Sunday, 29 April 2018

29th April 2018

An early morning seawatch from 0540-0800 was somewhat disappointing with 328 Sandwich Terns, 24 Common Terns, 20 Arctic Terns, 1 Black Tern, 10 Shag, 5 Red-th Divers, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Com Scoter and a pale phase Arctic Skua all heading up channel. With a natural lull in proceedings, we headed up top, where there were also very few birds; namely 4 Chiffs, 4 Willow Warblers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Whitethroats and a Swallow. The day was salvaged however by this male Pied Flycatcher in the Farm Wood (a very rare bird in the spring here).
With rain arriving, we decided to head back to the sea, where we saw a further 47 Com Scoter, 45 Bar-tailed Godwits and 4 Whimbrel. Brendan, Gerald, Nigel (photos).

Saturday, 28 April 2018

28th April 2018

We met at the Monument about 7:30 with the weather cold, quite misty and becoming increasingly horrible. However although we didn't see lots of birds what we saw was quite good.
We had 9 Whitethroats, 6 Lesser Whitethroats, a Chiffchaff and 3 Willow Warblers, nearly all of which were singing.

Overhead were a steady trickle of Swallows, 50 Linnets and 3 Siskins all moving SW, also had 3 Hobbys in off the sea. In one of the gardens at Hope Point were the first Early Spider Orchids and as we started back up the hill we had 2 White Wagtails on the path. Overhead the first 'big gathering' of 80 plus House Martins and 10 Swifts moved N. At sea was a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua and 14 Sandwich Terns moving NE. Standing at the Monument we had  several Common Carder Bees and to finish the morning a Manx Shearwater moved SW down Channel. Nigel (photos), Phil, Simon, Jack.

Friday, 27 April 2018

27th April 2018

It’s the end of April, winds were a light SE, there was excellent visibility for a morning in St. Margaret’s Bay, surely all the pieces were fitting together for our first Pomarine Skua passage of the year. Clearly not whilst I was watching! I spent three and a half hours from mid morning and had a steady movement of the following all up channel: Six Red-throated Divers, seven Razorbills, four Guillemots, two Shelducks, a Common Tern, 112 Sandwich Terns, 234 Common Scoters, 68 Gannets, two Whimbrel, a Black Tern, two Great Skuas and a Brent Goose. Two ‘Greenland’ Wheatears were also present, one of them joining me on the seawatch platform for a while.

‘Greenland’ Wheatear (Richard Heading)

Sunday, 22 April 2018

22nd April 2018

Gerald, Nigel, Phil, Jack and I were out this morning but it was a couple of visiting birders that found a Wryneck in the Paddock. This is an almost exclusively autumnal bird for us and rounds off a pretty good week. Needless to say we couldn't relocate it, a bit of a theme here!

Also recorded were a Red Kite, 25 Swallows, a House Martin, seven Yellow Wagtails, a Blue-headed Wagtail, two White Wagtails, a 'Greenland' Wheatear, a Siskin, 46 Linnets and 42 Chaffinches, the finches flying SW into the breeze.

On the sea we didn't manage to have any of the skuas seen past Dungeness, the light was pretty terrible, but we did see nine Mute Swans (scarce here), two Whimbrels, nine Shelducks and four Brent Geese all moving NE.

Blue-headed Wagtail (Richard Heading)

Saturday, 21 April 2018

21st April 2017

Highlight of the day was a male Serin seen by Tony Swandale, John Cantelo and Jack around the Monument at 08.10 which eventually flew off NE. Other highlights were a Ring Ouzel in the Freedown and 17 Red Kites which were around the area from 09.35 before eventually heading off NE.

We also recorded a Firecrest, 24 Swallows, a Sand Martin, 11 Blackcaps, 14 Lesser Whitethroats, 12 Whitethroats, a Willow Warbler, eight Chiffchaffs, two Red-legged Partridges, two Grey Partridges, seven Bullfinches and at sea a Whimbrel, two Red-throated Divers and a Great Skua all up channel.

Friday, 20 April 2018

20th April 2018

I was about 15 minutes late for the dog walk this morning. Not only that but I got talking to the next door neighbour whilst still on the driveway when a Hoopoe flew past. All the family, possibly even the dog, managed to see it but it didn't stop. Despite looking in all the horse paddocks along Oldstairs Road and over the golf course, it was not relocated. Coupled with Jack's Great Spotted Cuckoo and the weather it has a very Mediterranean feel this week! From memory I think that's the fourth record for the area.

