Monday, November 01, 2010

Oxenhope.... stratospheric surge! 01-11-2010

A glorious Sunrise today!.... (c) 2010

The Northern Skies.... (c) 2010

"Egret" Watch!!... (c) 2010

Red Kite after passing overhead... (c) 2010

Welcoming Party.... (c) 2010

Egret skies.... (c) 2010

Great Grey Shrike!!!!.... (c) Howard Creber 2010

Great Grey Shrike!!!!.... (c) Howard Creber 2010

Out that Way.... (c) Howard Creber 2010

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Monday 1 November 2010
Counting period: 6:25-15:30
Weather (first period): CALM, 7degC, 20 - 40km, 7/8 improving 5/8, QNH 1014 ridging
Observers (first period): Dave Barker, Howard Creber in morning, just HC in afternoon.

Moving birds:
Cormorant 1 -
Common Gull 10 -
Redwing - 210
Great White Egret - 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 45 -
Great Grey Shrike 1 -
Grey Heron - 2
Stock Dove 111 -
Jackdaw - 118
Pink-footed Goose 20 -
Woodpigeon 3889 -
Starling - 2639
Goosander 3 -
Skylark 15 -
Chaffinch 18 -
Red Kite - 1
Meadow Pipit 7 -
finch sp. 11 -
Sparrowhawk 1 -
flava wagtail sp. 1 -
Goldfinch 36 -
Merlin 1 -
alba wagtail sp. 8 -
Linnet 1 -
Lapwing 9 + 35
Blackbird - 3
Lesser Redpoll 7 -
Common Snipe 3 -
Fieldfare - 970
Reed Bunting 4 -
Black-headed Gull 23 -
Song Thrush 4 -

Totals: 8208 individuals, 32 species, 9:05 hours

Comments: Another watchpoint today selected from our range of locallities.... certainly produced the goods!! Rain overnight, fine by dawn becoming broken then scattered. QNH ridging 1014 at c 1000hr with v light wind from N, then CALM then S.... A tremendous morning in the uplands with everything right, that is with the exception of the visibility out to the east which was relatively poor. Thrushes over Oxenhope all NW. Absolutely everything here this morning, exceptionally high... even the Starlings were much higher than normal with long strings, waves and squadrons all coming over from the SSE, the first bigger and urgent starling day of the season. Thrushes all big tight flock c every 30 mins here... not o/a big numbers but quite obviously fresh in but to be quite honest we were concentrating on the pigeons in tremendous flocks, much much higher than normal and most out to our west and NW, all going south.... some overhead could bearly be seen with 10x bin as they were so high and the westward bias was very unusual! as was the greatly extended perod of movement... right up to c 1015hr and possibly a bit beyond. Perhaps all can sence the idealic calm before the dramaitic storm... Best bird At 07.55 hrs, whilst scanning north west for Woodpigs, which were today, atypically, coming out of Lancashire in large dambuster- like exceptionally high flocks, I picked up a very large white bird flying high,circa 500 to 600 feet up, in a northerly direction. It was about 2 miles away over Oxenhope Moor and my immediate impression was a swan sp. given its large and cumbersome size, but its shape was all wrong and I said to Dave ( as daft as it sounds !), "this looks like a swan flying backwards". Its "front end" appeared thick and heavy and it`s "back end" looked like the long neck of a swan. No time for guessing here and I quickly switched from bins to scope power. I soon located the bird,though it was a good way off, zoomed in to 50 X and wallop..... a Great Egret !!!!. I shouted to Dave, "Egret" and he said "is it a great white" and I confirmed. DB got a quick look through his bins and confirmed the really long legs and then lurched for his camera to try some shots.The bird continued north at hight over Keighley Moor and out towards the Skipton area till lost to sight.....A Red Kite also outstanding for our watchpoint came right overhead at 0845 and left to the SE... most interestingly GH reported dozens of Blackbirds apparently just arrived tday from the valley bottom at Skipton... this equated to our three west, quite unusual here from the watchpoint.......; "Birdy" skies continued throughout the afternoon, with Starlings predominating. Also of note was the movement of 101 Stock Doves in 6 flocks (21,10,16,6,41 & 7), all East.Then at 14.45 hrs, whilst scanning out over Bingley, one of the two star birds of the day came racing through my bins, giving an absolute eyeful - a beautiful Great Grey Shrike !!!!. It came in from the north west, over the nearby farmhouse, then over the road to the watchpoint and into the adjacent field , whereupon it alighted on one of the large round fence posts. This allowed time for some snaps. The bird was approx 100 metres away and over the next ten minutes, it steadily made its way down the fence (east) whilst dropping to the ground momentarily on several occasions. It eventually flew off towards the Bradford conurbation. A superb sighting, very much fulfilling one of our most wanted site birds and complementing nicely the Red Backed Shrike here of yesteryear..... Starling - 773 NW..... Mipit - 3 S..... Jackdaw - 6 NW.... Skylark - 2 SE.... Woodpig - 89 E.... Stockdove - 101 E (6 flocks).... Chaffinch - 2 E.... Goldfinch - 10 E.... Linnet - 1 S.... Finch sp - 11 E...... Fieldfare - 125 W.... Redwing - 6 W.... Alba Wag - 3 S.... flava Wag - 1 W.... Reed Bunting - 1 W.... Lapwing - 9 high W.... Goosander - 3 W (inclu one white back).... Great Grey Shrike - 1 E....

