Sunday, 29 December 2013

Happy New Year

Just days away from another New Year,
Already there has been snowdrop cheer,
And lots of other wintering buds will start,
Like Winter Aconite and hellebores

You may see the ermine leaping and hunting,
For what a stoat in their new coat gloat,
Whilst listening for the squeaks it seeks
Amongst the forest or open floor.

Looking out for mistletoe on the trees,
a rare site it would be for one to see,
The host is apple, then hawthorn and lime,
Levens or by the Kent it climbs.

Rudolf has been and gone for now,
And time for our doe of the roe to bow
Whilst she doth run as sweet as heart
O’er hill or dale she will take her part.

Robin is singing whilst pouting his breast,
It’s orange, not red to put to the test,
No fighting today or angry mood,
Today its peace and hostility cease.

The Holly and the Ivy with holly berries bright,
And ivy slowly spiralling up the tree whilst clinging tight,
Stretching out in silence a new vein is born,
And yet its still the Holly who wears the crown….  

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Seasons Greetings to all

The Saturday preceding Christmas 2013

Thrushes are darting over the hedgerow,
Good job its cars on the road and not a bus,
One, then another, then a pair, until a dozen passed,
So low down and skimmed the car roof Into Curwen.

Further on,  passing Endmoor and Summerlands,
And even further to where the road bends,
Whilst watching out for the White Crow,
And just on cue you was there among the rest,
You stood out, to welcome a Christmas best.

And further on past Oxenholme and Nat
And just before the asda roundabout,
Looking up into the snowy sky,
There were Seven Swans a Flying,

On reaching Wainwrights “happy” Kendal,
I could here the song “We wish you a Merry Christmas”,
Followed by “Get your Big Issue Here”,
And brass did play across the road,
To welcome Christmastide.

Ho Ho Ho!
It hailed with stones as big as beans,
Whilst winds blew and rains came as well,
And thunder and lightening too,
Then “One almighty bang” was heard,
And all the lights and electric was gone,
And plunged into darkness all around.

And on that very second “Santa” appeared,
He came around that corner on his sleigh,
With lights so bright, and carols so clear,
Whilst shouting lots of words of cheer.
And waved to all the children, one by one.
Ho Ho Ho…
( Experienced on 18th December 2013 approx 1930hrs - Burton In Kendal.)

So late the "Bombus"

Last Saturday the 14th December 2013,
So late your appearance caused a stir,
I had to look twice to make sure.
You must have been one inch and a half in size,
And you seem to hover at times,
You are so nosy, your checking out all around,
In and out of the leaf litter on the verges,
Then you went in one hole and you were gone!

It must have been so mild this year your majesty!
The queen of (bombus) – the great big black bumblebee.
 (21st December 2013) and for the records – so so late!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Memories of Sheep shearing high above Ullswater

“A shearer’s assistant for the day,
High on Cumberland heights,
“Dadd-y-ing" * sheep along their way,
To each shearer’s delight,

Or carrying chalk to shearer’s shouts,
If nicked a sheep to stop the bleed,
And taking ale or juice at regular bouts,
Throughout that “magical” day”.

                                                     The day’s finish was signalled to all,
                                                     And to the barn we did retreat,
                                                     Laid out was a meal fit for a King,
                                                     Home killed, homemade, homebrewed!

It was a Saturday morning when we set off and I remember us catching the 244 Ribble bus which at that time went over the Haslingden Hud Hey and through Blackburn to Preston.  Then at Preston we changed buses onto a old double decker Ribble bus that took us all the way to Eamont Bridge near Penrith. And little did I know then, that the week was going to throw up some great experiences, but the main memory was of becoming a “Sheep shearer’s helper for a day.

The summers then (1959/1960 period) were generally sunny and very hot on most days especially during July. We had arrived on summer vacation to my friend Malcolm’s relation who fortunately for us just happened to be the River Bailiff on the River Eamont near Penrith. It was great to stay here in his family home which was built on the banks of that fast flowing river. As the week went on we would try our hand at fishing on most days and also had the pleasure of slipping the bank and accidentally ending up within the river. On another day we visited the fabulous waterfall named Aira Force.

But still the best had to come, and that was the day we went along to help (or I wonder if we hindered) with the sheep shearing at a farm which was so high up in the monstrous heights somewhere overlooking the great lake of Ullswater. The account of that very special day as I remember it went as follows:

“The day had been previously arranged for us, and can only think that perhaps our host farmer was some relation or close friend of Jims, the River Bailiff at Eamont Bridge where we were staying.

We certainly didnt complain about
"Peripheral Vascular Disease" those days
We set off peddling those bicycles, it was hard work climbing the ascent to the farm which seemed to us at the time, the highest building on the planet. The long road ascension seemed to go on and on and on with such painful leg challenging work as I remember, but at the tender age of 12 you would never have considered complaining of things like “Peripheal vascular disease” . Everything was a new challenge and we were young and active and filled with excitement of the unknown!

Eventually we arrived at the farm, and I remember that just looking back to Ullswater below and the long twisting road we had come up looked so small, set within that far bigger picture. And that “pain peddling” achievement was now so well rewarded by the beautiful feeling of being on top of the whole wide World in front of you. It did not stop at that, much more was on offer as well with that farmhouse set out in such a picturesque setting of oldy, worldy. It seemed idyllic even before the eyes of a sprouting (almost) teen.  With local stone flags and cobbles as well set out in true “westmorland/cumberland style”, and the buildings were well aged with weather worn stone which you immediately thought could date back to the “arc”, there was character all around with lots of small windows which were very narrow and tall, which today I understand would be called “mullion” windows, and the door to the farm was very old and very thick and heavy, in fact you wondered how on earth did those hinges support such a weight, but they did and had done for probably decades.  All the tops of the surrounding walls were covered in a thick most beautiful green coloured moss which lay there perfect and looked like the whole area had been fitted into a green velvet garment.

All around the farmyard there were several wooden chairs which had seen better days, forming a poor shaped circle, and these were to house the buttocks of the dozen or so “shearers”, who were the local collection of neighbouring farmers who had come today to carry out the annual sheep shearing duties. They all helped one another at this very busy time, moving around from one farm to the other, until all the farms in the neighbouring collective had been completed. What a beautiful way of doing things and I wonder if this is still the practice today.

Prior to this most spectacular of days, lots of preparatory work had obviously taken place with the farmer and his family members or their appointed shepherds together with their agile working dogs gathering the sheep, and driving them down from positions higher up on the fell sides, and down to the few noticeable enclosures dotted around the farm, and near to where we were stood. 

