Wind: Easterly 5-8mph
Reed Bunting: 2SW
Chaffinch: 204 (95North East, the rest South West) (best: 10,5)
Fieldfare: 405: devided between going SW and NE. (Again no movement with Thrushes today, probably just local ex roost moves.)
Redwing: 14 (one party 12 NE)
Siskin: 9 SW (singles or pairs)
Alba Wagtail: 1SW
Brambling 4SW (2,2)
Woodpigeon: 120 mainly SW (best 40,20)
Greenfinch: 18 (5SW all others NE)
Meadow Pipit: 6 (2NE all others SW)
Starling: 60W at 0930hrs. also about (5,000 ex roost to NE)
Also had two Woodcock on way up, one caught in side of road just past Rowley Copse and then another flew past me only yards further on. The must have come in on last nights full moon.
Some fantastic information just come in. Whilst on Hutton this morning I met up with Dave the gardener who himself is keen on birds and travels the area each day to his work. He usually reports to me every morning if he has seen anything interesting the day before, a guy who knows his birds and been very interested in migration.
He was telling me that yesterday whilst working at the place called Crook/Underbarrow (Head of the Lyth Valley), he noticed from his clients dwelling that the fields nearby where literally covered with thousands (possibly up to ten or more) of Fieldfare in all the fields and trees supporting the nearby valley, everything was covered with birds and little room between them.
So this is probably confirming a little bit more of a "ancient routing" I have always suspected. Years ago when I used to watch from "Sandside" (Milnthorpe), I used to see Fieldfare going over Storth and eventually what looked like making their way up the "Lyth Valley". And this new information now seems to support that this may well be the case....
Probably even more interesting is that on Sunday last, I was under the immpression we did have the annual semi or full on Fieldfare "thrush push" at least in this neck of the woods, but am now beginning to wonder, if it was only a secondary or semi (thrush push) and possibly we still have the main one to come!! or would that be wishful thinking!
Simply the fact, that these birds already mentioned would without doubt be the Sunday birds some of which I possibly did manage to see (in part), now being held up at the very top of the "Lyth Valley". I would certainly have expected that if it had been the main "thrush push" the birds would have carried on to their final destinations (suggested to me by others at various: From here to Stranraer, then crossing at the nearest part to Ireland, then eventually loop around into Southern Europe, before making there way back up into Northern Europe for the early Spring.... Is all this feasible!!
I think this mapping out of routes is probably one of the most difficult things to work on, because most obviously, every valley and high ridge seems to be used at various times, but does alter slightly according to the winds and conditions, but even so, there are valleys and valleys, some of which hold the most ancient of routes and if they could be linked, and a map of passage corridors worked out would be great.
0700hrs - 1030hrs & then again later 1423hrs to 1600hrs.
Wind E 3-5mph
Redwing: 232 (again very disoriantated and going in several directions - mainly SW
Chaffinch: 190 (57W all others East)
Goldfinch: 33 (all East one party 20)
GS Woodpecker: 1E
Mistle Thrush: 4 (N)
Fieldfare: 21 (One party 20 W)
Meadow Pipit: 17
Alba Wagtail 3
Golden Plover: 1N
Common Snipe: 1SW
LTT one party of 12 (local)
Greenfinch: 10E one party
Starling: 332E after 0930hrs and (1330 ex roost at 0730hrs)
1423hours - 1600hours.
A good passage of Redwing all low altitude 75-150ft, Mainly SW (unmarked) but some parties NW (as shown)
Suddenly at approx 1530hours it just stopped, I think it was because the wind had changed variable and everything went still, no mipits or chaffinch also, everything went still and silent, however up until then:-
Redwing: 1272 in 97 minutes.(40,30,60,80,20,50,4,130,30NW,60,60,50,130,60NW,30,30,10,45,15,6,30,20,10,20,12,20,30NW,20NW,30NW,40NW,40NW)
Wind: NE 5-8mph
Early strong frost, and then blue skies, with again haze to West.
Redwings again all over the place, not sure which direction to take, also seen to arrive and cascade onto Hutton Roof. In the main when they did decide they tended to go South East, with just a few to the South West. There had obviously been a fall of Dunnock during the night with lots calling from the bushes etc.
Redwing: 640 (24 larger parties and lots of small groups) all directions but the bulk to a South East
Chaffinch: 253 (30W all others E) best parties: 12,10,10,7,7.
Alba Wagtail: 9 (mainly singles)
Meadow Pipit: 78 all East to South East (best parties: 15,6)
Starling: 600 at least from roost 0730hrs and then steady small squadrons going East up to close.
