Tuesday, 10 November 2020

10th November

Still a few Goldcrests (14) around this morning plus single Blackcap and Chiffchaff. Otherwise fairly quiet with two Stonechats and two Corn Buntings on the clifftop. A few finches including 135 Goldfinches and two Bramblings moving south overhead along with a few Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. Off shore, two Shags. Its getting a bit of a struggle. 


Sunday, 8 November 2020

6th November

 First day of the autumn when no warblers were recorded, which was disappointing given that there had clearly been an influx of Goldcrests (77) plus a single Firecrest. The only other birds of note seen today were 10 late Swallows and a single House Martin hawking over the Droveway in the early afternoon.

Kestrel, Kingsdown Leas

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

4th November

 After several days of persistent and strong SW winds it was nice to be back out in more benign conditions with a light NW and sunshine.. Not a lot of overhead activity although Chaffinches (65) and Skylarks (48) were arriving in-off throughout the morning. Elsewhere highlights included Little Egret, Short-eared Owl, five Swallows, two Stonechats, single Ring Ouzel and Firecrest  plus three Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps and three Goldcrests.  Two singing Corn Buntings had returned to the clifftop having been absent for most of the autumn. 

Corn Bunting 



Monday, 26 October 2020

26th October

The continued W or SW winds continue to make life difficult. Highlights today included a single Ring Ouzel in the Freedown, three Stonechats, six Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps, five Goldcrests, two swallows and 55 Skylarks. In the more sheltered habitats in the South Foreland Valley, the Nuthatch is still present along with a vocal but elusive Yellow-browed Warbler. 

Nuthatch- South Foreland Valley.  There has never been a Bockhill records but this one was less than half a mile from the Bockhill recording area. 

24th October

 A strong SW wind made viewing difficult although there was a reasonable period of viz mig early morning when our first two Lapland Buntings of the year were recorded. Also seen were 50 Swallows, 125 Starlings, 14 alba Wagtails, 110 Linnets and 420 Goldfinches . 

Pied Wagtail 

Thursday, 22 October 2020

22nd October

 Some good overhead movement in the first coupled of hours with 320 Swallows, 85 House Martins, 34 Skylarks, 26 alba Wagtails, four Bramblings , 105 Linnets, 55 Redpolls, one Crossbill and three Reed Buntings.

One the ground there were one Chiffchaff, three Blackcaps, two Ring Ouzels, two Corn Buntings and 19 Goldcrests

Kestrel eating earth worm by the Monument 

Saturday, 17 October 2020

17th October

After yesterday's minor success, today we were well and truly trounced by the the north coast.  A day of great promise was somewhat disrupted when half of the team upped sticks and relocated to Reculver. 

The loyal remainers managed to dig out a Siberian Chiffchaff at McSwiggans and two Woodlarks over the Leas.

Other birds of note, in no particular order 

    1 Woodcock

    105 Goldcrests

    22 Chiffchaffs,  

    9 Blackcaps

    3 Ring Ouzels

    37 Redwings

    24 Fieldfares 

    300 Starlings 

    2645 Goldfinches, 

    210 Redpolls, 

    43 Crossbills

Tristis Chiffchaff (SW)


Friday, 16 October 2020

16th October

 Today's highlight was  a Dusky Warbler ( third site record) in the Paddock late morning and again late afternoon, with presumably the same bird being seen on the Leas early afternoon. 

Other birds seen included a Hawfinch in the Paddock shortly after dawn and six Ring Ouzels. 

It was another day with good finch movements with Goldfinches leading the way with at least 1,400 through, plus 230 Redpolls and 260 Siskins.

Other birds of note included six Ring Ouzels, 68 Fieldfares, 180 Redwings, 12 Chiffchaffs and 105 Goldcrests. 

Dusky Warbler (BR)

Sunday, 11 October 2020

11th October

Highlight of the day was thrushes coming in off including 40 Redwings, two Ring Ouzels, a Mistle Thrush and two Fildfares Also seen coming in, three Gt Spotted Woodpeckers, 18 Brambling and  4 Bullfinches. 

On the ground there were several groups of Chiffchaffs and the final total is likely to be over 50. A Yellow-browed Warbler was found in Granville Road and showed fleetingly over the next hour. 

Yellow-browed Warbler (GS)

Yellow-browed Warbler (BR)

10th October

 Most unusual bird of the day was a Greylag Goose which was seen flying in off the sea and landed briefly in the field near the Empty Wood.

Other than that it was pretty much business as usual with much reduced number of Chiffchaffs. 

Birds of note included a single Hobby, Tree Pipit, , Ring Ouzel, Brambling, Crossbill and two Tree Sparrows.

Sparrowhawk hunting over the clifftop (BR)

9th October

 Lots of Chiffchaffs and not a lot else!

Around 110 Chiffchaffs encountered this morning mostly in small groups of up to 10 birds. Other than that not a lot else was seen. Two Redstarts together including a male that had been present for six days, 21 Stonechats, eight Reed Buntings and a Ring Ouzel at the Monument.

In the Bay there was a close Red-throated Diver but no sign of the Wryneck reported two days previous

Species of the day - Chiffchaff (BR)

One of 21 Stonechats present (BR)

Red-throated Diver in the Bay (BR)

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

7th October

 Another blustery day made viewing difficult at times although thankfully there was no rain today. A new Yellow-browed Warbler was heard calling in the Paddock although it was not possible to see it in the windy conditions.  A second yellow-browed Warbler was seen early afternoon at the Gun Emplacement, presumably the bird first seen on the 5th & 6th. 

23 Stonechats were encountered today. This may be a site record.

There was plenty of overhead movement early on with Siskins and Redpolls again dominating. However there was an interesting passage south of house Sparrows with around 45 seen during the morning. A Bullfinch was also seen flying over. Although this is a regular species recorded at Bockhill it is not often encountered on a viz mig session. Skylarks continued to arrive and as usual were observed coming straight in off ( as opposed to following the coast as other diurnal migrants tend to do). 43 were counted. 

Hirdundines included 200 Swallows, 800 House Martins and a single Sand Martin. 

Warblers were hard to come by with only 17 Chiffchaffs and eight Blackcaps. One Lesser Whitethroat was by the monument in the afternoon. Also seen one Firecrest and eight Goldcrests.

Visiting birders reported seeing a Red-rumped Swallow and a Hobby. Also a Wryneck was reported from the Bay.

Lesser Whitethroat (BR)

Lesser Whitethroat (BR)

Firecrest -Hope Point (BR)

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

6th October

With stronger winds with a more westerly element, today was inevitably quieter than recent days and coverage was less extensive, limited to around the Farm Wood, Paddock, Freedown and Gun Emplacement. Highlights included a late Swift, Sand Martin, Whinchat and Firecrest.

Also seen 150 Swallows, 75 House Martins, 38 Chiffchaffs,  eight Blackcaps, six Goldcrests, two Wheatears,12 Stonechats, one Reed Bunting. Siskins, Redpolls and a couple of Crossbills were moving overhead but in much smaller numbers than of late. 

Common Swift (BR)

Common Stonechat (BR)