So the working day began!  And we were quickly shown our duties, one of us was to carry the sheep out from the enclosure to the shearer, whilst the other was to “run with the chalk”.  After a hour or two we would swap over jobs.  If you was the carrier you had to quickly get the knack of sort of getting the sheep into position by a sort of twisting movement, then to perform the art of what we called “dadd-y-ing”* the sheep whilst upright and between your legs and with your hands holding the sheep under its front legs and taking them towards the shearer where he would then take the sheep from you and re adjust the sheep into a more comfortable position, before he carried out his shearing duties.  The shearing was carried out with specially designed “shears” which were made from a springy metal.

The other person who carried the chalk, was to run to the shearer as soon as he shouted for the chalk.  It meant he must have “nicked” the flesh of the sheep whilst shearing and the white ground up chalk powder rubbed into the wound seemed to quell the small amount of blood and dry up the wound almost immediately.

There was also another job that day, but we were were not allowed to take part directly in this particular job, which was to carry around a large white jug of ale to each of the shearers every now and again and when they had worked up a sweat. But guess what, every so often we did manage to get the odd glass spilling over our way.

"Everything you could think of"
Another memory is at the end of the sheep shearing day, probably around tea time we were all invited into the barn of the farm, where in the middle of the barn surrounded by wooden benches stretched this very old large timber oblong table and it was absolutely full up with home killed meats, homemade foods and lots of homebrew to swill it all down. They had their own butter and it tasted so good, I can still remember the taste today, I have never tasted butter like that since, they had their own peanut butter, their own cream, milk, cheeses, jams and chutneys and lots and lots of other home produce. The meat had been a product from their own fields. All this good food had to be swilled down with some good beverage and although the orange juice was OK it seemed far better at the time to manage to quietly squeeze yet another “jill”* or two of ale.

Now it was almost time to leave that farm to return back to Eamont Bridge.  We could see Ullswater lying in the distant bottom.  So on our bikes in our semi inebriated one eye open and one eye shut state we began to freewheel all the way down that bendy road to the bottom.

What a very special day that was, and one that has stayed within my memory now for well over 50 years.

 (* Dadd-y-ing is probably a Lancashire slang word for the motion of moving a large oversize object (similar to a flag),
whereby you would  rock it from side to side whilst at the same time edging one of the corners forward and then edge the other corner even  more further forward. I suppose it is not unlike the “waddle”  motion of a duck.)

(* Gill pronounced Jill is a measure of ale between a quarter of a pint, or a third of a pint and as in our case was a half pint measure) 

Friday, 22 November 2013

"The Face in the limestone"

The Face of a Mate,  Found this one a couple of days ago up on the Common of the Hutton Roof Crags. Not sure who he is, but a very interesting face.  Some good features there, can you make him out? 

I think this is the fungus called "Nostoc Commune" or (Star Jelly, Witches Butter, Mare's Eggs) and seen regularly on limestone.  This was on limestone on the Common this morning.

This is "Pollyholly", I just could not resist it, being in the close area... Holly Fern No.2 (Polystichum lonchitis)

Jelly on the plate!
No thanks……

The face of a mate!   
Dun know…….

And over there is Pollyholly!
Just couldn’t resist a photo……..

Heading up through Dalton Crags,
Fieldfare, Blackbird and Green Woodpecker.
Then up onto the Common, to check out,
The Spleenwort’s and the Polystichum’s,
And anything else up for grabs as well.

Nice pavements, gleaming clints in the sun,
Sloping well on North West to South East faults
Grykes not just fifteen foot but to twenty at least.
So dark down there I cannot see,
Were water runs to cascade thee.

The Hazel, Hawthorn and Ash are almost bare,
Giving you a far greater stare! Amongst it all.
Pavement strikes up in patchwork crazed,
From all around but mainly North or East.
So good a view to Hybrid Hill, that very special place,
Were Helliborine’s debate, not sure what they want to be.
July next will tell, and then we shall see.

Showing the deep gryke which is approx 20ft or so.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Spindlewood, Autumn Leaves and a peeping Tawny Owl

"Spindle" is such a beautiful tree and instantly recognised with its "pink fruit capsules".

This shows the "bark pattern" of the Spindle Tree. (ignore the lower leaves shown here, they do not belong to this tree, the spindle leaves are to the top right)

I have found this regularly on limestone, especially on both Gait Barrows and Hutton Roof. The above specimen found on Thursday last in Lancelot Clark Storth.

Also a couple of photos here of the changing "Autumn Leaves" in Dalton Crags.
Photograph taken  14th November 2013 - Dalton Crags (from Nineteen trees approach)

Photograph taken 14th November 2013 - Dalton Crags (from Nineteen Trees approach)
And here is a photo from yesterday showing the beautiful "mossy stones" which are regularly discovered on some of our local limestone pavements (Hutton Roof).
I just can't get enough of these beautiful limestone covered mossy areas which tend to lie so secret in their dense hidden cover and as a rule are under the more mature of trees which offer them their shade and keep the area well watered. What a lovely shaded green furry mossy snugfit!! Can you see the tawny owl eyeballing the green polar bear?

Well what about this then, found yesterday whilst search through the dense cover of one of the pavements up on Hutton Roof, was this remnant of the Broad Leaved Helliborine, still well preserved from last July, and can only put it down purely to the cover it had with it being within a two foot deep gryke.

Still can't believe finding this on the 16th November 2013!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Purgatorial Tormentus of the Turdus (Pilaris)

Chaffinch and Swallow migration routing through Burton In Kendal 2013 (Please click over to enlarge)

Visible Bird Migration - Sat Nov 16th 2013 - from Burton In Kendal. (Final watch for 2013)

0730hrs-0900hrs. Dry Wind: WSW 13mph, 8c, 79% Cloud cover, 17500m vis, 1030mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 49 (18SE 31W), Redwing: 12W, Woodpigeon 26W, Starling: 5W, Goldfinch: 10SE,
Whooper Swan: 4W. 

Visible Bird Migration - Fri Nov 15th 2013 - from Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs-0830hrs. Dry, Wind: W5mph, 6c, 77% cloud cover, 19900m vis, 1034mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 51 (34SE 17W), Meadow Pipit: 10 SE (one party), Woodpigeon: 9W, Redwing: 3W.

Visible Bird Migration - Thr Nov 14th 2013 - from Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs - 0830hrs. Dry, Wind: W15-20mph, 6c, 15% cloud cover, 18100m vis, 1020mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated.  Chaffinch have taken a plummet in numbers over the past two days.

Chaffinch: 80 (11SE 69W), Starling: 60W (two parties), Redwing: 22W (3 parties), Fieldfare: 50SW (40 and 10 party), Woodpigeon: 79 S, Blackbird: 4W (1 & 3).

Visible Bird Migration - Wed Nov 13th 2013 - from Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs  - 0900hrs. Dry, Wind: SW 5-7mph, 7c, 72% Cloud, 18700m vis, 1031mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated.  

