Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sorry re lack of text!

Text to follow.... Major problems with this page which is not uploading or responding as it should in many ways. Hope to solve and correct soon!


Oxenhope... 2012-08-19

'humbergate'... our watchpoint perspective on the Humber!.... double click to see the bridge...

Plane of York... under mist!

The 'three peaks'...

The 'eastern plane'....

Six images all Copyright 2012

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Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Sunday 19 August 2012
Counting period: 6:10-16:30
Weather: cloud-cover 6/8, precipitation rain, visibility 120000m, temperature 14 ℃, CALM becoming SE F1, NE F1, E F2, SE F3, patchy rain from SW by 1155 and visibility reducing 4000m by 1500hr, QNH 1017 ridging then falling 1014
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber, Lester Ward

Moving Birds:
Marsh Harrier 1 -
Curlew 1 -
Tree Pipit 1 -
Sparrowhawk 2 -
Black-headed Gull 153 -
Meadow Pipit 96 -
Common Buzzard 4 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 124 -
Grey Wagtail 1 -
Merlin 1 -
Great Spotted Woodpecker 2 -
Song Thrush 1 -
Ringed Plover 1 -
Sand Martin 1 -
Greenfinch 1 -
Golden Plover 5 -
Swallow 69 -
Lesser Redpoll 2 -
Lapwing 26 -
House Martin 2 -

Totals: 494 individuals, 20 species, 10:20 hours

Present: Greenshank 1, Willow Warbler 1

Comments: A wonderful morning to be out with visibility well into Lincolnshire, but soon reducing 65000m til lunchtime. Sky 6ok initially becoming 4ok then 9ok with rain. Exceptionally high mipit parties SE at the edge of perception with 10x bins were the most interesting movers but the best bird was an intreguing Song Thrush south mid morning. Few gulls today but with more going NW. The first noticeable Buzzard movement of the season with other raptors going west. A Greenshank appeared after the first spell of rain and remained all afternoon in deteriorating conditions.


Oxenhope.... the sky... 2012-08-18

Three images Copyright 2012
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Oxenhope.... 2012-08-18

Seven images all Copyright 2012
Text to follow
Trans-Pennine Common Tern Migration
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Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Saturday 18 August 2012
Counting period: 6:25-14:00
Weather: wind South4, cloud-cover 8/8, visibility 45000m, temperature 18 ℃, becoming W F5, 8ok, 100000m+, 21degC, QNH 1009 rising 1012
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber, Lester Ward, Chris King

Moving Birds;
Cormorant 12 -
Common Gull 2 -
Meadow Pipit 18 -
Canada Goose 15 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 928 -
Wheatear 3 -
Golden Plover 15 -
Herring Gull 4 -
Greenfinch 2 -
Lapwing 2 -
Yellow-legged Gull 1 -
Goldfinch 1 -
Snipe 3 -
Common Tern * 52 -
Siskin 7 -
Curlew - 15
Swift 16 -
Linnet 10 -
Black-headed Gull 358 -
Swallow 17 -
Lesser Redpoll 5 -

Totals: 1486 individuals, 21 species, 7:35 hours

Comments: Overnight rain clearing well before first light in to the Dales and Lake District leaving strato base to the north, elsewhere stratocumulus stratiformis 8ok and remaining similar. Airedale trans-Pennine tern migration at great height witnessed for the first time here on this scale (HC, DCB) with a single flock of 52 passing due east to west... forensics still to do on the many long range photographs taken! These confirm Common Tern. LBBG's exceptionally strong with the vast majority south today. Several groups of Cormorant very high west. Otherwise passerines very poor, with the exception of a couple of noteable small siskin and redpol groups south.

