Sunday, May 02, 2010

Oxenhope pm... second swift wave! 02-05-2010

Swifts up Country!.... sytheing past... (c) 2010

BS on Swift Watch amongst the "Soil" (the night earth of Halifax!) on the roof of the World.... (c) 2010

NE F3 rising F4, 7degC, 65km, 8/8 hail squalls, QNH 1017 rising.
1450 - 1730hr

A call from BS on the "roof of the World" at just before 1500hr who had seen me arrive was fortunate! We would have seen them anyway before too long but scoping to see where Brian was, immediately found a big Swift movement in progress... Brian got onto them at the same time and we both confirmed masses coming in from the south and south east above watershed top level and moving through without deviation north and north west, essentially into the wind. The awaited secondary wave! Scoping out to the east over Bradford and west over the Worth basin confirmed the move to be uniform and on at least a wide broad front. Most came past in the first hour, with 253 notched up... biggest party nine. Perhaps they had been pushed on in avoidance round the bad weather further south?... starting off as they mean to go on?? Whilst some were in groups many were as singles and twos. At the height of the move, birds were coming up the in-bye and sytheing past at hill top level before striking out over the basin north. At one time c30 stayed briefly over the water before moving on. Swifts were not the only movers as at times the sky was full of LBB Gull action again all north and north west. A flava wag went bounding NE at 1630hr and a medium/large wader sp went fast, direct and high NW just in front of a hail squall which did make me briefly run for cover.... All in all after a fairly dismal morning... a tremendous afternoon!

Moving Birds,
Swift 357 > N and NW
LBB Gull 219 > N and NW
Greenfinch 1 > NW
Goldfinch 5 > NW
Wheatear 1
flava wag 1 > NE
wader sp 1 > NW

Hail Squall...on the way out!... (c) 2010


Hi David,
Re: the Swifts you noted this afternoon, I was on Nab Water lane and a party of 12 passed through low at 1430, then they came in smaller groups, when I left at 1500approx 30 had passed through the gap along Nab Water Lane. The surprising thing to me was the speed of these birds as they passed by me, almost at head height into the wind,

Brian Vickers

Thanks for that Brian... Valuable information... it sounds as if our count was only partial and that we missed at least half an hour of the move! They must have been moving for some while before we started? I wonder did anyone note any earlier movement?


Oxenhope... kite flying high! 02-05-2010

Kite flying high south!... montage (c) 2010
NE F3, 3degC, 65km, 6/8 increasing 8/8, intermittent showers, QNH1015 rising.
0650 - 1045hr
A most nasty bitter cold morning morning for early May.... Even muffed up with hats, fleeces, leggings and gloves it was distinctly unpleasant at this altitude... with hands ending up like bunches of bananas to say the least. Passerines were almost zero with most unusually Goldfinches coming out top... but as usual the lessers didnt seem to mind with the best day this year so far. Again movement at all altiutudes with some exceptionally high and in a multitude of northerly directions. A Kite was the best bird by far soaring exceptionaly high and distant S on the wind... even in the scope it was just an interesting spot in the sky... but the electronic eye had no such trouble easily resolving enough detail despite the dismal skies and dark light. Sadly for here a "one off" through south and not to return.
Moving Birds:
Lesser black backed Gull 178 > N
Kite 1 > S
Curlew 1 > E
Goldfinch 15 > NW
Meadow Pipit 1 > N
Swallow 3 > N
Wheatear 2 > N