Chaffinch: 96 (19SE,77W), Starling: 90W (5 parties), Woodpigeon: 60 (24S,36W), Fieldfare: 24SW (one party), Redwing: 35W (4 parties), Siskin: 12SE (one party), Curlew 1NW, Meadow Pipit: 1SE.

Visible Bird Migration - Tue Nov 12th 2013 - from Burton In Kendal.

0715-0845hrs. Dry, Wind: W10mph, 8c, 5% Cloud cover, 19000m vis, 1024mb pressure, all movement SE unless Stated.

Obvious that there was some movement today with Starling and Fieldfare.

Chaffinch: 249 (111SE 138W), Starling: 291 W/NW (10 parties), Alba Wagtail: 2W, Woodpigeon: 228S, Redwing: 45W, Blackbird: 2W, Redpoll: 4, Fieldfare: 32W

1100hrs-1130hrs, Wind now freshening to W20mph, 9c, 30% Cloud cover, 19100m vis, 1025mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 80 (53W 26SE), Woodpigeon: 8S, Starling 48W (3 parties), Skylark: 7W (one party), Fieldfare: 282W (7 parties best 80), Redwing: 90W (4 parties), Greenfinch: 1

Visible Bird Migration - Mon Nov 11th 2013 - from Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs to 0830hrs, Continual drizzle throughout, Wind SSW 5mph, 8c, 100% Cloud cover, 7400m visability, 1014mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 195 (12W 183S), Woodpigeon 12S, Starling: 135W, Fieldfare: 8W, Goldfinch: 6SE, Brambling: 2W, Redpoll: 12SE (one party), Alba Wagtail: 1

There is also now a Chaffinch blogging party formed which can be also suspected to feeding on the recent spent maize fields.

Visible Bird Migration - Sun Nov 10th 2013 - Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs to 0930hrs, NW 3-5mph, 2-3c, 2% Cloud cover, 19400 to 19900m vis, 1011 to 1014mb pressure. Very hard frost overnight with clear blue skies.  All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 176 (58W 118SE), Mistle Thrush: 1W, Redwing 50W, Woodpigeon: 68S, Starling: 36W.

Very quiet this morning, even the Chaffinch were blogging with a party of perhaps 100 in and out of the spent maize fields and hedgerows.

Perhaps another indication of the milder weather in general is the shortage of Jays moving this year compared to past years.

Visible Bird Migration - Sat Nov 9th 2013 - Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs to 0900hrs, Wind: WSW 5mph, 5c, 64% Cloud cover, 18000m visability, 1003mb pressure, Heavy rain showers off and on throughout. All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 463 (328SE,135W), Redwing: 60W or SW, Starling: 29W, Mistle Thrush 2W, Woodpigeon 218S.

Some "vismig" notes on the Starling shortage this year:
It had crossed my mind that maybe the Starlings were again doing badly this year because of the following indications:
At my site I usually have at least one if not two really good days with Starlings moving West when I would have at least 20 parties or more over the morning.  This year it has not materialized, at best I have only had maybe two or three parties.
Also I have noted (in my opinion) that the Leighton Moss Roost is perhaps half of its normal size eg: with a probable estimate of maybe 40,000 birds (and thats being conservative), whereby now I would have expected the roost to be in the 80,000 at least.
Leighton Moss roost exit to the East which in part come over my watchpoints at Burton or Hutton Roof every morning, with the early morning passage to number quantities of only small hundreds instead of small thousands.
These are only indications obviously, but when I check the fabulous graphs on Trektellen over the past five years, it does look very much that this year will turn out to be the poorest on record (over 5 years), unless something really drastically improves within the next few days.
Whether its to do with a shortage of birds (as most people suspect), or whether its to do with them taking a more direct route into Central Europe this year and not bothering to come over the UK in their usual large quantities because of blocking weather, or it maybe too mild for all of them to even come over here this year, if theres plenty of food on the continent why bother coming over here.  This also could perhaps be a similar indication to what we have with the Fieldfare this year.
Here is the trektellan Starling counts for the UK (as a whole) over the past five years given in very approximate (my rounded off) figures for JUST the peak days: (please note these figures are only a small percentage of the actual birds present in the UK and are the results of some 10 to 15 observers from various parts of the UK, and obviously would not be a "guide" to the full quantities present, but only a token number to what are actually present, although they do give a indication in relation to the recording from the same "watchpoints" over that period of five years.
2008  Peaked over two days in October - Oct 29 & 31st      150,000.
           Peaked over one day in November - Nov 3rd                   27,000.
2009  Peaked over 4 days in October - Oct 14,18,19,22             220,000.
           Peaked over one day in November - Nov 1st                   60,000.
2010  Peaked over three days in October - Oct 17,18,25.           115,000.
           Peaked over three days in Nov -  Nov 1,7 and 8th          150,000
2011  Peaked over three days in October - Oct 14,15,23              65,000.
           Peaked over one day in November - Nov 9th                   20,000.
2012  Peaked over two days in October - Oct 28 and 29th          150,000.
           Peaked over one day in November - Nov 12th                  30,000
2013  Peaked over three days in October - Oct 19,24,25th            56,000
           Peaked over one day in November - Nov 8th                      6,620
Interesting also to see that 2011 was also a poor year in comparison, but 2013 UK peaks have been very low indeed, although I have noticed that in the past two to three days Starling numbers have been very good in the Netherlands. 

Visible Bird Migration - Fri Nov 8th 2013 - Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs to 0900hrs, Wind: SSW 9mph, 6c, 79% Cloud cover, 18000m vis, 1002mb pressure. Heavy rain showers over the first half hour. All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 168 (58W 110 SE), Greenfinch: 2, Meadow Pipit: 2, Redwing: 20 SW (one party), Woodpigeon: 71S, Starling: 4W.

Not much happening this morning, even the Chaffinch were very slow, I guess it could have been down to the heavy showers early on.

Visible Bird Migration - Thr Nov 7th 2013 - Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs to 1100hrs, Wind: SW 15mph and increasing to 20mph, 4c to 8c, 10% to 75% Cloud cover, 1000m to 18200m vis, 1001 to 1002mb pressure. Mainly blue skies, sunny at times, very cold icy wind. All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 453 (171SE - 282W), Fieldfare: 26 (8S,18NW), Redwing: 2 SW, Mistle Thrush: 1W, Starling 20W (one party), Woodpigeon: 51S, Goldfinch: 27, Brent Goose: 4 NW, Tree Sparrow: 12 (One party), Greenfinch: 4SE, Stock Dove: 4SW.

