Sunday, 16 January 2022

16th January 2022

We had a seawatch from 08:20 - 10:00 and saw, mainly moving down channel, one Great Northern Diver, 45 Red-throated Divers, 120 Auks and 100 Cormorants. Close inshore was a Shag, Mediterranean Gull and eight Kittiwakes.

The Hume's Warbler was still present but very elusive.

Nigel, Richard, Jack.  

Saturday, 15 January 2022

15th January 2022

The Hume's Warbler, that was found in the Farm Wood on the 22 December 2021, is still present and being seen and heard on most days. 

Notable birds today, other than the Hume's, were two Brambling, two Grey Partridges, 150 Skylarks, two Ravens and circa 1500 Woodpigeons.

Brendan, Nigel, Richard, Simon, Jack.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

22nd December 2021

 A rare (possibly a first) visit to Bockhill in December, to see Sam's Tundra Bean Geese (5), which were still present in the maize field west of the Gun Emplacement.

Having seen the geese I wandered through the Farm Wood and where I heard a call from inside the wood that I suspected was a Hume's Warbler. Having walked around the wood to ensure that there were no Pied Wagtails impersonating a Hume's, I eventually tracked down the warbler and managed a few record shots and a sound recording of its call.

Nigel, Heather, Jack, Tony, Sam and James King arrived soon after and were able to see the bird which remained elusive and always high in the canopy.

This is the second record for the area following one found by Phil and Richard in Oldstairs  in Oct 2015


Sunday, 19 December 2021

18th December 2021

 A pre-Christmas social (ly-distanced) gathering for coffee and mince pies on the clifftop in a chilly NE wind with mist obscuring the views for much of the time. Despite the weather (and the chatter) we managed a single Golden Plover, 3 White-fronted Geese over the monument and out to sea, followed 5 minutes later by a 1st year Caspian Gull along the clifftop plucked out from the steady stream of large gulls moving up channel all morning.

Nige, Jack, Brendan, Gerald, John, Tony, Richard

Sunday, 12 December 2021

12th December 2021

On a seawatch from 08:00 - 12:00 we had 265 Red-throated Divers, 414 Auks , 16 Great Crested Grebes and three Red-breasted Mergansers moving down channel. 

Apart from that there were c.750 Cormorants sitting on the sea and several Kittiwakes and Fulmars flying offshore.

Simon, Jack.

Saturday, 11 December 2021

11th December 2021

A seawatch from 08:00-10:00 produced 159 Red-throated Divers, two Red-breasted Mergansers and eight Wigeon all moving down channel. There were also c.3000 Cormorants down channel from 08:35 - 08:40 and then presumably the same Cormorants returned up channel from 09:15 - 09:25.

Feeding close offshore were 25 Auks and 12 Great Crested Grebes, also a Great Skua moved up channel.


Sunday, 5 December 2021

5th December 2021

A seawatch from 08.00 - 12.00 produced birds moving up and down channel, we had 34 Red-throated Divers, 122 Cormorants, 15 Great Crested Grebes, 115 Gannets, 243 Auks that were mostly Guillemots and five Great Skuas all of which flew  NE. In front of the shelter were five Rock Pipits.

Feeding offshore were three Common Seals.

Simon, Jack.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

28th November 2021

Strong north westerly wind, very cold.

A seawatch of an hour produced 64 Red Throated Divers, 65 Cormorants, 60 Gannets, 25 Fulmars and 150 Auks most of which were moving up channel.

There were four Common Seals feeding just offshore and a Black Redstart joined us at the seawatch shelter.

Simon, Jack.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

21st November 2021

 Seawatch 07:30-11:30 wind light northerly.

Again very little movement at sea apart from two Red-throated Divers down channel and then moving up channel we had three Common Scoters, six Shelducks, four Auks and one Great Skua. Offshore, mainly following the ferries, were at least 100 Gannets.

On the rocks there were 120 Great Black-backed Gulls and 500 Herring Gulls. Whilst counting these we had an adult winter Caspian Gull.  

Nigel, Jack.

20th November 2021

 Next to no wind at all and sea incredibly calm.

A seawatch from 07:30 - 09:00 produced very few birds apart from four Red-throated Divers, one Black-throated Diver and two Great Crested Grebes. However did have an enormous flock of Starlings, probably over 2000, come in and fly north whilst three Common and one Grey Seal fed just off the rocks.

Elsewhere in the area were two Brambling, three Goldcrests and two Firecrests. 

Richard, Jack

Sunday, 14 November 2021

14th November 2021

Today was much quieter than yesterday with birds moving up and down channel.

There were 33 Brent Geese moving NE and 29 SW, eight Red-throated Divers NE and nine SW, a Black-throated Diver SW and 81 Auks moved SW. Other birds, all moving NE up channel, were 35 Cormorants, 15 Shelducks, a male Eider, 36 Kittiwakes and a Sandwich Tern 

Most of the morning there were c.105 Gannets feeding offshore as were two Common Seals, one Grey Seal and a Harbour Porpoise.

At 10:05 the stars of the day, two ring-tail Hen Harriers, moved from the SE towards the cliffs before being lost above us.

Nigel, Simon, Jack.

Saturday, 13 November 2021

13th November 2021

This morning Simon persuaded me to join him in the Bay for a seawatch, although I thought it a waste of time, we stopped from 08:00 - 12:30.

Most birds were moving down channel and we had five Red-throated Divers, two Black-throated Divers, three Wigeon, 62 Auks and circa 250 Gannets. There were also three Great Skuas that moved up channel. Close in the Bay sitting on the sea were 11 Razorbills that makes one wonder if the Auks much further out to sea were all of the same species. Off the the rocks were at least 850 Black-headed Gulls.

We had two birds coming straight in off the sea, the Woodcock reached the trees under the cliffs but the Blackbird was unfortunately caught by Herring Gulls.

There were two Harbour Porpoises and three Common Seals feeding close in the Bay.

Simon, Jack.


Thursday, 11 November 2021

11th November 2021

 Very light SW overcast

Encouraged by news elsewhere in the country of rare wheatears, I ventured out once more in the forlorn hope that one day Bockhill would be blessed with a rare wheatear. Sadly today wasn't to be that day although I did end the day with a rare Wheatear elsewhere in the county but that is another story and location.

A few finches were going over first thing including 32 Siskins, seven Bramblings and four Lesser Redpolls, plus a few Chaffinches and Goldfinches.

Robins seemed particular evident with at least 30 recorded but probably many more. Also four Stonechats, twenty Blackbirds and five Song Thrushes.

A young Brent Goose was in the big field, eventually took flight when chased by a dog. 

At sea there were three Red-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers and a Shag.

Robins seemed to be everywhere this morning

Immature Brent Goose- Big Field