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Wednesday September 22nd 2010.
Barbondale - Above Gawthrop & Dent. (altitude of watchpoint 315 metres - Surrounded by Mountainous areas (approx Altitude of local topography maximums to a 600 metres approx), with tapering altitudes at the watchpoint (SD683865) with several converging hill/mountain ranges and valleys.
0800hrs - 1030hrs
Wind: SW 20mph (by about 0930 the wind seemed to change to a more SW).
All movement West, South West or SSW.
Quickly becoming a favourite of mine! but so windy up there today and very cold with it - even by 1000hrs.. Without doubt it was a little too much for some of the large Chaffinch parties, which coming through the incline and gap and trying to negotiate a direct South West movement (directly into the wind), and gaining altitude would soon give up and return to a nearby hawthorn tree, which at one time must have had scores of birds within it. They would then within minutes make a second attempt, which some got through and some didnt. Some I am sure found a alternative routing from within the many valleys below. At one time I was willing the birds on and felt like shouting to them "keep low and you will make it" (must be loosing it!!!), but no, they just kept climbing and trying to fight the wind, until one bird would repeatedly call and all the birds gave in and where then blown back into a sort of semi-circle... No great records, but a steady flow with good numbered parties. The Pipits had no problem getting through the wind, but their direction to the South South West was probably a little kinder and it was clear most of them where going side on into the side wind. Also noted they were either in singles or pairs, no much going on in the way of parties!
Chaffinch: 154 SW (best parties: 16,8,13,7,6,6,6,6,6,11,9,10)
Meadow Pipits: 105 SSW (best parties 8,6,3 and all others singles or pairs)
Alba Wagtail: 9 (2,1,1,3,1,1,)
Swallow: 57 all West (best parties 25,10,6)
Cormorant: 1 (from East to West)
Mistle Thrush: 11 (one party from East heading NW, but could not negotiate the wind and blown back to arc NE)
Redpoll: 6 one party, again struggled with Wind, where coming through with Chaffinch.
Starling: 4 E
Kestrel: 1 (possibly local)
Merlin: 1 being harassed by 30 blogging Meadow Pipits
Blue Tit: 4