Visible Bird Migration - Wed Nov 6th 2013 - Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs to 0900hrs, Wind: West 1-3mph, 6c to 7c, 95% Cloud, 17300m vis, 996mb pressure, the odd light shower every now and again. All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 295 (108SE - 187W), Alba Wagtail: 3, Woodpigeon: 76, Brambling: 2, Starling 20S

And below are a few notes in regards to the poor showing of the Fieldfare this year. (written Tuesday November 5th 2013)

Purgatorial Tormentus of the Turdus (Pilaris) (To be taken light hearted please! not too serious......)

Why should this year be any different than some years? Why do the vismigger’s keep tormenting themselves, and telling themselves that the main push for the Fieldfare is just around the corner, with lots and lots of excuses like any day now, once the weather improves, once the block over the North Sea has cleared, its been too mild over in the Netherlands to push them through, and even now with this cold snap of yesterday some of us may live in hope and be thinking they will be away today and with us in the next 24 hours.

Ah! I know what it is now and maybe I’ve suffered it for such a long time, in fact I’ve probably had it now for 27 years if the truth be known. That’s just what it is, the vismigger’s illness what might has well be called “purgatorial tormentus” and here we are again this year, thinking exactly the same as last year, and going down the same route again and expecting this year will be that “special year” when the birds will turn up, but late.

I need to get it into my head, that if the Turdus have not arrived by the 2nd November, they are not even thinking about coming this way, its simple to work out if we really want to take it serious and accept the past histories, or at least my own histories since the mid eighties.

The birds that did come over to the UK this year have already been and gone long ago, in fact its more than probable that they came through with the Redwings on October 11th. The 10,000’s plus in a day has certainly not matured this year for me, and neither is it likely to do, in fact I have never even managed the 5000 per day mark or even a “token” count of 1,000 birds in one session! This year.

For me, its no good thinking each year that the goal post may have to be shifted, I must stick with a “cut off point” with November 2nd as the deadline, well go on then, we’ll stretch it just that little bit further for goodwill and make it November 5th, Bonfire Night.

So where have they all gone then?  For me I will go along with what I have thought for years.  If they don’t get away on the right day, they don’t come this way at all, in fact they just trundle down the dutch mainland into Central Europe. 

They’ll be lots of “berries” spare this year dear Turdus, so the one’s over here now should get fat bellies before they move off,  and because it’s so mild in the Scandinavian countries, even the “Waxwings” this year are preferring the insects! Rather than boring berries.

After saying all that, they will probably come in tomorrow.

1600hrs: Tuesday 5th Nov -  Just heard that 41000 Fieldfare have come into Bergen aar Zee in the Netherlands and a further 16000 Fieldfare into De Vulkaan in the Netherlands earlier today, and some now also showing coming in off sea and crossing over Spurn Point on the East Coast heading West, so maybe there is a chance we will get some tomorrow after all..... fingers crossed....

0600hrs: Wednesday 6th Nov - Further reports of more Fieldfares yesterday, but astonishing numbers of Starlings have hit the Netherlands, with one site in particular (Eggmond Aan Zee) having already clocked up One Hundred and eighty seven thousand yesterday. So hopefully some of these will come west to the UK today...

Wed 6th, Thurs 7th and Friday 8th Nov - But sadly for us, they did not come our way and can only presume again they have all gone down Central Europe instead.  

Friday, 1 November 2013

Visible Migration - from Friday November 1st 2013.

Guy Fawkes on top of bonfire.

Visible Bird Migration - Monday November 4th 2013. from Burton In Kendal. (St. James Way)

0800hrs to 1200hrs - Wind: NW: 10mph, 5c, 0% Cloud cover (blue skies), 19300m visability, 992mb pressure. First proper thick frost.  All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 223 (62W 161SE), Alba Wagtail: 2W, Woodpigeon: 97S, Redwing 55W, Starling: 13W, Pink Footed Goose: 60 S (one party).

Visible Bird Migration - Sunday November 3rd 2013. from Burton In Kendal. (Mike Taylors Fields)

0715hrs to 0815hours - Wind: Westerly 20mph, 6c, 75% Cloud cover, 17000m vis, 991mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated. Chaffinch still strong passage with over 200 in the hour. Also over 100 blogging Chaffs trying to get through West, with many attempts.  It seems strange that they will cut a 25mph Easterley to go East in one go, yet struggle with many attempts to cut a 20mph Westerley to go West.  Never been able to work that one out yet!.  All maize fields lifted yesterday, so only got trees and hedgerow cover now.

Chaffinch: 210 (89SE, 121W), and up to 100 blogging in the trees and hedgerows. Brambling 2 West with Chaffinches.  Starling: 30W (one party), Fieldfare: 2W, Woodpigeon: 4 South, Greenfinch: 2W with Chaffinches. 

Visible Bird Migration - Saturday November 2nd 2013.  from Burton In Kendal.  "Still lots of Chaffinches".

0715hrs to 0915hours- Wind: SE10-12mph and rising, 6c, 76% Cloud cover, 17700m visability and 995mb pressure.  All movement SE unless stated. Chaffinch still very strong passage, and still going strong on leaving.

Chaffinch: 508 (29W 479SE)  Goldfinch: 72 (6,2,18,10,10,20,6), Woodpigeon: 83S, Starlings: 142 (6 parties all SE), Fieldfare: 23 (SE), Redpoll: 21 (2 parties)

Visible Bird Migration - Friday November 1st 2013. from Burton In Kendal.

0700hrs to 0800hrs - Wind: 10mph SW, 8c, 40% cloud cover, 1900m visability, 1007mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated.  Chaffinch in really good numbers for one hour count.

Chaffinch: 289 (112SE 177W), Starling: 14W, Redwing: 37SW, Fieldfare: 2S, Woodpigeon 62S, Goldfinch 37E, Tree Sparrow: 2.

Whats happened to Shebbies and Fieldfares?
Each day I wait in anticipation for you,
to come over that hill in party after party after party.
A sight for sore eyes, if it happens,

For Fieldfare, (who travels across the fields),
for you the Rowan and Haws are in plenty,
Your trees have branches weighted down,
in readiness to fill your empty travelled bellies.

Shebbies in Lancashire, Starlings elsewhere,
You are late and eagerly awaited,
I am missing your tight squadrons,
like shooting straight bullets to the West.

Its still so mild in the Scandie's,
One chap has told us today,
His Waxwing's are leaving the berries alone,
Instead, their preference for insect fayre.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Visible Bird Migration

Dotterel might have been and gone, but them other rascals are on their way anytime now!
Visible Bird Migration - Thursday October 31st 2013 - from Burton In Kendal.

0700hrs -0900hrs. Winds: South West 7-10mph, 8c, 100% Cloud, 18300m vis, 1012mb pressure. All movement to the South East unless stated.

