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Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Great Storm of Soil Hill


                               A shady looking character on the hill

                                             Oh, its DJS.
                                   Sun behind the cloud on arrival



  Snowstorm moving through the valley east of Wainhouse Tower

                                                            Clearing
  Amazingly the sky as we left. Note the snow covered road.

Late start today so it was 1530hrs before I got to Soil Hill to find a strong WSW>5-6 with hazy sunshine and right on the edge of dark with heavy snow/hail showers seen moving from the north to the east and west of the hill.
Good to bump into DJS so between us we had time to search the summits and mounds but no sign of   yesterdays Snow Bunting which I,m sure will still be up there somewhere. Not only was there no Bunt but no other birds either although Dave had clocked about 40 Lapwing near the mast as he arrived, these dropping down towards the Shay.
As we started to give it a last sweep we could see a massive dark snow cloud heading over TMR straight towards us. Within minutes the sky turned black and the horizontal snow piled down cutting visibility down to 10 yds and immediately turning everthing white, including Dave and me.
We battled on through the storm heading for the road, looking like Scott of the Antartic, but then as we got back to the road the blizzard cloud had past us and once again the sky was clear showing a beautiful fiery
sunset on the western horizon.
As we stood talking and brushing the snow off, around 40 Fieldfare launched out of the small roadside plantation and headed low towards Ogden whilst a flock of c30 Black Headed gulls flew over the summit heading for TMR to roost.

Nearly the end of the year now so if anyone is interested in having a few well spent pounds down and joining DJS,s birding grapevine get in touch with me for details . Its centred around Calderdale but stretches to surrounding areas and gives you somewhere to report your finds and receive on the spot news of whats turned up or moving and where . A perfect example was this autumns Ogden Firecrest where the finder immediately sent the text to DJS who texted it out on the grapevine allowing the receivers of the message chance to get there and see the bird, including myself.
Apart from this we badly need more active birders around the area, the more eyes out there , the more birds found.
I think the fee this year is going to be reduced to a mere £5 which only covers the cost of the messages sent by Dave but don,t hold me to this, it depends how many join.

Many thanks to Dave and Jen for running this service again throughout 2013.
BS

3 comments:

Dave Sutcliffe said...

Great shots Bri considering the poor light. I'm not sure about that shading looking character though!!!(I'll get you back sometime)
Thanks for the support and encouragement as well. It's good to have a friends support - and it works both ways.

Dave Sutcliffe said...

I still think you should have been a journalist!

Brian Sumner . said...

A bit late in the day now to change trades Dave, besides, I,d miss getting my hands mucky.