Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Visible Migration 2nd Oct 2012 - Hutton Roof and searching new areas.

Visible Migration – Tuesday 2nd October 2012 – Hutton Roof.
0715hrs – 0815hrs
Wind S/SW 12-15mph.
Movement: South unless stated.

Still quiet with atrocious weather, strong winds, heavy rain showers.

Meadow Pipits: 32
Chaffinch: 32 mainly W some E
Alba Wagtail: 3
Mistle Thrush: 4W
Goldfinch: 2W

After an hour, I decided to check out new areas for possible future Mipit counting.

I was trying to find potential sites which met the following criteria: 1) A site which was a busy flight path for Meadow Pipits heading South on their Autumn migration. 2) A suitable “laybye” or pull in where I could park the car under this busy flight path, whilst at the same time respecting privacy to nearby residents. And 3) A area suitable which did not have “interfering traffic noise or background noise). To find these sort of areas can be very difficult.

I took the small road which leads from the small hamlet of Hutton Roof and is signposted to Kirkby Lonsdale, which heads in a East direction. There is a “pull in” which is probably about ¾ way along this road and shown on the map as “Gallowbar Lane. The area is at SD5905078808. At this point there is actually a “muckpile” just beyond the gateway. A good open “vista” to the South West, which I suspect to be a main mipit thoroughfare to the South, in the direction to “Docker” and beyond, to its South West and West is Hutton Roof Crags, and to its North is the “Lune Valley”, near the Lupton area, and areas further North of Kirkby Lonsdale. Sadly to its East and close up is a large copse area. Probably this site would be very sheltered at this point, but considered perhaps secondary, if better sites could be found.

Shortly after leaving this site and arriving at the junction where if you turn right it takes you to Burton In Kendal, turn left it takes you to Whittington and if you retrack it takes you to Kirkby Lonsdale. About 100 yards before this junction and heading directly in a Southerly direction were parties of hirundines and Chaffinches, these I would presume if carried on in the same flightpath would go behind Newton, towards the Arkholme/Gressingham/Claughton/Littledale areas and onward through the Trough Of Bowland.

I had a quick check out at Newton, and before long decided to check out the Docker areas, so I left the laybe at Newton on the main road (B6254) in a Arkholme direction and after only a few hundred yards took the right turn signposted to Docker. After travelling on this road for just short of one and a half miles. You come to a short tarmac pull in, a few hundred yards past a farm on the right signposted “Twinfields pedigree herd (Outfield Farm). The area is (SD5823374284). Slightly East to the area of Docker. Straightaway after parking up, there where at the point about 30 blogging Mipits and quite a lot of hirundines and Chaffinces and Mipits going steadily through. The views to the back or North and West are open with good “skyviews”, but the views directly to the East and South East are quite distant and open with good views over "Goodber" etc, but a drawback is that the immediate areas which take up about ¾ of the view is within background of fields and trees etc and passage birds could well be missed with the blend into the background. Although you do see the top ¼ of open sky. During the 30 minutes I stayed there I never encounted any traffic, could not hear any traffic noise from afar (not bad to say it was blowing South Westerlies). And away from site of any nearby buildings. So I would probably say that the site meets with 75% of the requirement and I will certainly give it a more in depth check out very soon.

Shortly just after leaving this road (just a couple of hundred yards), I turned to the right hand which took me up towards Docker and onward to Burton West. At the point where I turned off there were also many blogging Meadow Pipits, which again just reinforced the strength of the area and confirmed many suspicions I had had for a long time.