Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oxenhope... banana bonanza!!.. 18-07-2010

Yellow Legged Gull.... with lesser for comparison... (c) 2010

Yellow Legged Gull with blackheads for comparison... (c) 2010

Yellow Legged Gull with lessers.... (c) 2010

Common Gull....not common yet!... (c) 2010

Bombus monticola... Britains least common bee grounded in F7 winds!... (c) 2010

Bombus monticola.... another ditto!... (c) 2010

Back pools... a magic mosaic despite the driving drizzle!.... (c) 2010

S becoming SW F5/6, 14degC, 65km to the E 20 to the W, 9/8 stratus fractus, QNH 1019 falling.
0945 - 1200hr

A clear cloudless night right through till early light... then showers merging into considerable rain with cloud base down on the moor to c1300ft right through the morning with heavy rain ceasing c 0930 then with intermittant horizontal driving drizzle... exceedingly wetting and "right in the face" as they say up here!... depite the conditions a message from BS at Ogden to tell of flocking and moving mipits early doors. Up here not much doing initially with few gulls in the air with an almost complete dearth of blackheads.... but at c1040 I first noted movement from behind the ridge on the back pools and one, then two Green Sands came into view. They had probably been there throughout but just vanished unseen when I tried to have a closer look. A juv LRP was present... different to yesterdays ad and at 1120 an ad Ringed Plover appeared on the shore!!... neither of these could be located as I left but the blackheads were just starting to flow.

Moving birds:
Herring Gull 1
Green Sand 2
Ringed Plover 1

WSW F6 increasing F7 for a while then moderating F5/4, 19degC humid, 65km intermittantly, 7/8 brilliant sunshine initially followed by some showers and then just overcast, QNH 1019 falling.
1330 - 2030hr

Upon arrival the wind was terriffic but despite this it was warm, sunny and humid... many bombus bees were grounded on the embankment track seemingly unable to move due to the strength of the wind... there were so many you had to seriously watch where you walked especially as there were good numbers of Bombus monticola in amongst... Britains least common bee!... a good move of gulls now in place with as yesterday most if not all using the lowest airspace to travel. There was a flow from the SE which BS, on Soil could see coming up the Thornton valley and I could see more on approach from the Wilsden direction.... birds were also travelling cross Airedale and up the ridge from the N and NE... again a "crossroads" scenario with many missing the site altogether as they were so low that it would have remained unseen.... today however some Yellow leggs in amongst including one near adult with bright banana legs along with yet again another 2nd s!.... neither stopped very long but both performed well! Most had moved on by early evening today, so time for an early bath!

Moving birds:
Ringed Plover 1
LR Plover 1
Herring Gull 2
Yellow legged Gull 2
LBB Gull 730
BH Gull 510
Common Gull 10
Curlew 6
Lapwing 42
Cormorant 1
Oystercatcher 6