Friday, October 15, 2010

Hunter Hill, Calderdale... 15-10-2010

Cold Edge, Halifax (W Yorks, England)
Friday 15 October 2010
Counting period: 10:30-12:30
Weather: Wind NW F3 and blustery F4. Cloud cover throughout and some haze in the distance but otherwise reasonably good visibility. 9.5c
Observers: David Sutcliffe

Moving birds;
Pink-footed Goose 80 -
Fieldfare 44 -
Hen Harrier - 1
Redwing - 32
Black-headed Gull 1 -
Chaffinch 3 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 2
finch sp. 5 -
Meadow Pipit 17 -
Goldfinch - 2

Totals: 187 individuals, 10 species, 2:00 hours

Present: Little Owl 2

Comments: Hunter Hill watchpoint. Difficult to find a spot out of the wind this late morning and hard to find any 'movers' initially. A skein of 80 Pink-footed Geese to the south of the watchpoint were heading S/E down the Calder Valley at 11:15. Then 8 Fieldfares came over from north going south at 11:30 followed by 36 from the east at 12:20, they also turned south. 2 groups of Redwing totalling 44 birds headed N/W over the golf course towards the wind-farm. The highlight came in the form of a ring-tailed Hen Harrier at 11:45 which I was lucky enough to pick out in the scope over Swales Moor (about 6km away) and heading my way! I was at first not sure what the bird was though it was obviously quite large. Surprisingly enough my first thought was a skua, partly I think because of the very dark shape against the sky and strong flight in the blustery wind. It was not until it dipped down into the valley that the white rump and typical harrier profile became evident as it passed below me in the valley heading towards the golf couse. I kept losing sight of the bird as it headed through some conifer plantation and lost it completely as it headed towards Ogden golf course. The team at Oxenhope were alerted but it was not relocated there and perhaps it headed off NW at 11:50 towards the Ovenden wind-farm rather than Ogden col?

David Sutcliffe


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