Sunday, 17 October 2021

17 October 2021

The southerly wind and overcast condition promised more than it delivered, although the sites 3rd Cetti's Warbler was heard in the Gun Emplacement by Julian and Steve. Otherwise, 2 Stonechat, 7 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and a Merlin were the most notable birds .

Overhead there were 338 Goldfinch, 10 alba Wags, 1 Reed Bunting, 16 Siskin, 16 Chaffinch, 16 Linnet, 2 Brambling, 2 Swallow, 1 House Martin moving south and nearly 1000 Starling in off.

Nigel, Simon, Julian Russell, Steve Clinch

Saturday, 16 October 2021

16th October 2021

 A case of one that got away ( from most that were present) 

A mid-morning panic when Simon found a Radde's Warbler on the path to the Gun Emplacement. Unfortunately it disappeared after giving only brief views and could not be re-found when the rest of us on site arrived.  

Up until that point it had been a fairly routine morning with a reasonable but light viz mig; 27 Barn Swallows, 50 House Martins, 30 Alba Wagtails, 175 Meadow Pipits six Bramblings, 499 Goldfinches, six Greenfinches, eight Siskins, one Lesser Redpoll,  860 Starlings and 13 Reed Buntings

Chiffchaffs numbers had plummeted with only five being recorded along with four Blackcaps. Also seen one Hobby, single Firecrest and Goldcrest, one Fieldfare, seven Redwings, six Song Thrushes and three Stonechats.

A short seawatch around midday by Simon produced two Velvet Scoter, and an Arctic Skua

Starlings- in off 

Best count of Reed Buntings so far this autumn

Simon Warry, Nigel, Gerald, Brendan and Richard 

Friday, 15 October 2021

15 October 2021

Another NW, another day with little to show for the effort.

A steady movement of Goldfinch with 592 noted during the morning, together with 2 Brambling, 13 Chaffinch, 9 Siskin, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Grey Wags, 13 alba Wags, 26 Swallows and 75 House Martins, all moving up channel.

Grounded migrants were limited to 34 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap and 3 Stonechat.

Brendan, Nigel

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

13th October 2021

 Light NW sunny Very cold early morning with slight frost. 

A rather uneventful day with a little overhead movement of finches including four Bramblings, eight Siskins and two Redpolls. Finch of the day was however two Greenfinches in the Paddock.  

Redwings which were being reported in large numbers elsewhere during the morning were conspicuously absent with just a single bird, although 11 Song Thrushes and one Mistle Thrush was recorded. Other migrants included 26 Chiffchaffs, four Blackcaps, a Firecrest and seven Stonechats. 


Reed Bunting

Meadow Pipit 

Buzzard and friend 

Monday, 11 October 2021

11th October 2021

 NW cold breeze easing slightly during the morning.

There was a small movement NE of six Swallows, 30 Alba Wagtails, 34 Meadow Pipits, two Redpolls, 46 Chaffinches, 173 Goldfinches, two Bramblings, seven Siskins and a Reed Bunting.

Grounded migrants included a Redstart, three Stonechats, five Blackcaps, 33 Chiffchaffs and a Firecrest.

In the fields were six Ravens, a Rook (rare for us), 50 Carrion Crows and 65 Skylarks whilst overhead three Kestrels, four Buzzards and a Peregrine annoyed them all.

Nigel. Jack.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

10th October 2021

Thick fog early morning produced a Bluethroat and Redstart on the clifftop. Sadly the bluethroat quickly disappeared before other observers could arrive to enjoy only our third record of the species. 

Other birds seen once the fog lifted included four Stonechats, one Wheatear, 37 Chiffchaffs, nine Blackcaps and two Firecrests, 

Jack, Nigel, Brendan, Richard, Simon, John Cantelo

Redstart (NJ)

Saturday, 9 October 2021

9th October 2021

 A very calm day with little overhead movement apart from 124 Starlings, 14 alba and three Grey Wagtails, 60 Skylarks, six Siskins, nine Reed Buntings and a Ring-necked Parakeet.

Thrushes have built up and have become more noticeable with 16 Blackbirds, 15 Song Thrushes, five Mistle Thrushes and three Redwings. There has also been an increase of 22 Jays, 28 Magpies, 21 Robins and nine Dunnocks.

