Saturday, October 09, 2010

Oxenhope.... struggle! 09-10-2010

Sky... late pm!.... (c) 2010

Redwings S in low cloudbase... (c) 2010

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Saturday 9 October 2010
Counting period: 6:10-11:00
Weather: E F4, 11degc, 30-80m with 3000m at lower altitude, 9/8 deep fogs with variable drizzle, QNH 1020 steady
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber

Moving birds;
Meadow Pipit 10 -
alba wagtail sp. 2 -

Totals: 12 individuals, 2 species, 4:50 hours

Comments: Broken sky and mist for the first part of the night then becoming overcast with deep fog and drizzle initially. Wind easterly throughout and QNH steady. Both when stacking the car at 0550 and during the first 50mins of darkness at the watchpoint Redwings were frequently going over quite low but unseen in the fog in what sounded to be big numbers. By 0700 they were slackening considerably with no calls heard after c0740hr. In fact with the fogs we were seeing and hearing virtually nothing so in desperation thought we would try one of our nearby watchpoints some 300ft lower down to get below the cloudbase. No joy as the fog was just as thick. So even lower as a tryout we went, but down there at c500ft, below the cloudbase there was absolutely nothing on the move with wild spirit gone and everything tame and treebound. So abandon we did and back home for an early lunch with a view to reconvening as soon as conditions were on the clear.

Counting period: 12:00-16:45
Weather: E F5, 11degC, 2000m increasing 20km haze, 9/8 becoming 7/8 at best, QNH 1019 falling
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber

Moving birds:
Golden Plover 30 -
alba wagtail sp. 6 -
Woodpigeon 6 -
Redwing 570 -
Skylark 2 -
Starling - 60
Meadow Pipit 183 -
Chaffinch 3 -

Totals: 860 individuals, 8 species, 4:45 hours

Comments: Whilst improved, until c1315 conditions were still very murky on the moor with virtually intact fast moving stratocumulusfractus cloudbase at c1500ft asl. By 1315 this was beginning to lift and break rapidly to expose a broken cloudbase above with occasional shafts of sunlight breaking through. A few quick scans through the opening lower cloudbase revealed thrush flocks, two to start off with high above the fractus and hurtling more or less south... a very unusual direction for here! More at long intervals were located all very high and most way out over the high tops often in and out of the cloudbase... but it was very hard work, almost a struggle with few thrushes seen for the effort put in. All were going more or less south. There must be better to come!!! By 1600 some flocks were beginning to drop out of the sky and into the basin far below. Mipits were strong for the time of day!

Dave and Howard


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