On Saturday 18th Aug, HC and myself had an experience never before
encountered in these parts in our joint 90+ years birding, just thirty
years of which has been vis related with much less than that actually

At c 0745 HC noted a flock of birds very very high up in the sky
wayout to out east. This sector of sky is above an area frequented by
seasonal congregations of Lapwings and as the flock appeared
stationary and twinkling, we initially virtually discounted it as the
regular lapwing sausage up high in usual morning flight.... However it
didnt look quite right and we stuck on it for a while. Suddenly the
flock took off and shifted in the sky moving very rapidly. Very
obvious now that the birds, not lapwings were initially coming
directly towards us in a considerable tight flock and had veered off
slightly for whatever reason. HC still on them with his scope,
shouted, "these are terns Dave" me straight on them again, soon had
them in the camera with focus snapping and fireing away.....
continuing at great height but dropping slightly, they had obviously
changed course very slightly when the water came into view and
appeared to be loosing hight in a very long descent to look at it!....
this they did, coming in above the wall at the SE end. Immediately the
flock was gaining height again going off on the same course without
deviation in an equivalent ascent, soon becoming very high up almost
at cloudbase level, thus they continued picking up speed very rapidly and lost to us as they headed off
towards Lancashire.... Other team members just arriving as the birds
were on their way out were simply transmogriphyed!

We initially estimated c60, which when counted on the snaps equated to
an excact 52. At that stage they were just commic, or maybe not even
all commic, who could tell using traditional technology at c1.4km
closest range!.... however forensics on the snaps some of which reproduced above do suggest all were

We have been aware of and looked for this tern passage for many years as those on
either coast tell us they record flocks spireling up until lost from view and
heading off cross country twinkling in the sky, but so far as I am
aware the inland continuation at height over these parts at least, has never
before been recorded....?

Sorry this posting is a bit belated as have been having great problems
with my google blog page over recent weeks.


Oxenhope... 2012-08-14

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Tuesday 14 August 2012
Counting period: 8:30-11:30
Weather: wind East1, cloud-cover 1/8, visibility 18000m, temperature 16 ℃, becoming SSW F3, 4ok, 60000m, QNH 1009 steady
Observers: Howard Creber, Josh Creber

Moving Birds:
Black-headed Gull - 4
Meadow Pipit 115 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 135
flava wagtail sp. 1 -
Swallow 234 -

Totals: 489 individuals, 5 species, 3:00 hours 

Comments: A better day. Mipits definitely on the move south today thro` those counted, over the col to our east, ranging from singles to groups of up to 9. Swallows also pulsing thro` high East, largest flocks being circa 50 & 60. No Swifts or Martins at all. A flava wag moving high to the East was a nice find. Otherwise, plenty of blogging birds of the usual species - Linnets again strongly in evidence and local Starling flock now stands at circa 200 birds.


Oxenhope... 2012-08-12

Copyright 2012
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Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Sunday 12 August 2012
Counting period: 6:35-15:15
Weather: wind ENE4, cloud-cover 8/8, visibility 2800m, temperature 12 ℃, 9ok, becoming SE F3, 4ok, sunny intervals, 19degC, 36000m, QNH 1015 falling 1011
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber, Lester Ward

Moving Birds:
Ringed Plover 2 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 265 -
Lapwing 2 -
Herring Gull 2 -
Dunlin 4 -
Swift 20 -
Snipe - 1
Swallow 49 -
Whimbrel 1 -
Meadow Pipit 7 -
Curlew - 12
Wheatear 9 -
Black-headed Gull 282 -
Crossbill 3 -
Common Gull 5 -

Totals: 664 individuals, 15 species, 8:40 hours

Present: Hobby 2

Comments: Visibility, in and out of cloudbase taking a long time to improve. Blocking conditions still in place up here but a better day than yesterday and improving from mid morning. The Ringed Plovers and Dunlin left unseen, probably together and again Swallows moving west



Three Images Copyright 2012
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Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Saturday 11 August 2012
Counting period: 6:25-12:30
Weather: wind East2, cloud-cover 8/8, visibility 500m, temperature 12 ℃, 9ok initially becoming SE F3, 16000m, 16degC, QNH 1025 falling 1022
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber, Lester Ward

Moving Birds:
Cormorant 3 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 333 -
Lapwing 11 -
Swallow 33 -
Whimbrel 1 -
Wheatear 1 -
Black-headed Gull 62 -
Starling 1 -
Common Gull 1 -

Totals: 446 individuals, 9 species, 6:05 hours

Present: Meadow Pipit 350

Comments: Typical easterly conditions here... poor! Closed sky in and out of cloudbase with just a few crepuscular rays and little improvement in visibility for a long while. Mipit congregations continuing to build with several large flocks up down and moving around. Swallows west and mipits starting to inch south.