Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oxenhope... megaflight!! 20-10-2010

FIELDFARE Skies at Sunrise.... note deep cloud over N Sea... (c) 2010

Fieldfares..... (c) 2010

Fieldfares..... (c) 2010

Fieldfares... (c) 2010

Fieldfares... (c) 2010

Fieldfares... (c) 2010

Whoopers on Approach over Yeadon with Yorks Wolds Horizon... (c) 2010

Same Whoopers tracked over Bingley... (c) 2010

Same Whoopers tracked over Harden Moor.... (c) 2010

Same Whoopers tracked over The Guide... and then out over The Ark (c) 2010

CONVOY!! a brace of VC10's overhead!!... (c) 2010

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Wednesday 20 October 2010
Counting period: 7:10-17:00
Weather: NW F3, -1degC hard frost and ice and still in shadows at 1600hr, 65km, 0/8, QNH 1017 rising
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber

Moving birds:
Whooper Swan - 6
Meadow Pipit 37 -
Brambling - 13
Goosander 2 -
alba wagtail sp. 3 -
Greenfinch 4 -
Grey Plover - 1
Fieldfare - 6705
Reed Bunting 1 -
Common Snipe 2 -
Redwing - 40
bunting sp. 1 -
Woodpigeon 290 -
Starling - 15
Skylark 5 -
Chaffinch 2 -

Totals: 7127 individuals, 16 species, 9:50 hours

Comments: Open sky throughout overnight and day with temp dropping below zero from c0300. Wind from NW qtr and QNH rising throughout. A weak and milky sunrise sky confirming open skies out into the North Sea where considerable cloud banks were apparent right down the coast... possibly over the sea? these persisted but brilliant icy sunshine from the word go here. Following culled from my report on the UK Vis Group...A classic two pronged thrush attack with so far as info available to time shows, with birds south into the Low Countries? and also sweeping south west then N West into middle England and this time well visible in the north west on the FIRST day. All ours were FIELDFARE, not a Redwing did we see. Just added the Oxenhope totals up and 0710 - 1700 = 6705 NW with several groups 200 strong. Started before Sunrise with several big high balls NW then slowing a bit but continuing throughout up there before absolute armies of thrushes in true Starling style, started flooding out of the vallies, along the ridges low up the in-bye, over the moor, the majorityl tightly streamed by the topography and following the same track time after time... A call from BS at Queensbury confirmed he had started getting the ground wave just before us as Qby is just a tad further east.... Never seen a Fieldfare arrival quite in this manner before. They were following the SE > NW valleys / ridges with none using the N > S ones atall. Here in Airedale at least it seems as if there was mega movement in the valley bottons as well, with poor Gordon Holmes by himself at Skipton SF totally inundated with c6500 through between 0830 and 1100hr, biggest flock a terriffic 500 again low even down there shooting through to either side of him...and hopefully now a life convert to vis! Shaun Radcliffe in the Washburn valley was similarly overwhelmed with large numbers of FF flying low streaming round the plantations, copses and even through the trees all following the valley NW, he's just Skyped me with the info and well impressed. Also large numbers passing up the Wharfe, past the Barden watchpoint which is in the valley bottom as well... so this invasion, obviously coming in mega high initially seems here to have been bottom weighted, with the front of birds dropping low at some point and streaming the topography.... and thus it continued at a lesser rate into the pm before becoming more apparent late pm. Starlings were almost absent as were Redwings.... Otherwise woodies going less that expected for the first half hour and a Grey Plover high NW flashing its underbody in the rising sun was a good omen... six swan sp at first picked up very high to the east, flew the length of Airedale and went out west over the Ark... this id will be refined when snaps scrtinised but want to get this on here now. It is only natural that whilst concentrating on the target ie Fieldfares, much of the other stuff would have been missed.

Dave and Howard
Chaffinch 12, Bullfinch 9, Fieldfare 18, Wood pigeon 53.

The morning started off promising with a small flock of Fieldfare moving through just as I arrived, but then tailed off to very little.
Brian Vickers.

Hunter Hill, Calderdale... 20-10-2010

Cold Edge, Halifax (W Yorks, England)
Wednesday 20 October 2010
Counting period: 9:30-10:45
Weather: Very cold with some frozen ground. Wind NW F3 with excellent visibility
Observers: David Sutcliffe

Moving birds:
Meadow Pipit 2 -
Starling - 54
Fieldfare - 850
Chaffinch - 32
Redwing - 8
Goldfinch 2 -

Totals: 948 individuals, 6 species, 1:15 hours

Present: Whooper Swan 4, Sparrowhawk 1

Comments: Fieldfare movement on a big scale today but only able to stay at the warch-point for a short while. All movement NW except for the 2 Goldfinch and 2 Meadow Pipits. 4 Whooper Swans (2 juvs) on Mixenden res'r below the watchpoint were a nice surprise.

David Sutcliffe