Thursday, 15 October 2015


If only visible migration was so simple!


Saturday 31st October 2015 - 1130hrs to 1430hrs - Hutton Roof Walk

Weather was OK at first but turned to drizzly rain with poor visibility by 1330hrs, yet did prior to this manage to pick up one or two parties of thrushes:

Redwing: 183 all N/NW (20,30,60,20,40 etc)
Fieldfare: 80 all S/SE (20,80)

Saturday 31st October 2015 - 0700hrs to 1100hrs - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD5384277020 and SD5383676964

Wind: SE 8-20mph, 12c, 53% Cloud cover, 1019mb pressure.
Clear morning (at start) and birds were going over immediately although in small numbers, but the quick burst of birds was over almost as quick as it started.  The routing of the Fieldfare today had taken on a South East, whilst most of the Redwing kept to their West/North West corridors. The Main line of Fieldfares today was noticed travelling down the central Pennines with counts of 9000 birds in Bradford, and 5000 in Winter Hill. The last two or three days have been good with Albas

Redwing: 312 predominately West (but some South/SE, NW, N)
Fieldfare: 802 predominately SE with odds going in various
Alba Wagtail: 17 (one pair and all the rest singles) SE
Chaffinch: 122 SE (Lets celebrate, the first three figure count this year!)
Goldfinch: 6 SE
Skylark: 4E
Meadow Pipit: 4 SE
Redpoll: 1 SE
Greenfinch: 3 SE (all singles)
Linnet 1 SE
finch species: 20 party travelling with Fieldfare party.
Woodpigeon: 83 SE
Starling: 24
Pink Footed Goose: 35 (East to South West)
Goosander: 1 SE

Red Admiral Butterfly: 1
Comma Butterfly: 1

Birdwatching over Pendle can turn up many surprises  (Click over sketch to enlarge)

Friday 30th October 2015 - 0700hrs to 0800hrs (Rain and Fog)

Wind: E 8-13mph, 9c, 100% Cloud Cover, 1011mb pressure.
Heavy rain right from off and visibility down to 200 yards either side.  Did eventually stop raining at 1100hrs.

Redwing: 30 SW
Goldfinch: 20 SE

(Large Fieldfare movements noted even through bad weather at: High Tatham and further South at Winter Hill). Mega numbers of Fieldfares had previously landed in Northern Scotland and have been recorded heading South.

Thursday 29th October 2015 - Later in the day 12 to 3pm
Wind: backed off by 1130hrs and rain stopped. Saw lots of Redwing heading South and later Fieldfare also heading South

Redwing: 483 Mainly West (2x100 parties, the rest in 10s to 30s - directions W,S.
Fieldfare: 190 South (from Hutton Roof: 50S, 60SE,80S)
Meadow Pipit: 3
Skylark 1S 

Thursday 29th October 2015 - NO VIS TODAY  (Strong Winds and Heavy Rain)

Wind: SSE 18-41mph, 10-11c, 89% Cloud cover, 1003mb pressure.  Heavy Rain

Did notice a couple of small parties of Redwing fighting the winds and head South over a five minute period so probably some sort of movement going on. 

Wednesday 28th October 2015 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD5384277020 and SD5383676964 0700hrs to 0815hrs

Wind: E5-6mph, 11c, 99% Cloud cover, 1005mb pressure, light drizzle then half way through started with heavy rain. Poor viz with fog at 200 yards both sides and worsening. All SE unless stated otherwise.

Chaffinch: 12
Alba Wagtail: 5
Starling: 7W
Fieldfare: 1SE

Tuesday 27th October 2015 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD5384277020 and SD5383676964 0700hrs to 0845hrs

Wind: E15-20mph, 8-11c, 65% Cloud cover, 1010mb pressure.

