Saturday, September 17, 2011

Oxenhope.... instability reigns! 2011-09-16and17

 First Sun over the Eastern Plain.... (c) 2011
 Serenity in the North East!..... (c) 2011
 Cumulo fractus off the Moor.... (c) 2011
The Downfall today..... first sun... (c) 2011

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Saturday 17 September 2011
Counting period: 6:20 - 8:40
Weather: wind SW5, cloud-cover 5/8, visibility 1000000m, temperature 10 ℃, SW F5g7 increasing, 5 becoming 7ok, 10degC steady, 60000-100000m, QNH 1001 falling 999
Observers: Dave Barker, Chris King, Lester Ward

Golden Plover 5 -
alba wagtail sp. 6 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1 -
Starling - 2
Swallow 152 -
Chaffinch 1 -
Meadow Pipit 78 -
Reed Bunting 1 -

Totals: 246 individuals, 8 species, 2:20 hours

Comments: Instability reigns!... a terrible morning of intermittent torrential showers, gusting wind and the first "bitter" wind chill of the season.... very few birds in the sky up here over the moor, but a suggestion of potential when conditions improve with several moderate Swallow parties powering south. An especially heavy shower, with the radar showing little immediate improvement to come ended the watch.... try again later!

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Friday 16 September 2011
Counting period: 6:30 - 10:00
Weather: wind East, E F1 picking up E F4/5, 9ok low fog stratus throughout, 10C static, 100-4000m, QNH 1015 falling 1014
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber, Lester Ward

Sparrowhawk 1 -
Meadow Pipit 64 -
Golden Plover 1 -
alba wagtail sp. 8 -
Grey Plover - 1
Mistle Thrush 5 -
Dunlin - 20
Starling - 6
Swallow 165 -
Goldfinch 1 -
House Martin 6 -
Linnet 1 -

Totals: 279 individuals, 12 species, 3:30 hours

Comments: A better morning than the forecast with no rain... the watchpoint being at cloudbase level virtually throughout. From the start it was obvious that yesterdays movement was trying to continue with dramatic low Swallows skimming the ground shooting very fast SE and E shearing through the stratus base past and to either side of us very close in. Wild groups of mipits similar but the scale of our counts will bear little resemblence to the true magnitude as visibility whilst variable was very poor. Waders, were prominent on the move today with Dunlin off NW and Grey Plover calls heard from somewhere in the cloudbase as it passed through... also a Golden Plover contact from somewhere out there. Whilst on the face of it, a very poor morning to be out, the birds and their proximity was dramatic! Very worthwhile!!

Dave, Howard, Gordon, Chris and Lester


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