Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oxenhope.... driving rain... then in the blue! 29-08-2010

The very best it got!.... (c) 2010

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Sunday 29 August 2010
Counting period: 6:12-8:12
Weather (first period): W F4 gusting W F6, 12degC, 200m -65km, intermittent driving rain, 8/8, QNH 1011 falling
Observers (first period): Dave Barker, Howard Creber

Moving birds;
Lesser Black-backed Gull 34 -
Meadow Pipit 22 -
Swallow 20 -

Totals: 76 individuals, 3 species, 2:00 hours

Comments: Period One...Open sky overnight but with QNH falling throughout. By 0530 low cloud had overdrawn with intermittent horizontal driving rain mass tracking down from the NW, but we were just on the very eastern edge of it as during periods when the rain had quelled we could see from the Pennines right out to the upper Humber. Birds in the sky or anywhere for that matter were very sparse with just a very few mipits heading west all things considered quite high with still no hint of movement south. Swallows were all very low and into the wind, because they were low quite possibly there were more than we could see.....; Period Two.... conditions and directions similar. Decided to suspend and come back later in the day with forecast conditions improving.

Dave and Howard

A "Swallow" Sky.... looking NW... (c) 2010

A "Swallow" Sky... looking E... (c) 2010

A "Swallow" Sky... looking NNE later on... (c) 2010

Cormorant... head up, wings up.... into the wind!... (c) 2010

Cormorant... head up, wings down... into the wind!... (c) 2010

The best of the Holistic Sky spots... Air New Zealand... London Heathrow- Los Angelies - Aukland (I think).... (c) 2010

Counting period: 11:45-18:00
Weather: NW F6 gusting F8 becoming N F6, 12degC, 100km, 1/8 becoming 6/8, QNH 1012 rising 1018
Observers: Dave Barker, Rod Procter. Elsie Procter. Keith Moir

Moving birds:
Cormorant 12 -
Sand Martin 16 -
Grey Heron 1 -
Swallow 657 -
Curlew 2 -
House Martin 40 -
Black-headed Gull 3 -
Meadow Pipit 85 -
Common Gull 1 -
Grey Wagtail 1 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 114 -
alba wagtail sp. 2 -
Herring Gull 2 -
Wheatear 3 -
Stock Dove 7 -

Totals: 946 individuals, 15 species, 6:15 hours

Comments: A complete turn around from early morning with ideallic deep blue cumulus humilis skies albeit very gusty. Visibility from Humber Bridge to Bowland Fells and the North York Moors south of Teesside. Initially seemed fairly sterile with only small numbers of Swallows sneaking through west just above ground level. Then suddenly whilst scoping the contrail vis way up and out to the east the perspective opened up dramatically with masses of hirundine sp way up in the blue... they were coming through SW at differing ranges and thought to be mainly Swallows although later both House Martins and Sand Martins were noted in much smaller numbers. This went on in patches for some while, sometimes some in the scans and at other times none until the wind changed round to the north and sky clouded up after which none were seen until later in the afternoon in conjunction with and in front of deep cloud and distant showers coming in from the north when another much smaller surge came through much lower. Noteable concurrence with rapidly rising QNH and suddenly opening and drying skies. The other noteable thing about the afternoon was the continuous trickle of ones and threes of Meadow Pipits all going west, At 1745 just as I was packing up a much larger fragmented group of c47 came through again going west. Still no hint of mipits from the north but sure enough they will come before too long!! Many of the gulls were tracking NW again but still a southward flow as well. Noteable only small numbers of BHG. All in all after this morning a very fulfilling afternoon. Sadly in conditions that looked just right for waders, none were picked up.



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