Fieldfare: 55 (5SE and 50SW)
Redwing: 42 (20NW, 22 SW)
Alba Wagtail: 1
Meadow Pipit: 1
Chaffinch: 21 SE (Same number as yesterday)

Woodpigeon: 15 SE
Starling 38 W

Monday 26th October 2015 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD5384277020 and SD5383676964 0700hrs to 0845hrs

Wind: SE 16-28mph, 8c, 69%, 1013mb pressure.  Definate start up with Alba Wagtails

Redwing: 4 (2SW,2W)
Chaffinch: 21 SE
Greenfinch: 1 SE
Redpoll: 1 SE
Alba Wagtails: 10 SE (one party 5)
Starling: 13W
Skylark: 5 SE
Woodpigeon: 5 SE
Long Tailed Tit: 15 (One party)

Sunday 25th October 2015 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD5384277020 and SD5383676964 0700hrs to 0845hrs

Wind: WSW 7-10mph, 7-10c, 98% Cloud cover, 1022mb pressure.  Off and on heavy rain showers throughout.

Starling: 45W
Redwing: 41 (23NW the rest SW or W)
Fieldfare: 13 W (one party)
Woodpigeon: 58 SE (5 parties)
Chaffinch: 40 (3x5 parties)
Goldfinch: 14 SE 
Alba Wagtail: 2

Saturday 24th October 2015 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD5384277020 and SD5383676964 - 0800hrs to 0900hrs

Wind: South 15-20mph llc, 100% Cloud cover, 1006mb pressure. - Heavy Rain Shows off and on

Alba Wagtail: 2SE
Redwing: 4 S/SW/SE (South but undecided)
Chaffinch: 7 SE
Goldfinch: 4S

Friday 23rd October 2015 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD5384277020 and SD5383676964 - 0800hrs to 1000hrs

Wind: South 10-15mph, 7-9c, 100% Cloud cover, 1018mb pressure. 
Quiet today with very few birds about, The few Thrushes I had were unsure of direction. Still very few Chaffinch showing.

Redwing: 150 predominently West (8 parties) (69W, 33SE, 30SW, 18S)
Blackbird: 2W
Starling: 1W
Chaffinch: 41SE (Wow! I actually managed a 6 party..)
Greenfinch: 1SE
Goldfinch: 8 SW (one party)
Meadow Pipit: 1SE
Alba Wagtail: 3 SE (separate birds)

None of this when you are "vismigging" - You may wish you could lie in but you must be up and ready for dawn - and with the Thrushes imminent "early to bed early to rise"

Thursday 22nd October 2015 - Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0800 to 0900hrs

Wind West 20-25mph 12c, 15% Cloud cover, 1012mb pressure.

Wind far too strong and would I presume have kept the majority of Thrushes using cuttings etc and blending in too much with the background.  Did manage a few also a few brave little Chaffinches struggling through.

Redwing: 22W (20+2)
Mistle Thrush: 3
Starling: 2W and (50x roost E)
Alba Wagtail: 2SE
Woodpigeon: 20 SE

Will we get our Shrike or Shrikes back again this year?  Well I was up on Hutton Roof yesterday checking out if any had returned, because reports have been showing of several having already turned up over at Spurn on the East Coast and also a couple of days ago my vismig friend Dave from over at Bradford actually was lucky enough to get one coming through on Vis, so obviously they are about. Usually the earliest we get them on Hutton Roof will be 4th November onwards, so I will be checking the area on a regular basis.

A little sketch from last year

Wednesday 21st October 2015 - Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0800hrs to 1030hrs

Wind: SW15mph, 15c, 100% Cloud, 1012mb pressure. Heavy fog over Hutton Roof and light drizzle throughout.  All movement South unless stated otherwise. Thrushes today were low flying and of slow meandering flight mainly to the West.

Redwing: 525 mainly W  (Main line formed to W but did have 151 to SE and 35SW)
Fieldfare: 18 (5W,3SW,10SE)
Starling: 60W (4 parties)
Chaffinch: 45 SE
Goldfinch: 1SE
Greenfinch: 1SE
Alba Wagtail: 1SE
Skylark: 1SE
Common Snipe: 2W (1,1)
Golden Plover: 1W

Tuesday 20th October 2015 - Hutton Roof (Farleton Side) SD5498179279 0800hrs to 1100hrs

Wind: WNW 6-8mph, 7-10c, 80% Cloud cover, 1016mb pressure. Fogbound at first to all areas with a little clearing as the morning went on, but still some hanging about in the valley or low areas.

