Friday, 29 June 2012

The Thornton Twister!

Some of my images of the damage caused by the Moderate to Strong Tornado that hit the eastern end of the dam on 28th June.The track of the Tornado could be traced by the damage to trees.It seems to have travelled in a generally N.E. direction from Newbold Verdon via Merrylees, Thornton and Newtown Linford. A T3 causes some bigger trees to be snapped or uprooted. This seemed to reflect the type of damage I saw. In other placess it may have been a T 2 , when there is general damage to trees,with some big branches twisted or snapped off and small trees uprooted.A T 3 has wind speeds of between 93-114mph.I was in Birstall where there was no Tornado but hale stones that put small dents in cars.At least it was not a Super tornado, a T 10, which can result in entire houses being lifted bodily from foundations and carried some distance! What I found remarkable was the small zone of intense damage. Only afew metres away there seemed to be little impact.There was also the rather eerie affect of the flattened grass in the meadows, as though everything had been gently smoothed down. So is this the sign of increased Global Warming or just one of the 30-70 Tornadoes that we get each year in the UK?     

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Lesser not Common you Tosser!

In the autumn I managed to catch 157 Lesser Redpoll at Thornton. On the 30th Oct. I caught 3 birds that on plumage seemed very different to the others. They were paler and seemed to have more contrast in their plumage. They were less brown and distinctly paler. I considered that they were Common Redpoll. The wing lengths were in the lower range at 70 and the longest being 72. The weights were however only between 10-11 gms. Thanks to the efforts of John Cranfield of Stanford R.G. my error has been corrected. They were infact Lessers. As John rightly says , with this difficult group it is important to take all criteria into account before assigning to race. I will be again attempting to catch Redpoll this autumn. I should now be better informed and less likely to make a mistake in my i.d. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who views any of the blogs I contribute to to have no hesitation in putting me right!