Chaffinch: 291 (189SE and 102W), Starling: 8W, Mistle Thrush: 2W, Woodpigeon: 111S Redwing: 12W, Redpoll:2, LBBG:2, Fieldfare: 27SE, Goldfinch: 10SE.

Reports from yesterday and again early morning saying that more Thrushes have entered the Country from the East, but as yet still little evidence on this side.

Visible Bird Migration - Wednesday October 30th 2013 - from Burton In Kendal.

0710hrs-0810hrs. Winds: Southerly 10mph or less, 7c, 4l% Cloud cover, 19900m visability, 1016mb pressure.  All movement to the South East unless stated.

Chaffinch: 177 (75SE 102W), Fieldfare: 25SW, Redwing: 3SW, Whooper Swans (heard trumpeting but just could not get on them), Pink Footed Goose: 140SW (3 skeins, 40,80,20), Common Gull: 10 West, Goldfinch: 4, Woodpigeon: 106S. Starlings: 65SE (3 parties)

(above) Please note this is not a short cut to the TV clip, purely the Autumnwatch logo. 
Yesterday was a great experience having been invited to do a live interview on TV for the "BBC Autumnwatch Extra" programme which was filmed live from the RSPB "Lillian's Hide at Leighton Moss.  It was great to be able to portray a short insight to Visual Bird Migration.

I was able to give out details of what's currently happening locally with good numbers of Finches passing over and Woodpigeons have started moving through, Whooper Swans and Pink Footed Geese are going over daily, odd Brambling's are showing together with a increase in numbers of Chaffinch which probably includes many continental birds. Also mentioning about the Redwings having already peaked on October 11th, And now awaiting the main arrivals of both the Fieldfare and the Starlings from the Continent.

It was planned that I got ten minutes "air time" but was pleasantly surprised that we actually got twenty minutes in total. Euen presented several of my sketches and random pages of my notebooks before the camera.   

Laura (the producer) and the team are doing a great job at "Autumnwatch Extra" and they have invited many "guest" which are coming on the show at varied times.  It is still on air for the next three days and accessed by bringing up BBC2 on the TV, then when the programme has loaded, go to the remote and click on the red button, when loaded select Autumnwatch Extra and thats it. Available from dawn to dusk - Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 

Visible Bird Migration - Tuesday October 29th 2013 - from Burton In Kendal.

0700hrs - 0900hrs. Winds: West 10-14mph, 7-8c, 14% to 29% Cloud cover, 17600m to 18100m, 1002-1004mb. Heavy Rain Showers then blue skies by 0830hrs. All movement to the South unless stated.

Chaffinch: 417 (188SE 229W), Woodpigeon: 131S, LBBG 12, Redwing: 18W, Starling: 6W, Goldfinch: 38 (13W), Mistle Thrush: 1W, Pink Footed Goose, 40 SSW, Greenfinch: 1W. 3 Large Egret type birds S.

Visible Bird Migration - Monday October 28th 2013 - from Burton In Kendal.  

0800hrs-1100hrs. Winds: West 12-15mph and later increasing, 9c, 100% to 94% Cloud cover, 10000m Visability increasing to 15500m, 981mb increasing to 986mb pressure.  Heavy rain up until about 0900hrs then odd heavy intermittent showers since.  All movement to the South East unless stated.

Chaffinch: 185: (122W 63SE), Starling: 37W, Fieldfare: 18SE, Redwing: 25W, Blackbird: 1W, Alba Wagtail: 1, Goldfinch: 5, Woodpigeon: 17S.

Visible Bird Migration - Sunday October 27th 2013 - from Burton In Kendal.  

"A Tree Sparrow surprise"

And did you remember to turn back the "clocks"! This morning for me, was very light for a change on awakening (normally it would be dark) and so I lost the first half hours vismigging. So Yes I did forget to turn them clocks back! never mind! too late to start bothering about it now.....

0725hrs-0930hrs. Winds: SSW 15-20mph and increasing, 10c, 66% cloud cover, 16300m visability, 984mb pressure. First hour dry, then nasty squally showers for the second hour, yet even in such adverse conditions the Chaffinch still kept going through and still plenty going through on my leaving. Could hear distant "thunder" as well. All movement SE unless stated

Chaffinch: 370 (72W-298SE) Tree Sparrow: 5, Mistle Thrush: 3, Fieldfare: 8, Starling 6W, Woodpigeon: 19. Blue Tits: small parties tree hopping to SE. 

Visible Bird Migration - Saturday October 26th 2013- from Burton In Kendal.  "A Chaffinch Feast"

0815hrs to 1100hours . Winds SW 7-10mph, 12c, 78% down to 77% Cloud Cover, 11800m down to 15000m visability, 998mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 573 (195W-378SE), Fieldfare: 17, Redwing: 131 (5 parties), Starling: 63W (3 parties), Blackbird: 8, Pink Footed Goose: 55NW (one party), Mistle Thrush: 4SW, Greenfinch: 1, Skylark: 2, Alba Wagtail: 3, Goldfinch: 14, Woodpigeon 104S (6 parties.

The best day so far in regards to Chaffinch passage with still the main emphasis to a SE movement with a third going to the West. Got the feeling that perhaps the main "push" of the Starlings will be over the next few days. Certainly more Woodpigeon about.

Visible Bird Migration - Friday October 25th 2013 - from No.8 St James Way, Burton In Kendal.  (The Motorway - M6 Corridor)

I decided to check out another part of Burton In Kendal where the broad front comes through and a part where from my usual watchpoint I would not be able to observe. Again used in the Southerly movement of birds especially Chaffinches which look very much as though on this side they come down using the Motorway (M6 Southbound) as a sort of "landmark", but whether this is so or not!. Again with a further quantity of over 250 it shows there must be numerous birds using this "broad front" which will without doubt include thousands per day (and thats just Chaffinches) over the full broad front corridor over our little village of Burton In Kendal. 

0830hrs to 1333hours. 
Chaffinch: 257 (33W-224SE), Redwing: 29SE, Fieldfare: 142SE, Starling: 30W, Woodpigeon: 24NW, Goldfinch: 5SE (one party), Meadow Pipit: 7SE, Alba Wagtail: 4SE.

Visible Bird Migration - Thursday October 24th 2013  - Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.  "Whooper Swans made it a real treat"

0900hrs to 1030hours. Winds: Westerley 6mph, 7c to 9c, 0% to 1% Cloud cover, 10000m to 20000m visability, 1010 to 1012mb pressure.

Chaffinch: 186 (50W, 136SE), Starling: 34 (8,6,20W), Pink Footed Goose: 49 (40,5,4, all South West), Woodpigeon: 11E, Whooper Swan: 10 South, Fieldfare: 25SW (2,6,17), Redwing: 89SW )(30,12,30,15,2).