Redwing: 55 (40SE,15NW)
Fieldfare: 23N
Chaffinch: 3S
Meadow Pipit: 3S
Starling: 100W (5 parties)
Goldfinch: 10W (1 party)


I have noticed that since I started doing visible bird migration this year 18th September to date that Chaffinch numbers are down by massive numbers in comparison to last year.
I suppose for some time now I have put this down to a mild autumn and that they were late in coming through, but this is just getting ridiculous.
The largest parties I have had this year is 5s whereby I used to get parties up to 20s last year.  This year most of the birds coming through are just singles or pairs, very few in parties.
Last year my counts over my watchpoint in Burton In Kendal, Cumbria between the dates September 30th and October 20th 2014 I counted 10,714 birds.
This year over a comparable period (slightly less time at watchpoint) I have only had 1,103 birds.
Last year peak days: Oct 9th (1310 birds), Oct 10th (1351 birds) Oct 18th (1022 birds)
This year peak days: Oct 11th (121 birds) Oct 15th (133 birds)
Last year we had another peak on October 25th (1079 birds) it will be interesting to see how many we get. I have been in touch with a couple of other local recorders in Lancashire who are also experiencing similar situation.
I have tried to understand what is going on here.  I did at one time think that perhaps the birds are just late coming through, but has the days go on and on I don’t think this can be the reason.
I would love to hear about any suggestions anyone may have. 
Bryan Yorke

Monday 19th October 2015 - Hutton Roof (Farleton Side) SD5498179279) 0800hrs to 1300hrs

Wind: NE 5-6mph, 5-10c, 50% Cloud cover, 1027mb pressure.

95% of all movement was North

Very few birds had actually come through by 0915hrs (eg: 527) and had gone generally very quiet and I was just about to pack up and by 0945hrs Redwing started to pile through with party after party with 98% coming in from a entry somewhere over Lancaster and going over Hutton Roof (from West side to East Side) before crossing the Lune Valley and continuing to the North probably in a Killington direction. Some large parties came through and by just as quick as it had started by approx 1030hrs (45 minutes later) it stopped and during the time of busy passage I had no less than 1675 Redwings (in 45 minutes).  Birds kept coming through every 5 to 10 minutes after that and by 1300 things had gone really quiet, but although I packed up I am sure birds would have carried on all day.

Redwing: 3170 (95% North, some W,NW) (46 parties) (best parties: 400, 5x150)
Fieldfare: 600 (95% North, some NW) (14 parties) (best parties: 80, 3x70)
Starling: 30 W
Meadow Pipit: 27
Chaffinch: 8
Grey Wagtail: 1W
Greenfinch: 4 (3 E)
Goldfinch: 6 (one party 5E)

Wall Butterfly x 2

Redwing corridor over Hutton Roof on 19th Oct 2015  (Click over to enlarge)

The above is roughly the line they took today coming in from somewhere in the Lancaster direction and then crossing over Hutton Roof from South West side to North East Side and continued to head North in a direction which would probably lead to Killington. 

Wall Butterfly on Farleton today  (Click over to enlarge)
There were two at the side of my watchpoint - I suppose this tells you it must be mild when you are seeing Walls in mid to late October......


New Watchpoint for "Thrushes" only - Hutton Roof (Farleton Side) SD 5498179279 
(Click over to enlarge)

Sunday 18th October 2015 - Hutton Roof - Farleton Side (SD5498179279) (0730hrs to 1000hrs)

Wind NNE 12-18mph 7-10c (but felt very cold) 90% cloud, 1024mb pressure.

