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)