Friday, December 07, 2012

Oxenhope.... 2012-10-25

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Thursday 25 October 2012
Counting period: 7:35 - 15:20
Weather: wind NE2, cloud-cover 8/8, visibility 5000m, temperature 7 ℃, becoming 200m hv FOG, but always better vv often to high strato base above, 8degC, 70000m, QNH 1021 falling 1019 Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber, (Rodney Procter PM only)

Moving Birds:
Pink-footed Goose * - 70
Stock Dove - 1
Mistle Thrush - 5
Merlin 1 -
Woodpigeon 137 -
Starling - 592
Golden Plover 12 -
Swallow 1 -
Chaffinch 5 -
Lapwing 158 -
Meadow Pipit 63 -
finch sp. 13 -
Dunlin - 2
alba wagtail sp. 4 -
Greenfinch 6 -
Curlew - 1
Blackbird - 8
Siskin 1 -
Black-headed Gull 91 -
Fieldfare - 6358
Lesser Redpoll 1 -
Common Gull 10 -
Song Thrush - 2
Lesser Black-backed Gull 141 -
Redwing - 712

Totals: 8395 individuals, 25 species, 7:45 hours

Present: Stonechat 2, Blackbird 3, Song Thrush 7

Comments: Thwarted once again by fogs over moor and lands visible below. Fog top just nicely above WP for extended period, often with visibility up to high strato base above but v poor hv. From first light, big flocks of Fieldfare noted moving NW over head and most above fog top, sometimes in the fog its self, past at eye height. We had split up, HC going down into the valley below cloudbase where good visibility today just to check no masses moving down there, with me remaining on top. Interesting that very Large FF flocks passing me in the fog early on, which from direction would have been directly over HC as they passed, never came below the cloudbase for him to see (he soon came back up!!). Absolutely zero down there, with everything up aloft in and above the clagg. Whilst this was enough to confirm a big FF arrival the relative magnitude remains unknown as with only vv, we could count very few initially and til late AM. By 1100 hr visibility was opening up revealing huge very high flocks of mainly Fieldfare moving both N and NW in seemingly two distinct broad streams. Some flocks were exceptionally high NW and barely visible through optics in and out of the cloud, almost certainly straight in under the high base, without reducing height. Whilst RW were coming N and NW, many were traveling S (not split) but none of the FF were. Thus all in all, a dramatic undercount of thrushes. Seven song thrush in the watchpoint bushes were exceptional, with blackbirds as well. Starling as expected were well up on the continental track once we could see and again must have been a dramatic undercount. A Merlin shot very fast SW, seen looping the loop after someting or other. Pinks, two small skeins going west today well up, after we could see + another which we must have missed earlier on. Gulls also moving above the clagg, so again a dramatric undercount of these. A very large flock of siskin heard up there as well, perhaps the largest this year just went down as one, as did a considerable flock of redpoll.



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