Although dawn started with the sounds of Fieldfare (unseen), it quickly became apparent we were not going to get birds in any amounts, far different to the early feel of yesterday. Odd parties did go through, some taking the Lune Valley route (this route would have been missed yesterday)

Redwing: 372 (11 parties) best 60,50 2x40 main direction West some South West, SE.
Fieldfare: 127 (4 parties) 57 North and 70 West.
Starling: 54 (one party 50)
Meadow Pipit: 1
Chaffinch: 3
Alba Wagtail: 2SE
Pink Footed Goose: 9NE

Saturday's Thrush Corridors  (Click over photo to enlarge)

Saturday 17th October 2015 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0730hrs to 1400hrs)

Wind: North 8-10mph, 6-10c, 50% Cloud, 1025mb pressure. Thrush passage predominently North West and North.

More or less from the word go, I thought things were happening and we had a good movement which tapered from lunchtime, but up until then had been nice and steady.  From 1000hrs there was a Fieldfare build and from this I am guessing tomorrow could be great. Unusual that the Fieldfare (90% went North yet the Redwing maintained a North West).  Majority of all parties were at about 100 to 200ft high and nice and easy to pick up with the grey clouds and good clear light. Still Fieldfare going through on leaving, in silent meandering parties at approx one party per 20 mins.

Redwing: 4550 (111 parties - best: 350,250,200 a few 100 plus) - 90% of birds NNW with some bouncing back to SE, some West, odd parties South West.
Fieldfare: 1286  (30 parties - best: 150,100, 2x80, several 70s) Predominently North although a few were mixed in with the Redwing.
Goldfinch: 22
Greenfinch: 1
Chaffinch: 104
Pink Footed Goose: 100 plus (way out over Bay)
Golden Plover (audible only)
Gt Spotted Woodpeckers: 2 S
Red Admiral Butterfly: 2

Friday 16th October 2015 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0730hrs to 1030hrs)

Wind: NNE 9-15mph, 7-10c, Cloud 70% to 90%, 1027mb pressure. Fine throughout but cold. All birds South unless stated.

Today the birds did not seem up for it, with birds going in all directions, although a line did start to form on a South to NNW, although this did not last for long. 90% of all birds did have a general W to N direction. Very little after 0900hrs just the odd loose flock. Lots of stuff again leaving Hutton Roof after a night roost. Also birds seen to plummet for the skies into HR, some blogging taking off and then shortly returning to HR.  Chaffinch still very quiet.

Redwing: 501 S to NNW (a good number going W, small numbers going N, E and SE
Fieldfare: 5 NNW
Blackbird 1 W
Starling: 56 (some E, some S
Greenfinch: 1
Redpoll: 1
Goldfinch: 6
Skylark: 8
Alba Wagtail: 1
Chaffinch: 113
Meadow Pipit: 1

Thursday 15th October 2015 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0730hrs to 1100hrs)

Wind: NE 8mph, 5-9c, 20-50% Cloud cover, 1025mb pressure. very cold when sun went behind cloud, cloud slow moving. Birds at Medium altitude eg: 100-300ft

Redwing: 976 W to NW (odds going N or E) - best: 2x80, 2x50, 4x40.
Fieldfare: 169 W to NW (best 80,40,30)
Blackbird: 2 SW
Mistle Thrush 3W
Starling: 46E
Redpoll: 12 (missed lots of high flyers)
Chaffinch: 133 (where on earth are they all?)
Goldfinch: 9
Greenfinch: 2
Reed Bunting: 1
Skylark: 9
Alba Wagtail: 1

Red Admiral Butterfly: 2

Wednesday 14th October 2015  NO COUNT TODAY

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

THANK YOU - Cumbria Wildlife Trust - Gold Badger's Paw Award

Thanks to Cumbria Wildlife Trust for kindly awarding me the "Gold Badger's Paw Award" at Newton Rigg College, Penrith last Friday.

L to R - Award Recipients - David Hussell, Barbara O'Connor, Anne Powell Trust Chairman), Adrian Banford, Irene Downing, Bryan Yorke, Sue Shields and Peter Bullard (Trust Director) - Photo: Charlotte Rowley (Cumbria Wildlife Trust)

Yours truly (Hutton Roof) and Sue Shields (Burneside)
Photo: Charlotte Rowley (Cumbria Wildlife Trust)