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Birds and Weather - 2018

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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 12:30   #226
peterbrash
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My only experience of birding in a hurricane comes from Cape May where it was all about the seabirds. The western side was good as it was windy and dry with a flock of phalaropes, shearwaters, and bridled term the highlights. There was a flock of sooty terns within the eye itself and then the eastern side of the eyewall brought torrential rain and wind. Ten minutes of birding left my Jenoptems beyond repair and I forked out for a pair of ‘real’ Zeiss the next day.

As for ex Hurricane Michael this is the type of system I’d prayed for in my years on St Agnes. Coming up from the Gulf of Mexico and exiting off North Carolina (ish) and whipping straight across. I imagine there’s potential for just about anything to be in there. My prediction is multiple chimney swifts.

From what I’ve observed over the years it’s definitely the area just behind the warm front where the birds are. What I can’t work out is why sometimes the birds arrive on a broad front (American land birds from Hebrides to Ouessant) or sometimes incredibly concentrated, (double yellow warbler, northern waterthrush and solitary sand in a few miles of each other in Eire). Northern waterthrush, solitary sand , Rev and northern oriole on St Mary’s).

For me the sweet spot is just where the warm front and cold front intersects. Tonight’s low looks ideal for Cork/Scilly/Lundy/Pembrokeshire and early this morning the met had weather charts projecting to Monday (now taken down) that showed the fronts from ex Michael to be bang on for Scilly too.

About time someone booted a Connecticut warbler out of a weedy field edge.
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 13:31   #227
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Latest projection shows Michael a little further south - missing Ireland and slamming straight into Scilly and Cornwall
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 13:42   #228
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My only experience of birding in a hurricane comes from Cape May where it was all about the seabirds. The western side was good as it was windy and dry with a flock of phalaropes, shearwaters, and bridled term the highlights. There was a flock of sooty terns within the eye itself and then the eastern side of the eyewall brought torrential rain and wind. Ten minutes of birding left my Jenoptems beyond repair and I forked out for a pair of ‘real’ Zeiss the next day.

As for ex Hurricane Michael this is the type of system I’d prayed for in my years on St Agnes. Coming up from the Gulf of Mexico and exiting off North Carolina (ish) and whipping straight across. I imagine there’s potential for just about anything to be in there. My prediction is multiple chimney swifts.

From what I’ve observed over the years it’s definitely the area just behind the warm front where the birds are. What I can’t work out is why sometimes the birds arrive on a broad front (American land birds from Hebrides to Ouessant) or sometimes incredibly concentrated, (double yellow warbler, northern waterthrush and solitary sand in a few miles of each other in Eire). Northern waterthrush, solitary sand , Rev and northern oriole on St Mary’s).

For me the sweet spot is just where the warm front and cold front intersects. Tonight’s low looks ideal for Cork/Scilly/Lundy/Pembrokeshire and early this morning the met had weather charts projecting to Monday (now taken down) that showed the fronts from ex Michael to be bang on for Scilly too.

About time someone booted a Connecticut warbler out of a weedy field edge.
Really interesting info, thanks

Will be keeping an eye on the charts as to whether Scilly or Cape Clear look the better options.
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 15:34   #229
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Pembroke looks to be much rainier though, how do you even see birds in heavy rain? :) Also the winds will be rather southerly, won't the birds stop in Cornwall? I am still inclined to Cornwall, but if experts think Pembroke is better, it's even a little closer from Luton :) Thank again for all the info!!
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 15:47   #230
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The 12z weather model now includes the UK Met Office fax chart for Monday lunch time. It predicts occluded front of Michael moving over SW Ireland with warm front off SW Cornwall and NW Iberia. 120 hours is still way to early for certainty on this though.

Fax chart link: https://www.netweather.tv/charts-and-data/fax
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 15:49   #231
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Looks like it's going to be exciting, Jan, can't really see you not coming up with a few things on your wish list!
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 16:07   #232
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Pembroke looks to be much rainier though, how do you even see birds in heavy rain? :) Also the winds will be rather southerly, won't the birds stop in Cornwall? I am still inclined to Cornwall, but if experts think Pembroke is better, it's even a little closer from Luton :) Thank again for all the info!!
Accurately predicting where American passerines will arrive is extremely difficult; as Pete said they can arrive on a broad front or in a concentrated area. Observer coverage is also a factor. I'd stick with SW Cornwall, it has a long standing records of great birds and is much better watched.
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 17:14   #233
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Pembroke looks to be much rainier though, how do you even see birds in heavy rain? :) Also the winds will be rather southerly, won't the birds stop in Cornwall? I am still inclined to Cornwall, but if experts think Pembroke is better, it's even a little closer from Luton :) Thank again for all the info!!
Definitely head to Cornwall, much more chance of success. The valleys around St Just are always worth a look. I hope your American landbird dreams come true!
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 17:56   #234
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Cornwall it is, thanks!
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 19:54   #235
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Cornwall it is, thanks!
Just so we can recognise you, will you be wearing the hat while you're here?
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 07:01   #236
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And you'll wear the face mask ?

