Sunday, 5 January 2020

4th January 2020

With no birds on the cliffs we decided to go down to the Bay where, between 08:45 and 09:15, we had a count of 4342 Cormorants moving up channel. Other than that we had 125 Red-throated Divers and one Black-throated Diver going south, 2 Great Skuas north, many Auks feeding offshore and 2 Firecrests at the bottom of the cliffs.
Nigel, Jack  

Saturday, 23 November 2019

23rd November 2019

Phil walked around the area this morning and had a Stonechat, three Chiffchaffs and three Firecrests. There was also a Lapland Bunting  in the field by Hope Point. Offshore at Kingsdown Leas were at least 2800 Kittiwakes, 521 Mediterranean Gulls, 300 Common Gulls and two Little Gulls.
On his way back via the Farm Wood were five Bramblings.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

10th November 2019

The Great Grey Shrike still remains in the Freedown and we were entertained by the two Peregrines chasing the Ravens across the fields, apart from that there was very little else.
Earlier in the today we had a brief seawatch which produced a few Gannets, Wigeon and Scoters. Other than that the highlight was an enormous oilrig  moving down channel towed by two tugs.
John C, Nigel, Jack    

Oil Rig - Nigel Jarman

Saturday, 9 November 2019

9th November 2019

With five of us out today and the whole of the area being done we expected more but unfortunately it didn't happen. Overhead we only had 382 Woodpigeons, six Stock Doves, 32 Skylarks, three Swallows,  four Alba Wagtails, two Fieldfares, two Tree Sparrows, seven Bramblings, six Redpolls, six Siskins and four Reed Buntings.
In the area were singles of Stonechat, Black Redstart, Cetti's Warbler and six Blackcaps, four Chiffchaffs, nine Firecrests, 10 Goldcrests, a Coal tit and 56 Long-tailed Tits.
Also the Great Grey Shrike was still in the Freedown.
John C, Nigel, Phil, Richard, Jack.  

Great Grey Shrike - Nigel Jarman

Thursday, 7 November 2019

7th November 2019

Apart from the Great Grey Shrike that was still present in the Freedown there were no other notable birds in the area. However a look on the sea for half an hour produced 30 Gannets feeding offshore, a couple of adult winter plumaged Razorbills and the first returning Fulmar prospecting around the cliffs.  

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

6th November 2019

On a crisp cold and sunny day the Great Grey Shrike performed well and was seen catching bees for most of the morning. Elsewhere around the area there were very few birds of note apart from singles of Swallow, Fieldfare and Chiffchaff plus 11 Goldcrests and 28 Mediterranean Gulls.

Monday, 4 November 2019

4th November 2019

After yesterday things were very quiet and, apart from the Great Grey Shrike that was still in The Freedown, there were only two Bramblings, a few Goldcrests and the Ravens of any note.

Great Grey Shrike (Paul Holt)

Sunday, 3 November 2019

3rd November 2019

Probably our best day this autumn with many birds overhead and around the area in a light SW with a little early morning rain.
Phil and Richard started from the undercliff where they had a Rock Pipit of ssp littoralis. From there to the Golf Course we had three Snow Buntings and a Hawfinch flying W and also many Thrushes and Finches.
At the same time Simon had a seawatch and in one hour, moving down channel, had 300 Gannets, five Red-throated Divers, five Scoters, five Mediterranean Gulls and a Black-throated Diver sitting on the sea.
At the Gun Emplacement we saw a Great Grey Shrike and a Woodcock, after a couple of minutes the shrike disappeared and whilst we were trying to relocate it, Paul Holt on the clifftop had a Richard's Pipit, Serin and then a Waxwing in the Paddock.
We refound the Shrike in the Freedown where it entertained everyone as it caught Bumble Bees from the tops of the bushes.
Totals of birds flying overhead were 11 Swallows, 45 Meadow Pipits, nine Alba Wagtails, seven Bramblings, 50 Chaffinches, 10 Linnets, 120 Goldfinches, 23 Redpolls and six Reed Buntings.
Grounded birds included a Ring Ouzel, three Fieldfares, 30 Redwings, 26 Song Thrushes, 83 Blackbirds, 10 Chiffchaffs, 10 Firecrests and 15 Goldcrests.  

