Sunday, 10 November 2013

Visible Migration

10 years ago Brian Sumner and Peter Smith told me all about the wonders of Vis - Mig in the |Pennines and since then it has become a bit of an obsession  ,  David barker and the Ox crew never cease to amaze me with what they record at there site (not too far away) , it has had great rewards over the years but I've never had a really  BIG DAY until today......
   I got up at 6.30 the ground frozen underfoot and clear skies in every direction with stars still glinting. The local Jackdaw roost broke at 6.45 with about 300 noisily flying overhead .At 7.10 the first Woodpigeons were seen counting went something like this 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,20,30 ,40,50,100,200,300,500 ,1000 ,1100,1200,1500,first flock... amazing then it just went belistic with flocks in every direction ,close ...another 1000, distant 500 x 3 long streams all across the sky. Starlings in small squadrons heading west and 10 Pinks the same way/By now I was struggling with the sheer numbers of birds, A ' chew'  bunting was herd but a black sillouette was unidentifiable to species. Woodpigeons were not letting up at all and there were massive flocks high in the sky and a continuose  stream heading sswest between Emily Moor and Holme Moss.I had a quick count up and had 20,000 + and it was getting  out of control.I had to give up on the distant flocks and just consentrate on the ones close enough to count.
   Large Gulls started to move west with LBBGulls and Herring gulls and the odd GBB,Common Gulls as well made a big move, Then another chew and a rattle then a good visual of the bird less than 10 feet away and about only  8 foot above the ground.Lap Bunt..no let up in the Woodpigs with numbers now reaching 40,000 and beyond. The final total at  10.45 was 48,841 with a small move of 1427 back NEast. A Raven over west was another rare sighting here .

4 comments:

Brian Sumner . said...

One of the wonders of vis mig Andy.
One morning like yours and you,re hooked forever.
One of my first to get me hooked was a morning of 57,000 Meadow Pipits at TMR with DCB and HC. Clouds of them streamed through even flying through the legs of our tripods.
Not an easy task for you alone this morning but a well deserved reward for the time you,ve put into it.
It won,t be sheep you,re counting tonight.

Nigel Kerwin said...

What a session, I'd need 3 days off after that!

AndyC said...

Cheers boys ,,,,,the thing is tomorrow (tues) looks good....................

Dave Sutcliffe said...

Amazing day Andy and great news with the 'chew' - they can be tricky but pleased you got a result.