The weather during the month was mainly dry, with high pressure in charge from the middle onwards. During the final week there were clear skies and little breeze with extensive fog in the mornings. These were not the best conditions for migration and although there were some excellent sightings numbers of migrants fell far short of what we expect at this time of year.
However, there was a good range of species to report notably a probable Caspian Gull at Redcar Tarn early in the month (6th) and four sightings of Hen Harriers. Two of these were in the south of the area around Denholme and Oxenhope, one on the western moorland and the fourth was a bird seen moving west over Barden. A Merlin was also seen over these fells chasing Meadow Pipits (25th) and two others seen from the Oxenhope watch point a few days later. A Peregrine flew over Caldene Fields (27th) and another was watched has it crossed Warley Moor Reservoir (13th). A Hobby was seen from Oxenhope WP moving west (26th) whilst in the middle of the month a dispersal of Buzzards, involving 13 individuals crossed the ridge late in the afternoon (16th). The following day an Osprey was seen here and a juvenile bird was also watched at close quarters whilst it fished and then rested in the trees surrounding Swinsty Reservoir (25th). A Long-eared Owl, thought to be a dispersing bird was seen over open country at Oxenhope (15th) and another bird was photographed whilst it sat on a wall near Fewston (29th). Short-eared Owls were watched over moorland at Bradup (10th) and at Oxenhope (29th).
Watches at Fly Flatts and Glovershaw, normally two of the more reliable areas for migrating birds, could only muster a mere 30 Wheatears. There were three Redstarts at Queensbury (1st) and another at Denholme Clough (6th) where a Sedge Warbler was located two weeks later. Just four Whinchats, seen as individuals on three separate days and four Stonechats at Low Snowden were the only birds of these types. A Reed Warbler was seen on two occasions at Stockbridge and a couple of small groups of Crossbills were seen in Denholme Clough (20th). A post-breeding flock of 27 Skylarks graced the turf at Queensbury cricket club before play commenced!
Migration watchers at Oxenhope recorded an Arctic Skua (25th) and the following day a Red-breasted Merganser went over. In the middle of the month a late Swift flew SW (18th) and a few days later a Twite was picked out from within a flock of Meadow Pipits. Swallows were on the move in big numbers from the 13th to 16th when an aggregate of almost 5000 were recorded on the first and last of these days. On the latter day 1164 House Martins also went southwards.
Four Shelduck were feeding on Ogden Reservoir (10th) and a surprise for the observer at Caldene Fields was a passing Pintail (2nd). A little Egret was once more feeding at Ben Rhydding (24th) and skeins of Pink-footed Geese were seen crossing the area in the final few days of the month.