Obviously the "Herd of Whiteness" was the cream of the morning as they went past quite high and direct to the South at 0915hrs.  I've just this minute read that they also had 3 parties down at Fairhaven Lake on the Fylde.  I suppose the conditions are just right today and obviously that's also why there are Pink Feet on the move as well. I got the impression my birds today were heading directly down to perhaps "Martin Mere"?  however Simon down in Manchester has had several parties crossing over Manchester and heading East. 

1245hours - Off out now for a walk up to the summit of Hutton Roof, will report back later.

Visible Bird Migration - Wednesday October 23rd 2013 - Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.
Various times of the day. Winds: SW,WSW,W 15mph then increasing to 22mph, 12c, 87% to 50% Cloud, 7000m to 15100m vis, 985 to 992mb pressure. Regular rain showers throughout the day.

Several small parties of Redwing in the main to the North. A few Fieldfare on the move West, Chaffinch going through in good numbers as normal, some larger numbered parties coming from the East to West. One party of twenty Starling quite low to the ground West.

Really good berry crops around here this year, in the main Hawthorn but also some of their "preferred" Rowan here and there. And birds witnessed having come down to enjoy the "bounty".

Its quite obvious this area is alive with the movements of Chaffinch coming through in both directions, some from the East to the West and a lot going in the opposite direction.  Higher counts on the day (eg: from which direction), all depends on the wind of the day, which will then determine which is going to be the predominate direction for that watch eg: with Easterly winds more birds will go into that same direction, even when the winds are strong to 20mph they still prefer to head in that direction, bearing the brunt of a strong headwind.  And also there is the point that birds travelling in the opposite direction may have lifted so high in altitude they could well be missed unless you are lucky enough to hear them.

I reckon at this time of the year (peak movements in this species) you will expect to get at least 300 birds over a 3 hour watch at my watchpoint.  Yet I have been up there at all times of the day and the movement is still going through strong, but not has strong, eg: instead of 100 birds per hour it will have reduced to something like 50 to 60 per hour.  This converted over a average day would see something like 750 over the day.  Now then, this is such a "broad front migration passage" here and birds are also going through in similar numbers down below us and following the motorway and main street (I witness this regular), so that could well bring a increase of anywhere up to 1500 birds per day passing through.  And wait for it!  that's not all, because we also have a cracking passage which uses the "land depletion" between Hutton Roof and Farleton on a West to East and East to West and here I have watched for the past three years at the summit of the Clawthorpe Lane and here again perhaps a little less passage, but can still be very good and you would expect to get at least 3-400 birds over the day.  So that said, Burton In Kendal could have a daily passage of some 2000 chaffinches or thereabouts on any given day during the peak of migration. 

Visible Bird Migration - Tuesday October 22nd 2013 - Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.
0745hrs to 1030hrs. 12-15mph SE, 15c, 62% cl, 11600m vis, 990mb pressure.

Chaffinch: 277 (30W all others SE best party 14), Fieldfare: 132SW (6 parties), Redwing 137SW (8 parties), Goldfinch: 7SE (one party), heard Siskin and Redpoll but could not locate, also missed lots of high flying W birds, could hear them but could not locate.

1400 to 1600hrs. Also later today had a walk up through Dalton Crags to the Trig Point and back. Had Fieldfare with 100 mobile and going W and another 25 SE, Also a large party of 60 Starling going West. Meadow Pipit at least 60 in two separate parties blogging in Dalton. A party of at least 40 Goldfinch. And 3 Stonechats (2 male and 1 female). 

Visible Bird Migration - Sunday October 20th 2013 - Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.  
0740hrs to 0930hrs  12-15mph SE 10c to 12c, 88% to 87% Cloud cover, 18600m down to 15600m vis, 998mb pressure.

Chaffinch: 152: (26W and 126SE), Fieldfare 148 all SW (best 40,30) , Redwing: 23 SW, Starling: 70 all SW (60,10), Meadow Pipit: 1SE, Pink Footed Goose: 33N

Thrush passage through A6,A6070 and M6 Corridors near Burton In Kendal. (Please click over illustration to enlarge)

Monday, 30 September 2013

Visible Bird Migration - Chaffinch are the key players.

Showing the Swallow migration corridors (please click over to enlarge)
Friday 18th October 2013 - Visible Migration - over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0915hrs to 1015hrs. Wind Speed: 15-18mph, 10c, 100% cloud cover, 17200m visability, 1014 pressure.  All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 62 (8W 54SE), Alba Wagtail: 1SE, Meadow Pipit: 1SE, Brambling: 1SE, Fieldfare: 70N (ten minutes later came back and went down into Hutton Roof to feed up), Mistle Thrush: 2SE, Common Snipe: 3SE, Greenfinch: 2SE, Blackbird: 6SE, Woodpigeon: 12W.
Lots of singles and pairs of Thrushes coming through all the time and making to SE.

Thursday 17th October 2013 - Visible Migration - over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs to 0900hrs. Wind Speed: W 8-10mph. 10c to 11c, 75% reducing to 56%, 15000m visability increasing to 18700m. 1009mb pressure increasing to 1010mb. Very quiet again today.

Chaffinch: 114 (31W 83E), Redwing: 96 (in all directions), Blackbird: 1NW, Woodpigeon: 10SE, Starling 6W, Fieldfare: 21 (16SW, 5SE), Greylag Geese: 30S, Alba Wagtail: 1SE

Wednesday 16th October 2013 - Visible Migration - over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal. 

0740hrs - 0930hrs. Wind Speed SE 12-15mph reducing to SE10mph. 7c increasing to 9c, 100% reducing to 50% cloud cover, 16700m reducing to 15200m. 1012mb pressure reducing to 1009mb. All movement South East unless stated.

Chaffinch: 116 (3W-113SE), Siskin: 8E (one party), Redwing: 42 (7N,5N,10N,10N,5SE,5SE), Goldfinch: 3, Starling: 5W (one party), Mistle Thrush: 4 (1W,3SE), Skylark 2

Tuesday 15th October 2013 - Visible Migration - over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs - 1030hours. Wind Speed: NE 12mph quickly decreasing to 5mph, 8-10c, 35% rising to 51% Cloud cover, 16500m rising to 18600m visability, 1010mb pressure.  All movement North unless stated. Steady flow of Redwings with a party every ten minutes or so.

Redwing: 1318 (27 parties best: 150,120,110,100) Fieldfare: 297 (8 parties: best 140,50,30,30). Chaffinch: 340 (102W- 238E) Mistle Thrush: 3, Woodpigeon: 12, Greenfinch: 1, Grey Wagtail: 2SE, Common Snipe: 2N, Starling: 15W, Skylark: 6.

A pair of Swallows were still on territory, certainly up to yesterday in Burton In Kendal. 