Mistle Thrush: 22 all East (2,3,17)
Siskin: 4 (2,2)
Greenfinch: 3: (1SW and 2SE)
Goldfinch: 10 (best party 6)
Woodpigeon: 6 (5,1 all SW)
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1E
ALSO THIS INTERESTING "REDWING" CALL WAS HEARD YESTERDAY:
Yesterday whilst crossing over Hutton Roof from the Trig Point and coming down to the corner before entering “Lancelot Storth” Where the boundary walls meet up with another wall (and close to where the Cuckoo) is regularly seen. Well if you follow the wall down from the corner (trig side) and then in a Dalton direction you came across what I think may have been a very large “flattened type” of Yew Tree and I looked across, with my attention being took upon this rather weak, quiet softish single call not unlike “kwa” and when I looked across to the Yew Tree and several nearby shrub type trees, there was lots of Redwings, tusselling to get in this tree, whilst at the same time there where others leaving the tree and going into nearby trees. All this tusselling and josselling was going on for at least 15/20 minutes with this regular intermittent “kwa” calls which was coming from the activity tree and also all over the nearby trees in a 50 yard radious which all seemed to have tucked away small “Redwing” parties, which also in turn were moving off and giving this unusual contact call. In total I counted over 370 birds coming out of this tree and nearby trees.
I cant remember ever having heard this soft “kwa” call before coming from Redwing, it certainly is not a contact call we would generally hear in flight but some sort of contact call to announce “lift off after roost”, It was as though, they had possibly spent the day or most of the day at this daytime roost site and it was now time to move on and so they made this special sort of “contact” call to one another to say it was time to “lift off” and move on. Just the odd bird made theirr usual “Tseerp call” whilst most offered the “kwa” call.
I would welcome any information from others if they have ever heard it or seen this sort of activity, especially at 1530hours (mid afternoon)…
0700hrs - 1000hrs
Wind: SE 20mph.
Movement: East and unless stated otherwise.
Today it was freshening wind straight from the word go and levelled out at 20mph which made it very cold. Most birds struggled, and there was very little going West because of any tailwinds. Goldfinch where definately going for it today here. I had four sample parties of Redwings, going in all Easterly directions. One party of 9 was heading North and then blown back to SW.
Chaffinch: 165 (only 7 West all others East/North East) (best parties: 6,6,6,6,5,5,5,5)
Meadow Pipit: 23 (all pairs, odd single) all South
Goldfinch: 42 all East/NE) (parties: 12,10,2,1,8,6,3)
Redwing: 30 (10N at 0750, 2 NE, 9 at 0845 heading NE then blown back to W, 9SE at 0950)
Woodpigeon: 5 (3SW, 2SE)
Mistle Thrush: 16 (3NW, 1SE,7SE,4SE,1SE)
Alba Wagtail: 5 SE
Heron: 1W (terrific altitude)
Starling: 148 (20,30,10,40,25) probably all ex roost, all heading East
Linnet: 3SE (2,1)
Reed Bunting: 1S
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 2E,
Greenfinch: 4 (one party SE)
Skylark: 3 SE
Wind: SE 10-12mph and decreasing.
All movement East unless stated otherwise.
Still plenty of Chaffinches on the move, also a Coal Tit, arrived and came down in the small tree alongside.
Alba Wagtail: 5 (2NW)
Chaffinch: 156 (56W all others East) (best parties: 18,10,8,7,7)
Meadow Pipit: 43 all East
Mistle Thrush: 2W
Reed Bunting: 1W
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1E
Coal Tit: 1
Starling: 195 all East (50,30,30,6,15,3,5,12,10,12,3,5,3,1) probably ex roost at Leighton Moss)
then had to go to be family chauffeur, but did manage another hour later but at:
"Hunting Hill" Near Shore Road, Carnforth, Lancashire.
Wind: SE 5mph
very bright with little cloud.
All movement South unless stated otherwise.
Hard to pick out birds in clear sky, and some very high, heard plenty but hard to find them. But still regular trickles of birds even at leaving.
Alba Wagtail: 10 (singles or pairs.
Meadow Pipit: 69 (best parties: 8,8,6,5,5)
Chaffinch: 41: (best 3s or 2s)
Linnet: 7 (5,2)
Skylark: 11 (4,3,1,1,2)
Goldfinch: 14 (2,12)
Starling 1W (and many not counted probably local)
Sparrowhawk: caught a passerine closeby...
0700hrs - 1030hrs.
Wind: Very Strong SSW-SSE 15-20mph
Movement: All South unless stated otherwise.