The exact route of the ex-Hurricane is hard to predict once it's started interacting with European weather systems, but it will be somewhat fierce. More obvious in a day or so. Cornwall, SW Ireland & NW France should be good, though

Of interest, Madeira is to experience its first ever tropical storm in a few days
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 08:30   #237
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And you'll wear the face mask ?

The exact route of the ex-Hurricane is hard to predict once it's started interacting with European weather systems, but it will be somewhat fierce. More obvious in a day or so. Cornwall, SW Ireland & NW France should be good, though

Of interest, Madeira is to experience its first ever tropical storm in a few days
It's a fine hat.

Surface pressure charts on Met Office site today seem to show "Michael" fizzling out against blocking high pressure.
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 08:44   #238
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Could be worth a look off porthgwarra today as a prob brown booby has been seen off ouessant this morning.
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 11:22   #239
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It's a fine hat.

Surface pressure charts on Met Office site today seem to show "Michael" fizzling out against blocking high pressure.
Usual shambolic predictions - the predictions of tracks of lows seems to be really poor - do they use any element of machine learning on the huge existing data sets?

cheers, alan
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 12:27   #240
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Just emerged from the no-coverage death zone around Porthgwarra. Saw some Balearics, met birders complaining that the wind is too southerly and that it is awfully quiet there.

edit: the Manx has been downgraded to Balearic upon reexamination of photos. Balearic Shearwaters are terribly variable!
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 12:53   #241
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Usual shambolic predictions - the predictions of tracks of lows seems to be really poor - do they use any element of machine learning on the huge existing data sets?

cheers, alan
One thing to remember is that what you are seeing on the charts is based on a particular weather model 'run'. Depending on the model (and there are a number of them), these are run 2-4 times every day with the results published a few hours after that.

The commonest model that you see used on weather sites are GFS, ARPEGE, ICON, UKMO and ECM. It is best to look at a number of them to see if they broadly agree or if there are some disagreement (can be significant at times). Anything in the 0 to 72 hour range has pretty good accuracy, and anything beyond >120 hours should be taken with a very large pinch of salt though interesting from a broader outlook point of view.

The results and models are continuously reviewed by the pro meteorologists, and the models are frequently updated to improve accuracy. However, storms such as ex-Hurricane Michael are very dynamic and subtle changes in wind direction, wind shear etc can affect intensity/track so they are difficult to forecast.

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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 13:25   #242
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The results and models are continuously reviewed by the pro meteorologists, and the models are frequently updated to improve accuracy. However, storms such as ex-Hurricane Michael are very dynamic and subtle changes in wind direction, wind shear etc can affect intensity/track so they are difficult to forecast.
......Michael Fish thought otherwise.
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 13:30   #243
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Michael now predicted to end into the Bay of Biscay
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 13:44   #244
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Michael Fish? I'm getting confused...

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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 13:48   #245
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Michael Fish? I'm getting confused...

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Don't worry. Hurricane Michael Fish isn't on the way.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnxjZ-aFkjs
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 13:56   #246
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O
The results and models are continuously reviewed by the pro meteorologists, and the models are frequently updated to improve accuracy.
That's my point really - too many humans involved, you need machines to generate the model inputs

cheers, a
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 14:17   #247
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this time last year the tail end of the hurricanes brought an unprecedented fall of firecrests to the south west. Hopefully could see something similar this time round
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 14:48   #248
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this time last year the tail end of the hurricanes brought an unprecedented fall of firecrests to the south west. Hopefully could see something similar this time round
Similar? Goldcrests? ... or are you thinking Golden-crowned Kinglets perhaps??
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 00:37   #249
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'Firecrest Day' on Portland last year was a wonderful thing to behold. More pertinently, a fall from the south in mid October 1996 brought not only a pile of Firecrests to Portland, but also the Northern Waterthrush.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 00:47   #250
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As others have noted, from latest Magic Seaweed charts looks like Hurricane Michael might just manage to dump something on Cape Clear or Mizen before dying away to the south-east and hitting NW Iberia. Succession of systems following after that but tracking further north - Hebs?
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