Great Grey Shrike (Simon Warry)

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

29th October

NNE breeze, overcast

It was hard work this morning but I think that I should have stuck at it longer given that a few birds turned up elsewhere today. Totals included 21 Goldcrests, one Firecrest (Badger's Bottom), one Chiffchaff, while overhead there were four Tree Sparrows, one Swallow and two Bramblings. Probably my last Bockhill outing of 2019



Sunday, 27 October 2019

27th October

WNW-NW light winds. Overcast and cold becoming clear later

A good turn out of birders was sadly not matched by the birds although between us we managed fairly comprehensive coverage of the area with Nigel, Richard and Pete Morris covering Kingsdown, while the rest of us bashed around Bockhill and the village, before Phil and I ventured up Reach Road in the afternoon.

Sadly all these efforts didn't reap the dividends they deserved although we managed a good selection of typical late autumn migrants including eight Firecrests, 64 Goldcrests, 21 Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps, one Cetti's Warbler, four Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 17 Skylarks, one Ring Ouzel, three Fieldfares, one Wheatear (Reach Road), four Black Redstarts, 11 Stonechats, four Bramblings,  seven Redpolls, seven Reed Buntings, eight Swallows and seven House Martins. There remained plenty of Blue Tits in the area after what has been an exceptional autumn for this species.

There were several sightings of Buzzards during the early afternoon plus four Sparrowhawks suggesting that there may have been some movement into favourable winds.

Jack, Phil, Richard, Brendan, Simon, John Cantelo and Pete Morris

Friday, 25 October 2019

25th October

SW 2 strengthening later. Overcast with rain late morning.

Reasonable viz mig conditions and between 7.30 and 9.20 am we recorded
  25  Redpoll,
  3    Bramblings
  14  Greenfinches
  3    Corn Buntings
  2    Yellowhammers
  6    Reed Buntings
  4    Tree Sparrows
  23  Stock Doves
  10   Skylarks
  108 Starlings
  3    House Martins
  44  Swallows
  64  alba Wagtails

Limited coverage around the Paddock, Wood and Gun Emplacement produced three Firecrests, five Chiffchaffs and nine Goldfinches

Pete Morris covered St Margaret's village to Kingsdown and had three Firecrest, 10 Goldcrests, three Fieldfare, 75 Swallows and 10 House Martins. On the Kingsdown undercliff he had a SERIN and a Black Redstart, plus 60 Mediterranean Gulls offshore

Brendan, Jack and Pete Morris



Thursday, 24 October 2019

24th October 2019

Today we had very little overhead migration apart from 11 Swallows, 34 House Martins, 4 Rock Pipits, 8 Grey Wagtails, 21 Alba Wagtails, 562 Starlings, 91 Chaffinches, a Brambling, 2 Siskins and 2 Redpolls.
Around the area were 28 Robins, a Black Redstart, 5 Stonechats, a Treecreeper, Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap, 27 Chiffchaffs, 111 Goldcrests and 10 Firecrests.
At sea, seen from the Undercliffe, was a Red-throated Diver, 12 Common Scoters and a Teal.
Brendan, Nigel, Phil, Pete Morris, Jack.  

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

23rd October

The winds change to easterly and predictably Firecrests and Black Redstarts arrive and everything else departs. This is the first day in sometime in which Ring Ouzel has not been seen. 

We put in a marathon stint today from dawn until late afternoon and covered a lot of ground.  21 Firecrests were recorded including four around Oldstairs,  along with 73 Goldcrests including 17 around Oldstairs. A Yellow-browed Warbler was heard briefly by Phil along the Leas near the old hotel. 22 Chiffchaffs were seen with another four at Oldstairs. Only one Blackcap was heard.

Seven Black Redstarts were seen including four on the Undercliff. A Short-eared Owl was flushed from the Freedown and nine Stonechats were encountered.

Overhead there were 39 Swallows, 24 alba Wagtails, two Redpolls, two Bramblings, 725 Goldfinches and seven Rock Pipits ( or possibly Water Pipits!)

Phil and Brendan

Firecrest with ring at Oldstairs

Black Redstarts- Undercliff 

Black Redstart- Undercliff