Thursday, 12 October 2017

12th October 2017

Winds were still unhelpfully in the westerly quarter but it was calmer than in recent days making it easier to observe the lack of migrants! The day started with a bang when a Great White Egret leisurely flew south over the Paddock. This is the second record for the Greater Bockhill area with a previous record from Nigel and Heather's bathroom in Kingsdown.

The Paddock Yellow-browed Warbler was still present in exactly the same spot as Tuesday (in the hedge behind the last house on Granville Road by the stile. Then Tuesday's Farm Wood bird reappeared in the same clump of Elders by the barn/grain store.

Yellow-browed Warbler- Farm Wood (Brendan Ryan)
It was all fairly routine thereafter with 35 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Firecrests and 1 Stonechat. There is a healthy (and increasing) Yellowhammer flock in the Freedown and adjacent stubble fields with over 30 birds. I spent some time scrutinising the flock for something a little more exciting but only managed 4 Reed Buntings, a Corn Bunting and and 6 Greenfinches.

In my limited time this morning I only got as far as the Empty Wood, though Richard covered the area from Kingsdown to Hope Point. There were a few more birds at that end of the area but none of the good stuff! 94 Chiffchaffs, 30 Goldcrests, five Blackcaps, seven Stonechats, a Little Egret, two Ravens and a Clouded Yellow. Two Firecrests were in a big mixed flock of birds and one of them, as you can see from the photo below, had a ring on it's right leg. Unfortunately the camera and indeed the binoculars are not powerful enough to read it!

Firecrest (Richard Heading)
Dave Brown had a Bearded Tit fly over the Farm Wood at midday. This is as far as we are aware only the second Bockhill record, the first having been seen by Andy Hamby, many years ago.

One of 30 Yellowhammers in the Freedown (Brendan Ryan)

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