Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Airedale Listening Station - update!

INTRODUCTION:...... Running experimentally since February 2012......Thought now perhaps a good time to actuate the logon that I have had for ages and put the Station on the map together with introductions, all after a run of absolutely storming nights of “Nocturnal Migration”, the like of which I never thought possible here. The Airedale Listening Station (circa Nocturnal Only) is sometimes in duplicate, both mobile and mobile/fixed, at 1000ft asl. +/- 200ft., with locations situated in essentially open country on the South Pennine upslope beneath the East Pennine Flank Flyway and at its intersection with the south flank of the Aire Corridor (a substantial NW – SE / E - W gap right through the backbone of England) No entries yet but I do have data in the form of continuous all night sound files from one of the sites, right through hours of darkness during most suitable nights this year, together with some earlier stuff. As might be expected full analysis of this data is considerable (currently a c 14hr file each night to sift, either manually or electronically or both) and has very much been taking second place to long hours in the field (Oxenhope) over the migration seasons and it will continue to do just so. However hope to make inroads after mid November when the “vis” season is failing here and get some detailed analysis done with critical data on here soon. As the sessions are almost always continuous overnight thus encompassing two dates, the entry will always be under the date that the recording was instigated. Many thanks to Lester Ward for pushing and especially to Bill Evans, Ithaca, N.Y., USA for getting me going! Dave, November 2012.

Oxenhope.... 2012-10-24

Snaps to follow:

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Wednesday 24 October 2012
Counting period: 7:30 - 13:00
Weather: wind NE2, cloud-cover 8/8, precipitation fog, visibility 50m, temperature 10 ℃, becoming F4 on tops and cooling 7degC, much less strong below, 200 - 3000m, 9degC, QNH 1024 falling 1023 Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber  

Moving Birds:
Fieldfare - 80
Starling - 177

Totals: 257 individuals, 2 species, 5:30 hours

Comments: During twilight, thrushes calling from the cloudbase very strongly but very few seen. A very dark start and fogs even more dense and deep than yesterday, especially at the high watchpoint. Lower down, a ceiling but much reduced on yesterday. After an initial couple of small Fieldfare flocks, could find no thrushes moving whatsoever, anywhere. Lunchtime saw a few large Starling flocks in the continental direction where there was visibility over one of the low watchpoints, the best birds of the day and perhaps the start of things to come.... otherwise a virtual blank! Abandoned early....


Oxenhope.... 2012-10-23

Snaps to follow:

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Tuesday 23 October 2012
Counting period: 7:30 - 15:00
Weather: wind NE1, cloud-cover 8/8, visibility 200m, temperature 9 ℃, becoming NE F2 the CALM before E F2, FOG, MIST 200m - 3000m, variable with ceiling c500 lifting 800ft, 11deg, QNH 1026 ridging 1027
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber  

Moving birds:
Meadow Pipit 6 -
Redwing 747+ 300
alba wagtail sp. 2 -
Mistle Thrush - 12
Fieldfare - 2
Chaffinch 8 -

Totals: 1077 individuals, 6 species, 7:30 hours

Comments: Again fogged at normal upper WP throughout. A single call drew attention to a very large Redwing flock NW in the cloudbase during early twilight at one low wp, otherwise all thrush movement detected SE today. After yesterday, again all normal and known low arrival mistroutes checked and just not working today.... all moving thrush flocks E and SE and all well into the cloudbase or above and most only just visible. Lots of noisy mixed thrush either dropping into or already settled in the moorland cloughs and valleys. So a poor day for us, sitting it out at one of our low watchpoints, then back up to the top, but no improvement, in fact worse, so an early finish today.


Oxenhope.... 2012-10-22

Snaps to follow:

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Monday 22 October 2012
Counting period: 6:55 - 16:30
Weather: wind NE3, cloud-cover 8/8, precipitation drizzle, visibility 100m, temperature 7 ℃, becoming NE F1 to 3, 9ok throughout 100 - 3000m FOG and MIST, 10degC, QNH 1022 rising 1024 Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber

Moving Birds: 
Fieldfare - 786
Redwing - 1343

Totals: 2129 individuals, 2 species, 9:35 hours

Comments: Full details later, only thrushes counted today during visits to all of our Oxenhope watchpoints to find the "sweet spot (s)", but fogged at high level. Blackbirds and Song Thrush in evidence but only on the deck. Travel direction NW or W....

upon waking, 0400hrs saw a significant increase in Redwing call rate on the Listening Station since last evening, unusual cause it doesnt normally go that way here and a further increase before turning off 90mins later and going straight out. Once at the watchpoint, well above the cloudbase, and long before light, obvious that thrushes in top gear with Redwings whistling past like express trains and the occasional scream of FF all just over head, but could see none. So with arrival to confirm, down to our lower arrival mistroutes below the cloudbase, initially with mixed fortune as either still fogged or far too noisy as cloudbase down to 500ft and below, took us far too low but small thrush flocks noted at most. A new spot just below the base was ideal, with several large mixed/pure and small flocks in between immediately upon getting out of the car. This worked for a while till the cloudbase lifted, freeing the stream, and then dried up. So back higher again and more found streaming again, and thus the day was spent as the normal watchpoint was fogged throughout. Interesting that flocks coming up the higher valleys, just ploughed forward into the cloudbase up the cloughs as they ran out of visibility, not to be seen again. All in all, a very exciting day, compounding on our findings last year in similar conditions.


Oxenhope.... 2012-10-21

Snaps to follow:

Oxenhope, Bradford (W Yorks, England)
Sunday 21 October 2012
Counting period: 7:00 - 15:15
Weather: wind SW1, cloud-cover 2/8, visibility 65000m, temperature 4 ℃, becoming SE F1, 0ok, 13degC, NE F2, then E F2, 65000m, QNH 1019 ridging 1021 then falling 1020, late afternoon mist rising and rolling in from the east.
Observers: Dave Barker, Howard Creber, Gordon Holmes  

Moving Birds:
Cormorant 5 -
Stock Dove 3 -
Magpie - 3
Grey Heron - 4
Woodpigeon 1048 -
Jackdaw - 39
Pink-footed Goose * - 508
Meadow Pipit 212 -
Starling 197 -
duck sp. - 2
alba wagtail sp. 5 -
Chaffinch 3 -
Mallard - 10
Ring Ouzel - 1
Greenfinch 19 -
Goosander 6 -
Blackbird - 3
Goldfinch 36 -
Ringed Plover 1 -
Fieldfare - 4
Siskin 3 -
Golden Plover 1 -
Redwing - 7
Linnet 1 -
Black-headed Gull 20 -
Mistle Thrush - 4
Twite * 4 -
Common Gull 21 -
Turdus sp. - 4
Lesser Redpoll 3 -
Lesser Black-backed Gull 52 -
Great Tit * - 2
Reed Bunting 3 -
Herring Gull 2 -
Jay 1 -

Totals: 2237 individuals, 35 species, 8:15 hours

Present: Stonechat 3

Comments: A classic morning with a clear sunrise over the North Sea above a deep inversion fog layer out over the eastern plane. Again a very few thrushes dropping out +/- sunrise but nothing else coming in from the east early doors. A reasonable pigeon count and mips still going well for the time of year. Two lots of twite, first just after sunrise and then a small group flushed from a favoured area after lunch all went east. Pinks again impressive but not til late am when skeins (5 No) from the east began to appear, with some unusually low considering the conditions. Three well spaced single magpies flying skywide were interesting as were a couple of Great Tits west over the moor and several herons W. Stonechat at the watchpoint and a couple back on winterering? territory were new. Gulls well down again.