Other grounded migrants included one Whinchat, four Stonechats, one Wheatear,  24 Blackcaps, 59 Chiffchaffs, eight Firecrests and two Brambling.

Brendan, Nigel, Richard, Jack.

8th October 2021

Highlights today included a Yellow-browed Warbler at the Gun Emplacement,  a significant movements of  65 Jays and an influx of at least 140 Skylarks. There was a small arrival of thrushes at dawn including five Redwings and four Song Thrushes. 

Also seen today one Wheatear, six Stonechats, two Firecrests. There was a steady overhead passage throughout the morning including 200 Meadow Pipits, 4 Rock Pipits 18 alba Wagtails, 120 Starlings, 40 Swallows, 10 House Martins and a late Sand Martin. 

A confiding Wheatear at the Gun Emplacement (BR)

Thursday, 7 October 2021

7th October 2021

 Light SW increasing slightly during the morning. Overcast with heavy drizzle around midday.

The 7th Oct is the best day at Bockhill for Yellow-browed Warblers, so inevitably two were found in the Paddock shortly after dawn. One was seen around mid-morning at McSwiggan and is presumed to have been one of the same.  Other than that there were few grounded migrants although Chiffchaffs reached 57 and Blackcaps 13. 

There was a reasonable overhead movement with the first Bramblings of the autumn (4),  two Siskins five Mistle Thrushes, 160 Swallows and 35 House Martins.  Meadow Pipits were moving throughout the day with 260 recorded but this is likely to be a gross under-estimate as small groups were still heading south late afternoon. 

Other birds of note included two stonechats, two Golden Plovers, a Hobby, four Brent Geese and one Bonxie. 

Brendan and Barry Wright 

Yellow-browed Warbler- Paddock (BR)

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Yellow-browed and Pallas's Warblers in October

 Based on records since we first watched the site in 1994, the table below shows new arrivals of Yellow-browed and Pallas's Warblers at Bockhill during October. The 7th & 8th clearly are the dates to find a Yellow-browed while the 23rd is the best bet for Pallas's. However 2021 is looking like an exceptionally poor year for Yellow-browed Warblers in southern Britain. As ever at Bockhill we remain unrealistically optimistic. 

Monday, 4 October 2021

4th October 2021

A walk around the Paddock and Farm in a strong S wind before getting soaked and giving up, produced 18 Chiffchaffs and a flock of 75 Goldfinches being chased by two young Kestrels.


Sunday, 3 October 2021

3rd October 2021

 In contrast to yesterday, today dawned with no wind and heavy overcast skies. So a bit of bush bashing and field walking was the order of the day. 

Chiffchaffs (42) and Blackcaps (28) were the only warblers seen but a Firecrest at the Monument was new in as was probably a Song Thrush in the Paddock.  The best area was the big field which hosted eight Wheatears and good numbers of Skylarks, alba Wagtails and Meadow Pipits. Also along the Clifftop there were six Stonechats. There seemed to be a small arrival of Dunnocks with over 20 being recorded. 

At least 18 Jays were seen including an group of 15 at Hope Point. A small group of 20 Swallows and a similar number of House Martins seemed to be feeding over the area most of the morning. There was no overhead movement until the wind picked up mid morning and a few Meadow Pipits started to move south along with a single Yellow Wagtail and Reed Bunting. 

An enjoyable mornings birding but we would hope for more in early October. 

Nigel, Brendan & John Cantelo

One of eight Wheatears in the Big field (BR)

Kestrel Droveway (BR)

Saturday, 2 October 2021

2nd October 2021

 Strong SSW winds, Overcast occasional rain.

Three strategies played out today. Nigel and Brendan opted for a morning sea watching in the Bay, while Richard persevered "up top" walking from Kingsdown to the Monument. The third strategy was to stay home, an option that some regulars wisely took.  

There was constant action at sea throughout the morning, mostly Gannets (960) and Mediterranean Gulls (84) but it meant that there was an incentive to hang on in there and as a result produced eight Balearic Shearwaters, six Arctic Skuas, five Bonxies, 28 Sandwich Terns, single Arctic and Common Terns, four Red-throated Divers, and seven Common Scoters. 

In the meantime Richard get very wet and managed three Wheatears, two Yellow and one Grey wagtails, 450 Meadow Pipits and 40 Chiffchaffs

Brendan, Nigel and Richard