Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stainburn Moor, Haarrogate.... 30-09-2010

Stainburn Moor, Harrogate (N Yorks, England)
Thursday 30 September 2010
Counting period: 6:50-13:15
Weather: The first 30 minutes it was bright sunshine and then fog rolled in. This was shallow and I could see some of the skies above; by about 10 it had lifted again. Temp at start 9, rising to 16 at the end. Wind 0 rising to 1/2 WSW . Dry.
Observers: A Hanby

Moving birds:
Greylag Goose 6 -
Meadow Pipit 574 -
Brambling 5 -
Goosander 1 -
alba wagtail sp. 72 -
finch sp. 47 -
Hen Harrier 1 -
Dunnock 13 -
Greenfinch 58 -
Golden Plover 299 -
Song Thrush - 2
Goldfinch 39 -
Lapwing 299 -
Redwing 4 -
Siskin 69 -
Common Snipe 23 -
Mistle Thrush 4 -
Linnet 241 -
Black-headed Gull 25 -
Goldcrest 9 -
redpoll sp. 15 -
Common Gull 225 -
Coal Tit 26 -
Lesser Redpoll 3 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1
Blue Tit 30 -
Lapland Bunting 1 -
Collared Dove 2 -
Great Tit 27 -
Yellowhammer 3 -
Great Spotted Woodpecker 4 -
Raven - 2
Reed Bunting 3 -
Skylark 124 -
Tree Sparrow 2 -
Swallow 101 -
Chaffinch 66 -

Totals: 2426 individuals, 37 species, 6:25 hours

Present: Sparrowhawk 5, Common Buzzard 22, Kestrel 4, Stock Dove 6, Woodpigeon 15, Stonechat 1, Wheatear 1, Blackbird 5, Chiffchaff 1, Jay 3, Magpie 2, Jackdaw 40, Rook 15, Starling 450

Comments: After being confined to barracks today was a cracking day with a lot of variety and reasonable though not outstanding numbers. And yes, finally I recorded the first Lapland Bunting for the site this autumn- see below. A female Goosander was the forst for a while and went directly overhead just after midday. The other star bird of the day was a ring tail Hen Harrier which appeared out of the gloom c09 30 ish and headed south with a motley gang of Corvids in hot pursuit. Raptors were generally in evidence, but for Sparrowhawk and Buzzard the 'big' skies mean that it can often be hard to know if they are moving or not as they soar up and up and are lot too view- for both big counts were had but have been put in the 'around' bit as I cant tell which were moving. Both Lapwing and Golden Plover were on the move W today ( put as 'S' on the log. These have an annoying habit of landing and loitering for a bit before moving off- alway in a variety of west. Both came out with the unbelievably identical count of 299, however I resisted the temptation to doctor the numbers! Common Gulls were very obvious with a distinct drift south later on with birds hawking insects in swirling masses; I think I massively undercounted these birds. 4 Great spotted woodpeckers was a site record count; with two together directly over me along the hedge. Skylarks were alos undercounted as I could here a fair few in the foggy part of the watch and when it cleared at least 123 went through; largest party 13. I finally caught up with a decent alba movement (for this neck of the woods) with 72 South, inc max party size of 7; again others were heard in the mist, so prob an undercount. there was another Dunnock fest with 13 out the hedge west, mostly first thing, with 7 off together just before the fog rolled in. 574 Mips headed in varieties of South - mostly due South in relatively small groups- , largest 48. Again the hedge performed well with 26 Coal tits, 27 Great tits and 30 Blue tits headed West during the course of the morning. Additionally 9 Goldcrest did likewise, whilst a Chiff Chaff 'U- turned'. 2 Raven soared slowly North after midday when all the raptors were up. As always it was not possible to tell moving Starling as so many were around and especially when they started hawking insects later on. I'm hoping when the come piling in in October that it will be easy to spot the movers- fingers crossed. 5 Brambling were the first of the year though not sure I should have made them 'remarkable'. In fact Finches made a real pushed with decent numbers across a range of species- Greenfinch 58, Siskin 69, Linnet 241 and Redpoll 18 were autumn maxima so far (the three definitive Lessers in this total took the trouble to land on the wires right by me to permit close perusal ( how kind of them). Th eLapland Bunting I never saw, it basically flew over my head in the fog calling constantly- went south and then came back N, then E- Ive put as S. The three Yellowhammers were a single group of imms/females that went low W down the hedge, keeping up the good track record of this site for this declining species- need a Corn Bunting now! A single wheatear dropped in for a while then left and the first stonechat of the autumn appeared. All in all an interesting morning. By the time I at 13.15hrsleft things were very slow, though tits were still moving W down the hedge from time to time and the odd finch flock was still poassing though.



Blogger Joe Beale said...

Really interesting to read this detailed account, Andy. I agree it's hard to know sometimes if some species that live locally are genuinely on the move or just flying about... I envy you the range of species you record around there!

October 01, 2010 12:12 pm  
Blogger Dave Barker said...

Yes Joe, Andy is very lucky in having such a range... wish we had all those on the move through our watchpoint at Oxenhope.

October 03, 2010 6:43 pm  

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