There was a Firecrest singing along Granville Road by the golf course, 2 Red Kites were over St. Margaret's village, 12 Lesser Whitethroats and 11 Whitethroats along Kingsdown Leas and the golf course.

In the afternoon Paul Holt had a stunning Whinchat, three Lesser Whitethroats and three Wheatears at Bockhill.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

19th April 2018

Richard and I walked the area this morning and had 13 Buzzards and a Red Kite in the air together moving W. Elsewhere there were 3 Swallows, a Tree Pipit, a Wheatear, 4 Whitethroats, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff.

18th April 2018

Richard walked around the Leas area and had 3 Sand Martins, 4 Swallows, 5 Lesser Whitethroats and 4 Whitethroats.

17th April 2018

On my way to Kingsdown on the Ringwold to Kingsdown road by the water pumping station in the dip I saw a Great Spotted Cuckoo fly low across the road in a northerly direction. It appeared to go into the trees in the dip. I alerted the locals and we searched the area until dusk without success.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

12th April 2018

Phil and I walked the cliff-top to Kingsdown Leas and thence to the Freedown and Paddock. Although visibility was not good in the fog we had at least 8 Brambling in the bushes and flying over, 3 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 4 Black Redstarts and in Little Green garden a magnificent male Common Redstart. In the Freedown were 18 Fieldfares,5 Redwing, several Song Thrushes and Blackbirds and a male Ring Ouzel. Around the farm were 2 Firecrests and at the Monument a female Stonechat.
At Fox Hill Down were 4 male Wheatears by the small monument.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

8th April 2018

Phil spent about five hours in the field today and had 30 Chaffinches, 11 Bramblings, 105 Siskins, 150 Linnets and 6 Goldfinches moving NE. Elsewhere in the area were 3 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps,  a Black Redstart, 6 Alba Wagtails and a Great Skua sat down on the sea very close in at Hope Point.

Friday, 6 April 2018

5th April 2018

We stood on the cliff-top from 08:15-10:45 in a light NW wind with birds moving NE and had
917 Chaffinches, 4 Brambling, 345 Siskins, 73 Linnets and 6 Great Tits. Also arriving in off the sea were at least 4 Sparrowhawks , 2 Swallows, a Blackcap and Chiffchaff. On the Leas we also had several Bee Flies and 4 Brimstone Butterflies.
Brendan, Phil, Jack.

In the afternoon, when the wind had gone round to SW, Phil and Richard had another Swallow.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

3rd April 2016

At last some migrants, Phil and Richard had a Chiffchaff, Blackcap and House Martin at Kingsdown this morning and Phil and I had 2 Swallows, a Firecrest and a Hawfinch at Bockhill.
Also of note in the area there were 5 Buzzards looking for worms in the horse paddocks and 16 Stocks Doves at Hogs Bush.

Monday, 2 April 2018

2nd April 2018

Another uninspiring seawatch for 2.5 hrs gave us 24 Red-throated Divers, 145 Common Scoters, 19 Shoveler, 220 Kittiwakes, 400 Gannets, 396 Brent Geese, 4 Sandwich Terns and 1 Great Skua up-channel. A Harbour Porpoise was also seen.
Gerald, Jack, Nigel

Great Skua - Gerald Segelbacher

Sunday, 1 April 2018

1st April 2018

A vis-mig stint in a cold NW wind produced 71 Starlings, 555 Chaffinches, 81 Linnets, 2 Bramblings, 5 alba Wags, 15 Greenfinches, 5 Goldfinches and 18 Siskins, all moving into the wind, with a Sparrowhawk and 1 Coal Tit in the area.

A quick look at the sea - 17 Red-throated Divers, 12 Brent Geese and 2 Shags up-channel with 10 Guillemots on the sea. Also 1 Harbour Porpoise.
Jack, John, Nigel

31st March 2018

In two hours of sea watching from 08:45-10:45, moving up-channel, there were 16 Red-throated Divers, 114 Common Scoters, a Velvet Scoter, 29 Sandwich Terns and a Manx Shearwater. On the sea were several Razorbills, Guillemots, 2 Shags and 2 Mediterranean Gulls.
Brendan, Nigel, John, Jack.