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. 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)

Monday, 5 October 2020

5th October

Very busy viz mig early morning with thousands of finches on the move until the skies cleared mid morning and passage came to an abrupt halt. During this period there were 2,100 Siskins, 450 Redpolls, 850 Goldfinches, 570 Linnets, and 17 Crossbills. Also moving were 59 Skylarks, 190 Swallows, 50 House Martins, single Grey and Yellow Wagtails, 18 alba Wagtails, 13 Reed Buntings and one Corn Bunting, the first for several weeks.

There was arrival of Song thrushes with 43 counted along with nine Mistle Thrushes, two Ring Ouzels and 52 Robins.

It was a good day for warblers with three Lesser Whitethroats, two Common Whitethroats, a late Willow Warbler, 82 Chiffchaffs, 18 Blackcaps and a single Yellow-browed Warbler, presumably one of yesterday's birds. 

Other birds of note included two Wheatears, two Whinchats, 15 Stonechats, one Redstart, a single Spotted Flycatcher, one Firecrest and eight Goldcrests, a Short-eared Owl and a Merlin.

Willow Warbler (BR)

Willow Warbler (BR)

Sunday, 4 October 2020

4th October

 A number of late migrants continue to hang on with Redstart, Willow Warbler, two Lesser Whitethroats,  one Common Whitethroat, six Wheatears, two Whinchats one Yellow Wagtail and three Sand Martins seen today. 

Yesterday's Yellow-browed Warbler was still in Badgers Bottom albeit only seen briefly while another was found late morning at the Gun Emplacement. There was no sign of the Empty Wood bird although it was a little blown out and difficult to see anything in there. 

Other birds seen today included a Short-eared Owl, 48 Chiffchaffs, 25 Blackcaps, one Firecrest, six Goldcrests,  23 Song Thrushes, one Redwing, two Mistle Thrushes and 17 Stonechats.

No sign of the American Golden Plover but eight of its European counterparts were in the fields at Pond Lane. 

Overhead Redpolls have taken over from Siskins as the dominant species with around 110 recorded this morning. 

Yellow-browed Warbler Badger's Bottom (BR)

Whinchat- Freedown (NJ)

Saturday, 3 October 2020

3rd October

An excellent all round day started with bang when our Pond Lane correspondent (Phil Chantler) found a American Golden Plover which was enjoyed by the rest of the Bockhill regulars before heavy rain ensured a hasty retreat. It could not be found later in the day.  Also in the field were 10 Ruff which is an amazing Bockhill record in itself. It was the start of an unusual  wader day which included eight Common Snipe, (another notable Bockhill record), eight Lapwings, six Golden Plovers,  a Grey Plover and a late Common Sandpiper. Jack and Simon added five knot and two Curlews while sea watching.

It was a good day for late migrants including single Garden Warbler and Willow Warblers,  Common Swift, Sand Martin, Spotted Flycatcher and two Common Redstarts. 

On the warbler front two Yellow-browed Warblers were the highlight ( Badger's Bottom and the Empty Wood), along with at least 93 Chiffchaffs, 24 Blackcaps and a single Lesser Whitethroat. At least five Firecrests and eight Goldcrests were seen. 

Chats included around 17 Stonechats, six Wheatears including five that arrived near Hope Point late afternoon with two Whinchats. 

Overhead movements of finches continued with at least 600 Siskins, 95 Redpolls and 12 Crossbills. Other birds overhead included three Yellow Wagtails,  a Tree Pipit and a Marsh Harrier.

Yellow-browed Warbler- Empty Wood (BR)

Firecrest Oldstairs (BR)

Wheatear - Monument- (BR)

American Golden Plover (NJ)