Dave and Howard in the morning and Howard in the Afternoon!


Anonymous Howard Creber said...

Dave, when all this is pulled together into one compilation, the realisation of what a fantastic day we had really strikes home.Great (excuse the pun) day and good to share it with you.Howard.

November 02, 2010 11:06 am  
Blogger Brian Sumner said...

Fantastic stuff there from the vis team and well rewarded for the time and effort that you two have put into it this season. Its unbelievable that so much can happen within a few miles from home.
Well done with the Shrike pics Howard.
Me and Nigel are holding a bonfire at the weekend with our vis mig records which won,t be much of a blaze, if you two burnt your reports this year it would be like towering inferno.
Well done to both.

November 02, 2010 7:46 pm  
Blogger Dave Barker said...

Thanks for that Howard... ditto!! and do remember if it hadnt been for you quite possibly the egret and without doubt the shrike would not have been detected!!! hawkeye Creber!!! Thanks also Brian... it was big but only c half as big as our biggest ever day interestingly only three days away from this last year!!! (14241 total) so a busy time of year.... see:

you will need to cut and paste this into your browser to see!!

Do come over and bring Dave etal sometime... not really worried what there will be to see but it would be good to talk vis and old times again! We can determine the watchpoint venue later.

Dave and Howard

November 02, 2010 9:29 pm  
Anonymous Howard Creber said...

Cheers Brian for your kind comments

November 03, 2010 12:42 pm  
Blogger AndyC said...

Great stuff a brilliant day the flava wagtail must be the latest ever.???The GW Egret turned up to in lancs not too far away..well done to you both

November 03, 2010 4:23 pm  
Blogger Dave Barker said...

The flava was HC's bird in the afternoon Andy.. it came in calling, almost landed on some bare earth nearby but sadly not quite, before off on same trajectory west... but do agree re date... Interesting that a new GW Egret has appeared in lancs!!!... would be very interested to learn where if you know as havent had chance to check this out yet... Very many thanks in anticipation and also thanks for your encouraging comments. Dave, and I am sure HC will concur.

November 03, 2010 4:41 pm  
Blogger AndyC said...

Clithero and then Waddington fell must be same bird its only a stones throw

November 03, 2010 6:03 pm  
Blogger Dave Barker said...

Thats fantastic Andy, we saw it last, lost, merging into the gloom high over Keighley Moor, in a direction that would we calculated have if it kept going on c west of Skipton ie as you say only a stones thow west along the A59 corridor... yesterday (2nd) was a terrible day ie not conducive for either birds or birders, so it may well have been sitting it out?? We did ring Gordon Holmes at the time who was at the Skipton SF but he did'nt see it.
Many thanks Andy. Dave

November 03, 2010 9:22 pm  
Anonymous Howard Creber said...

Hi Andy. Yes indeed, thankyou for your kind and supportive comments. Regards, Howard.

November 04, 2010 11:22 am  

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