and head and that was all that was apparent from the angles I could view. A little later it came to life… an obvious barwit…the heat haze was terrific, allowing only fuzzed out record shots. At 1606 the blackheads were disturbed, the godwit went up and straight off to the west, high and then very high into the now moderating wind. Gulls were still on the move but in much lower numbers than this morning… all were much higher in the sky, and as the winds moderated further, lessers especially got up very high in long lines and skeins but blackheads still in large disorderly groups, all of which became snapable as the light began to thicken. Despite gulls still on the move, they were not all counted this afternoon as otherwise occupied / distracted for a lot of the time. Fragmented counts of Swifts also. By 2130 there were virtually no gulls on the shore…. all had moved on. Influxes of linnet and goldfinch were noted and a Med Gull first winter was on the nearby tarn (BV see photograph)

Moving birds:
Bar tailed Godwit 1
BH Gull 281
LBB Gull 216
Common Gull 5
Yellow legged Gull 1
Curlew 31
Lapwing 54
Swift 531



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