Moved over to Hunting Hill, quite close to where I normally count, but some 400 yards South East as the crow flies. Without doubt this is the place to be for mipits, I thought so yesterday when I noticed most where going over "Hunting Hill". Well today it was nicely confirmed. They where still coming in on a "broad front" and I noticed I was missing some large parties going over South across the marsh to the West of me, but never the less I am sure I was in the right place to "gather the vantage". Because of the strongish winds it was "flattening them" and making them use both sides of "Hunting Hill" rather than going directly over the top of it, as they were doing yesterday. Lots were also going down alongside the railway lines at Carnforth railway station to my East. Really good "score" parties, but by about 0910hrs it was noticeably thinning down. With just odd regular parties going through up until my close at 1030hrs. Even then there where still good occasional parties of 10 to 20 plus going through, even so late in a morning.
Meadow Pipit: 592 (best parties: 10,17,11,20,15,20,14,29,22,22,20,23,20)
Chaffinch: 144 (best parties: 8,18,11)
Alba Wagtail: 50 (best parties: 13,8, lots of 3s)
Linnet: 17 (best party 13)
Common Buzzard: 3
Starling: Lots of local birds and possibly: 19 (2,2,5,10) which could have been continentals.
Common Snipe: One flushed on approach to watchsite (possibly local)
Goosander: 2 off Estuary to East (probably local)
Pink Footed Goose: 18W one skein at 0824hrs (you could see them struggling with side winds)
Mistle Thrush: 3 (2W,1E)
Stock Dove: 4
Jay: 2S (both singles, one being mobbed by two Mipits)
It really is great to be among the Mipits once again, and great to see they are here on this side in reasonable numbers.
After leaving my watch I quickly called in at Warton Crag side to see if I could see anything going over, nothing but perhaps a little windy today for Warton sides. Nice to see Tony (Riden) (Knowl Hill), busy at work with a large working party. I then went through the Yealands and across Nineteen Acre and past the garage on the A6 turning right into Moss Lane. (Moss Lane- A6 side), this would be the same alignment of the "pipit passage" we where talking about yesterday which now looks very likely that this could well be the same path as that going over "Hunting Hill". Sure enough Pipits where coming through at this point (not a lot and just singles, but regular, every few minutes) (after leaving A6 just after garage, turn on Moss Lane which leads to Burton/Holme) and I parked in the first large passing place/not a place to park on a regular basis!). You could more or less narrow the corridor down to the third telegraph pole along this road after leaving the A6. And they where all heading in the direction to the "Car Boot" field area.
0645hrs - 0930hrs.
Wind: SE 1-3mph
All movement South unless stated otherwise.
Dry, warm, bright by 0800hrs, little cloud after 0900hrs.
Although the bulk of my count was from the Car Park just before the Marsh (to the west side of the sewage works), it was quite obvious that although there is a broad corridor South, which stretches at least one mile in width to my knowledge and probably the farthest I could actually take in with my bins, though 95% of the high concentration uses a corridor of some maybe only 100/150 yards wide, I have managed to narrow the path down after trying out several sample watching stages along the Shore Road, and without doubt they are coming in at the point almost where the small "car park is at the wooden bridge" which crosses the Keer (SD 492714) and then they are going South over "Hunting Hill" (SD491707), well what I mean is that they where taking this routing this very morning, and I would rather suspect from other past evidence on previous watches from Shore Road, that this could well be a long established regular routing corridor, certainly in relation to Meadow Pipits, Finches and Alba Wagtails. Using this routing from the "Northerly" it would certainly miss out Leighton Moss and would probably cross Warton Crag - most Easterly edge, and to the slight west side of Yealand Conyers. Continuing with this routing it would possibly take in the area I did mention yesterday near Hale. I will try and do further sampling across this routing if at all possible, but anyday now I think it will be necessary to revert back to "Hutton Roof" in readiness for the "thrush movements"....
Robins calling from the nearby bushes, and a good mipit passage especially in the first hour (0715hrs first bird to 0815hrs) then a downward fall on and almost finished at 0900hrs with just the odd trickling after. Some excellent parties of Mipits and it was so good to actually catch up with this great little species once again (I have been getting "withdrawals" on the Mipits since leaving Haslingden, but today was a bit like the old days!!!)
Meadow Pipits: 537 (best parties: 10,12,23,12,12,21,20,13,11,20,15,15)
Alba Wagtails: 67 (best parties: 9,20,5)
Linnet: 74 (best parties, 14,15)
Chaffinch: 79 (best parties: 10,6,5,6)
Goldfinch: 40 (best parties: 16,10)
Reed Bunting: 8 (mainly pairs or singles)
Mistle Thrush: 1
Swallow: 4 (one party)
Skylark: 9 (2,2,3,2 all after 0800)
Greenfinch: 4 (2,2)
Redpoll: 4 one party.
Chiffchaff: one calling near wooden bridge over Keer.
Curlew: 8 in from East.