Sunday 13th October 2013 - Visible Migration - over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0740hrs - 0930hrs, Wind Speed: NNE 8-10mph, 9-10c, 95% rising to 96% Cloud cover, 14800m gaining to 18300m visability, 1018mb increase to 1016mb pressure.  All movement North or NNE unless stated. Very poor day with no thrush movement at all after checking at various times of the day. 

Redwing: 181,  Fieldfare: 2 Chaffinch: 43 (5W), Blackbird: 1NE, Swallow: 3E, Long TT:8 (probably local)

Saturday 12th October 2103 - Visible Migration over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0700hrs - 1000hrs, Wind Speed: NE 8-10mph, 7-11c, 37%-51% Cloud cover, 19100m vis, 1026 decreasing to 1025mb pressure. All movement although much quieter was again to the North/Nor Nor East (Thrushes)

Redwings: 438, Fieldfare: 19, Chaffinch: 75 (50% E 50%W), Song Thrus: 1N, Pink Footed Geese: 3N, Skylark: 1W, Redpoll: 1S.

Friday 11th October 2103 - Visible Migration over Tarn Lane, Burton In Kendal. 
0900hrs - 1200hrs, Wind Speed: NNE 15mph 8-10c, 64%-71% Cloud cover, 16800m gaining to 18500m vis, 1027m gaining to 1028mb pressure.  Best day so far with the thrushes, on my way back from Heysham, noticed birds (Redwings) crossing the A6 at Truckhaven and going off into the Yealands and probably ending up in the line coming out at nearby Levens Hall.  On my way back to Burton down the A6070, noticed lots of stuff passing through North at Deerslett and also some on the other side of the road, so thought best to get to Tarn Lane for a central point and it worked out OK.  But got jaded with all the binocular work so called it a day by 1200hrs.  Birds were still going through "thick" right up until about 1530hrs so these were all missed.  All thrushes went North, with most in the 50-100ft altitude range.

Redwing: 2385 (53 parties: best: 170,100,80) Fieldfare: 725 (13 parties: best: 100,100) Chaffinch: 12, Starling: 10, Peregrine Falcon: 1S, Swallow: 1N (silly direction!)

Thursday 10th October 2013 - Visible Migration over  Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs-1000hrs, Wind speed: NW 15mph, 4c - 7c 0-22% Cloud cover, 19700 loosing to 19100m, 1022 gaining to 1024mb. All movement W-NW with Thrushes, Chaffinch both East and West.

Redwing: 219, Chaffinch 170, Meadow Pipit: 17, Starling: 2W, Woodpigeon: 42, Skylark 6NE.

Wednesday 9th October 2013 (dad's birthday) - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal. 

0730hrs to 0900hrs. Wind Speed WNW 13mph, Rain flecking at first, 92% cloud cover reducing to 75%, 16600m visability gaining slightlyto 16900m, and 1021mb pressure and dropping to 1019mb.  All movement to the SW unless stated.

Still disappointing counts at present and hopefully will improve soon with the impending change of wind direction to Easterlies on Friday/Saturday.  Also it does look very interesting in that a "opening" could be possible for the mighty "Redwing wave"... we shall see!

Chaffinch: 99 (75 SW/24SE), Woodpigeon: 41, Blackbird: 2W, Redwing: 9W.

Tuesday 8th October 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0722hrs to 0757 hrs and then again 0915hrs to 1030hrs. Wind Speed SW 10-12mph, 83% Cloud cover reducing to 60% 9900m visability gaining to 16400m,1020mb gaining to 1022 mb pressure. All movement SSW/SW unless stated.

Still low passage ever since the commencement of the Westerlies. It is quite noticeable also that the Chaffinch passage does not have the same urgency, more casual with plenty of mid air "sallies" as though fighting one another - just a obvious more leisurable state. 

Chaffinch: 110 (101 SSW/SW and 9 birds SE), Goldfinch: 1 (SE) Song Thrush: 1SW, Meadow Pipit: 3SE, Skylark: 1SE, Alba Wagtail: 3 (1SW, 2SE), Redwing: 6W

Sunday 6th October 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal.

0715hrs to 0945hrs. Wind Speed W 5mph 59% cloud 10200vis - 1021mb  11c. Never really got going just odds (Chaffinch) going through steady but with no pace, most were just sallying in mid air like they do.

Chaffinch: 207, Meadow Pipit: 9, Pink Footed Goose - sounded like a very high skein N-S but could not find them. Pintail: 2S, Linnet: 6, Swallow: 8, Alba Wagtail: 4, Grey Wagtail: 1, Skylark: 1, Goldfinch: 8 (one party) Song Thrush: 1, Woodpigeon: 17 

Saturday 5th October 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal.

0715hrs to 1100hrs. Wind Speed W5mph. Cloudy, Blue Skies at times.  Movement all over the place mainly to the SE or to the SW or W. (Chaffinch 50%SW or W 50% SE)

Chaffinch: 419, Greenfinch 5 SE, Mistle Thrush 2E, Redwing 55 W (6,7,8,14,16,4), Song Thrush 3SE, Blackbird 12 (some E some W) Pink Footed Goose 5 SW, Woodpigeon 22 SE, Alba Wagtail: 1SE, Goldfinch: 48 SE, Skylark: 7SE, Linnet: 8SE, Reed Bunting 1 SE, Meadow Pipit: 10 SE

Also Red Admiral: 1 Large White: 1, Peacock: 1 and Small Tortoiseshell: 1

Friday 4th October 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage
Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal. 

0738hrs to 0757hrs. Wind Speed E 5mph. Heavy rain at start. All movement SE unless stated:
Chaffinch: 44, Meadow Pipit: 18 (one party) Skylark: 4, Swallow: 6, Woodpigeon: 1.

0900hrs to 1200hrs. Wind changed around to SW 3mph. All movement SE unless stated: Chaffinch: 248, Meadow Pipit:121, Skylark: 3, Goldfinch 18 (one party), Song Thrush 3, Mistle Thrush: 4 (one party), Redwing: 5 (one party), Starling: 17 ( first continentals all W), Alba Wagtail: 22, Grey Wagtail: 1, Swallow: 60, House Martin: 2. Woodpigeon: 35

Thursday 3rd October 2013 - Visible Migration over 

Vicarage Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal. 0730hrs to 0750hrs. Wind Speed SE 10-15mph. All movement S/SE. Heavy rain showers from onset to 0730hrs then OK. Going through strong at leaving.

Chaffinch: 40 (in 15 minutes), Meadow Pipit: 1, Greenfinch: 1, Swallow: 8 (5,3), Alba Wagtail: 2 (paired) Linnet: 3.

then at 0830 to 1215hrs from Heysham Observatory.  All movement S/SE, Wind speed here dropped to 3-5mph. These are purely my counts whilst present, please go to the Heysham Blog to see also what Pete had prior to my counts.

