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 

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

22nd October

Light NW and overcast early morning becoming sunny and light E later.

There was encouragement early morning when three Bean Geese (sp) flew south and the first circuit of the Paddock produced three Firecrests. Thereafter it was a bit of a struggle with viz mig again being the main focus of the morning. Overhead we recorded 138 Skylarks, one Woodlark (heard but not seen), two Golden Plovers, 15 Brambling, eight Reed Buntings, seven Fieldfare, several Redwings and Song Thrushes.

Around the bushes and woods we found 17 Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, four Firecrests, 35 Goldcrests, four Ring Ouzels, six Stonechats and several Rock Pipits.

Our persistence into the afternoon was rewarded with a late Wheatear and a Yellow-browed Warbler in Badger's Bottom off the Droveway.

Yesterday, there were still four Ring Ouzels along St Margaret's leas and a Shorelark on "the other side" at Lighthouse Down

Jack, Phil, Nigel and Brendan


Sunday, 20 October 2019

20th October

A chilly NW had us standing on the clifftop with the expectation of good things to come....
During the morning, we counted the following:
Brambling 4, Redpoll 24, Starling 173, Meadow Pipit 62, Redwing 6, Stock Dove 228, Goldfinch 3010, Swallow 64, Greenfinch 59, Linnet 141, alba Wag 37, Reed Bunting 32, Siskin 19, House Sparrow41, Tree Sparrow 1, Chaffinch 238, Skylark 40, Golden Plover 4,  Dunnock 9, SERIN 1, Blue Tit 6, Gt. Sp. W-P 7, Grey Wag 2.
In the area were Chiffchaff 23, Goldcrest 28, Firecrest 2, Ring Ouzel 7, Stonechat 13, Whinchat 1 and WOODLARK 3.

The best day of the autumn.

Brendan, Phil, Jack, Simon, John Cantelo, Heather, Nige

Saturday, 19 October 2019

19th October

A lively viz mig first thing until the rain killed things off.  Two Twite, seen by early riser Phil were the highlights. Totals included, 2,225 Goldfinches, 12 Redpoll, 85 Linnets, 18 Siskins, seven Bramblings, nine Dunnocks, four Rock Pipits, 25 Skylarks, three Tree Sparrows, 55 House Martins, 263 Swallows, 40 Stock Doves,

Around the area it was much as it had been in recent days with Ring Ouzels (12) and Stonechats (11) dominating. Chiffchaff numbers were down (about 12) and about six Blackcaps were encountered.

Weather patterns over the next few days look very promising

Jack, Phil, Brendan, Nigel, John Cantelo

Thursday, 17 October 2019

17th October

A lively couple of hours from 7.30 to 9.30 on the viz mig front produced

465 Linnets
230 Goldfinches
4 Bramblings
1 Greenfinch
2 Siskins
49 Skylarks
75 Meadow Pipits
11 alba Wagtails
18 Stock Doves
5 Collared Doves
1 Corn Bunting
26 Reed Buntings
16 Mistle Thrushes
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
41 Starlings
8 Blue Tits
180 Swallows
25 House Martins
2 Sand Martins

Activity ended abruptly with a band of rain followed by rather pleasant sunshine.  Not a lot around the bushes with ten Ring Ouzels, including four males together at Hope Point, and another three along the Leas at St Margaret's.  14 Stonechats, three Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs and seven Goldcrests. No sign of the Cetti's today!

Four male Ring Ouzels at Hope Point 

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

16th October

A morning spent looking at photos of Vireos and Rubythroats on Twitter, encouraged me out in the afternoon after the rain had (sort of ) stopped. Oddly enough I was unable to find neither a Vireo or Rubythroat but did manage in a short circuit of the Paddock, Farm Wood and Freedown, 11 Chiffchaffs, 8 Goldcrests, one Firecrest, one Ring Ouzel and eight Stonechats. Tomorrow is another day although sadly another day with SW winds

Bockhill is one of the few birding sites still to have Grey Partridge. There seems to be a group of eight & four around at the moment

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

15th October

Overcast with occasional rain squalls, a brisk southerly breeze moderating during the morning.

Once again a reasonable vis mig early morning with 19 Reed Buntings, 12 alba Wagtails, 160 Swallows, 20 House Martins, 190 Meadow Pipits, one Rock Pipit, 28 Skylarks, 245 Goldfinches and  five Mistle Thrushes. The counts would have been significantly higher had we stuck at it on the clifftop but we wandered off into the Paddock in search of rarities and probably missed a lot going over.

Sadly the rarities again eluded us but it was a reasonable morning nevertheless with 10 Ring Ouzels including seven that flew south past Hope Point, 14 Stonechats,  55 Chiffchaffs, 12 Blackcaps, 32 Goldcrests and a single Firecrest. A late Common Redstart was on the Clifftop, a different bird from the male on Saturday and a late Whinchat was at the Gun Emplacement, probably the same bird that has been in that area for a few days. The Cetti's Warbler was still present at Hope Point, where a Little Egret was seen on the shore.

Jack & Brendan

Ring Ouzel. One of 10 Seen today

Common Redstart seen along the clifftop. 