Great White Egret: 1 local.
Wind: SW 2-5mph
Movement: South unless stated otherwise.
It looked a bit fogged out over on Hutton Roof and after reading about John's fantastic Mipit count yesterday, I only had a couple of hours spare today so decided to have a look at Shore Road (probably about one mile or so further N/NW from Johns "Crag Bank" sight, to really see if I could make anything of the Mipit routing.
Sadly the weather was against us, but even with heavy continual rain, there where odd small parties still prepared to give it a shot!! and thankfully a few Mipits came through (47 in fact) and the routing corridor seemed to come from the back side of Leighton Moss and the West side of Warton Crags, which more or less I suppose put them on a fairly South routing.
It does need far more investigation, and if the weather holds OK tomorrow or Tuesday, I will try and get down there.
Meadow Pipit: 47 (best party 6, most 3 or 4s)
Alba Wagtail: 29 (best party 4, mainly 2s or 3s)
Linnet: 28: (one party 20)
Starling: 21W (6,10,5) also roost dispersal of 50S and 20S at 0745hrs.
Chaffinch: 15 (2,1W,5,6)
Reed Bunting: 1
Goose species: 20S at 0820, came up from somewhere near Jenny Browns Point (prob Greylag)
Although continuous heavy rain, there was still "midge plume" above the car...
PS: Peter (Marsh - Heysham) et al, last week I was at a Car Boot Sale on the A6 about one mile South in the Carnforth direction from the Hale Garage and whilst close to the back of the field, could hear Mipits going through regular, the spot was SD507763, now then when I was at Shore Road this morning, they where coming in a sort of direct North direction and straight over me, if you draw a direct line from the point at which I stood and to that point near Hale its almost direct and would certainly be worth far more investigation to try and enlarge our probable "mipit" routing path. If you continued the line further on in a North direction, the next main point would be at "Holme".
0645hrs - 0900hrs
Wind: N -6-8mph
Again very bright.
Again today Meadow Pipits never really got going. Chaffinch where very interesting with lots of large parties in the first hour or so, and also it was noted that they where all going South East today, a direction they never go as a rule. (Usually W or E). I probably missed some Redwing, on one occasion I looked down over Burton and could see a large party of thrushes (maybe 20 or 30) messing about at the bottom end of Hutton Roof. I did think at the time they where too small for Mistles, but rather dismissed them at the time, but later speaking with Dave at Bradford, he informed me he had several Redwing parties coming through, so now I rather think that that's what they may have been. Odd small Starling parties (eg 5 or so) have in the past couple of days started going East, these are probably early continental birds starting to come in. (I know it seems funny going East and away from the Coast which is only about 3-4 miles West, but thats the way they go here).
Meadow Pipits: 60 (best parties 6,6,5,5) SE
Chaffinch: 177 (best parties: 25,12,11,19,8) SE
Alba Wagtail: 5 (one pair, rest singles) S
Mistle Thrush: 22 (18,3,1) all West
Stock Dove: 1 W
Linnet: 10 (7,3, W)
Starling: 13 (9,4, all East)
Pink Footed Goose: 40 NW at 0720hrs
Redpoll: 1 SE
Swallow: 7 (6 & 1) S
Goldfinch: 9 (one party S)
Blue Tit: 4 plus tree hopping
Reports of several parties of Redwing coming through this morning from Bradford area heading North West.
Higher Thrushgill (Wray with Bottom) Nr. Lowgill SD646622
Wind: NE 25mph
Movement: South unless stated.
Really superb open panoramic views to its North, in fact reminded me very much of my old stomping grounds at Haslingden, it had a lot of similaries in much of its topography. Today was spoilt with strong Winds and speckly rain at times. The Pipits did come through in small numbers all heading South and kept quite rigid to a corridor of about 36 foot wide in the main, and most where flying side on into the brisk NE wind. All where at high altitude, but some where so high you could hardly see them, certainly at cloud base, so the probabilities are that I missed lots. It really is a superb venue and I must get back next week when hopefully the winds will have abaited. This place looks like it could well be one of the main places on the west side for the Pipits. I would go everyday if I could but its about 34 mile round trip for me, so for now in the main I will stick with Hutton Roof, and try and get back just now and again. Greeted by the first birds to be Siskin!
Siskin: 3 (2,1 SE)
Alba Wagtail: 4 (all singles)
Meadow Pipits: 84 (all South, best parties: 10,8,8,5,4,4)
Swallow: 37 (best parties: 11,7.8)
Linnet: 8 all E (3,3,2)
Jay: 1 North
Chaffinch: 4 N
Pink Footed Goose: 16 SE at 0925hours.
Barbondale - Above Gawthrop and 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