Chaffinch: 79, Meadow Pipit: 52, Blackbird: 3, Song Thrush: 3, Alba Wagtail: 15, Grey Wagtail: 2, Goldfinch: 67, Swallow: 2, Siskin: 3, Skylark: 4, Greenfinch: 1

then from 1345 to 1445hrs back to Burton In Kendal. Wind freshened to 20/25 mph ESE. All movement S/SE

Meadow Pipit: 3, Chaffinch: 20 (still moving through regular on my leaving at 1 every 3 minutes), Red Admiral Butterfly: 1. 

Wednesday 2nd October 2013 - Visible Migration over 

Vicarage Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal. 0715hrs to 1000hrs. Wind Speed: 20mph gusting to 25 and 30mph at times. All movement S/SE. Rain at first for 45minutes then dry, but threatening rain with spots on leaving at 10.

There must have been a massive fall of Robins in the early hours, because the hedgerows this morning were absolutely full of "ticking" Robins.

Chaffinch: 79, Meadow Pipit: 4, Swallow: 52, Skylark: 3, Goldfinch: 68, Mistle Thrush: 1

Vicarage lane Fields, Burton In Kendal. 1345hrs to 1500hrs Wind Speed: 20mph and gusting to 25 and 30mph at times.  All movement S/SE.  threatening rain throughout.

Chaffinch: 18, Goldfinch: 20 (one party), Meadow Pipit: 1, Swallow: 1.

Tuesday 1st October 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal. - 0715hrs to 0745hrs. Wind Speed East 20-25mph. All movement S/SE. 

Chaffinch: 31, Swallow: 6, Meadow Pipit: 3, Blue Tit: 1.

Afternoon Session - Burton In Kendal 1500hrs - 1630hrs Wind Speed East 20-25mph. All movement S/SE. 

Chaffinch: 31, Swallow: 28 (3,3,15,7), Meadow Pipit: 4, Mistle Thrush 1. 

from Heysham Observatory - 0830hrs to 1100hrs. Wind Speed East 12-15mph. All movement S/SE (these are purely my counts, Pete did prior to 0830hrs to check out all please go to Heysham Blog.

Meadow Pipit: 69, Chaffinch: 44, Alba Wagtail: 9, Grey Wagtail: 1, Swallow: 11, Goldfinch: 1, Pink Footed Goose: 71 (69+2).

Monday 30th September 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane fields, Burton In Kendal - 0700hrs to 0755hrs. Wind Speed East 10-15mph. 

All movement S/SSE - although the first bird was at 0705hrs It didn't really start to about 0730hrs and then I had good numbers up to leaving:

Chaffinch: 93, Meadow Pipit: 19, Swallow: 42, Alba Wagtail: 4, Goldfinch: 38 (2,10,25,11) Sparrowhawk on the move: 1

another count at Vicarage Lane fields, Burton 1500hrs - 1630hrs. Birds still moving through, as they will have been all day long in dribs at about 1-2 per minute (Chaffinch)
Chaffinch: 30 (best 5,3), Swallow: 25 (1,4,25), Goldfinch: 12 (one party)

Counting from Red Nab, Heysham and also at Heysham Observatory (along with Andrew Cornell) 0835hrs to 1200hrs. Wind Speed East 10-15mph and variable down and up. 

Straightaway on visiting Red Nab, we found a "Black Redstart" on the fence post alongside one of the caravan gardens. It flew off after identification and was not seen again. Also a Whitethroat and a Chiffchaff.

The counts we had at both areas in Heysham were: Pink Footed Goose: 40 (1 skein), Alba Wagtail: 20, Grey Wagtail (3), Goldfinch: 35, Linnet 16, Siskin: 8, Meadow Pipit: 141. (This is only part count at Heysham) to check out the full numbers including earlier stuff with Pete check here:

Sunday 29th September 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane fields, Burton In Kendal - 0700hrs to 1100hrs. Wind Speed: E 9mph then swung to NE 4-5mph then down to 2-3mph then back to E 7-8mph. All movement S/SSE.

Things never really got going today, and the variable wind changes really did not help matters. There is a steady trickle of Mipit's and mainly Chaffinches going on even as I left and probably like yesterday will go on for the rest of the day.  Estimated going through at about 1-2 birds per minute.
Chaffinch: 259, Meadow Pipit: 171, Swallow: 50, House Martin 40, Alba Wagtail: 10, Grey Wagtail: 6, Goldfinch: 20, Linnet: 1, Mistle Thrush: 10, Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1S 

Saturday 28th September 2013 -Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane fields, Burton In Kendal - 0700hrs to 1030hrs. Wind Speed 15mph (F4) All movements S/SSE.  Mipits at long last!

Meadow Pipit: 793 (best parties: 26,18,15,14,14,13 and twelves - the bigger parties all more or less within the first hour, then pairs to fives after that.
Chaffinch: 126 (best: 13,13), Alba Wagtail: 18 (best: 7,4), Grey Wagtail: 4 (one party), Goldfinch: 21 (best 8,6), Greenfinch: 3 (theres plenty on the move but they are down running along the bottom (eg: Hutton Close, The Vicarage level). Linnet: 1, Swallow: 38 (best: 7,6,5,4) Merlin: 1S, Cormorant: 1S, Woodpigeon: 2, Pink Footed Goose 8W

An afternoon session - Vicarage Lane fields, Burton In Kendal 1300hrs to 1600s. All passage again S/SSE

A White "Barn" Swallow" was among the Swallows going through, just could not believe it at first, in all my years birding, I have never had one of these before.  It was going through with a flock, a "dirty white" coloured appearance with perhaps some "pinky light brown" mixed into the plumage.
I am really glad now I decided to go out again and give it another shot, because besides having this sighting, it was incredible to see so many swallows going through and they were still going through on my leaving.  They were going through fairly regular at first on a really broad front, but as the afternoon went on 95% of them seem to all come through just above "Pickles Wood" and its sides.  I wondered if it was a good line for them to get more feed from the trees!

Swallows: 376 (best: 33,30,24,20), White "leucism" Barn Swallow: 1, House Martin: 32 (7,2,18,5) Chaffinch: 74, Meadow Pipit: 39, Grey Wagtail: 7, Alba Wagtail: 1, Goldfinch: 24.

Reports coming in that the Mipit's have also been going strong over Caton, Heysham and Sunderland Point. Yet they just have not been getting them further down in East Lancs and further East over in Bradford, it does look that for this part of the country at least that the passage is more of a Westerley thing, I suppose its even possible that with these continual Easterlies winds possibly bringing them across that we could even get more than usual this year.