Whinchat at the Gun Emplacement

Its been a very good Autumn for Stonechats. 14 seen today 

Chiffchaff numbers are holding up with 55 today 

Firecrest in the Farm Wood today 

Sunday, 13 October 2019

13th October 2019

Another day of visible migration with birds moving W into the wind, most notable being127 Meadow Pipits, four Rock Pipits, 12 Alba Wagtails, two Grey Wagtails, 6176 Starlings, 11 Siskins ( or siskins heard on 11 occasions and not seen), 737 Goldfinches, 95 Linnets and four Reed Buntings.
Around the area were two Ravens, 10 Stonechats, three Ring Ouzels, a Cetti's Warbler, four Blackcaps, 26 Chiffchaffs and a few Goldcrests.
Later on a Crossbill flew over the Rough.
Phil, Gerald, Steve C, Richard, Simon., Jack   

Saturday, 12 October 2019

12th October 2019

Nothing much was moving overhead today in the drizzling rain but around the area there were quite a reasonable number of grounded migrants. Notable birds included 18 Stonechats along the Front and at Hope Point, Common Redstart and Dartford Warbler at Backward Point, Ring Ouzel at Otty Bottom and a Woodlark over the Freedown.
Elsewhere in the area there were 57 Blackbirds, 132 Song Thrushes, 70 Starlings, a Cetti's Warbler, 5 Blackcaps, 67 Chiffchaffs, 77 Goldcrests, 7 Siskins and several mipits including 3 Rock Pipits.
Brendan, Phil, John C, Richard, Jack. 

Thursday, 10 October 2019

10th October

A brisk WSW wind and clear sunny conditions.

Most of today was spent on the clifftop viz migging. Totals included; 37 alba Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, 75 Meadow Pipits, 2 Rock Pipits, 37 Skylarks, 33 Starlings, 19 Stock Doves, 85 Goldfinches, 194 Linnets, 3 Siskins, 10 Reed Buntings, 135 Swallows, 230 House Martins and one Great Spotted Woodpecker. Blue Tits were again moving along the clifftop in small numbers with 49 counted along with 2 Great Tits.

Limited coverage around the bushes produced 26 Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps, one Firecrest, seven Goldcrests, five Ring Ouzels and three Stonechats. Meanwhile the Cetti's Warbler was still at Hope Point as per Tony Swandale

Brendan & Jack

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

9th October 2019

In the first two hours after dawn we had a visible migration of 216 Swallows, 42 House Martins, 33 Meadow Pipits, four Alba Wagtails, three Bramblings, 186 Goldfinches, 116 Linnets and six Siskins W at the Monument. Elsewhere in the area was a Common Snipe, three Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 12 Stonechats, a Cetti's Warbler, 13 Blackcaps, 46 Chiffchaffs and 18 Goldcrests.
Only eight Ring Ouzels today although six were probably new as they were all in bushes right on the clifftop.
Bird of the day was a Woodlark flying W over Hope Point.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

8th October

Overcast with light SW winds

Highlights today included 15 Ring Ouzels including  groups of five in the Paddock and six at Hope Point and a new Yellow-browed Warbler at the Gun Emplacement, along with yesterday's two birds still together at Kingsdown. Still lots of Song Thrushes around with around 70 counted  and Robins again seemed numerous with 25 in the Paddock (after which I forgot to count them!).  16 Stonechats included nine together adjacent to the Golf Course and a single Wheatear (Freedown). The Cetti's Warbler remained for its 5th day

Other birds of note:
    51 Chiffchaffs  plus 25 around Oldstairs ( as per Richard) and
   15 Blackcaps were counted.
    Single Firecrests were in the Farm Wood and Kingsdown.
    Three Bramblings
    250 House Martings
    45 Swallows
    Eight Grey partridge

Monday, 7 October 2019

7th October

Light SW winds, overcast with no rain.  Still plenty of Chifffchaffs around with 52 at Bockhill and a further 16 in the Oldstairs/Otty Bottom area where two Yellow-browed Warblers were seen, presumably including one of Richard's birds from yesterday. Blackcaps numbered 14 in total. Goldcrests seemed more vocal with 21 and a further 14 in the Kingsdown area.

Song Thrushes continued to be numerous in the hedges and thickets and at least 85 were counted today along with five Ring Ouzels and a single Redwing. 35 Robins were counted but it is likely that many more were present. Some early overhead movement produced 33 alba Wagtails, six Reed Buntings, four Siskins, plus four Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Several groups of Blue Tits were encounted mostly moving north along the coast, with 37 counted.  12 Stonechats were spread across the area and there were single Whinchats at the Gun Emplacement and on the clifftop.

The Cetti's Warbler is still at Hope Point

Brendan & Jack

At least 85 Song Thrushes were seen today 

Sunday, 6 October 2019

6th October

A good day frustrated at times by heavy rain especially early morning. The first few hours saw a good arrival of Song Thrushes (140) plus a few Redwing and seven Mistle Thrushes. Later two Ring Ouzels were located on the clifftop and another on The Rough. Early movements also included at least two Bramblings, a Redpoll, several alba and one Grey Wagtails.  Also during this period two Merlins were seen coming in off, chasing a Swallow en route.

There were six Stonechats on the clifftop and  Whinchats were seen in three locations.

A steady movement of hirundines included a late Sand Martin and a late Swift.

No systematic count was made of Chiffs or Blackcaps but the Cetti's Warbler was still at Hope Point much to the relief of Nigel and a Lesser Whitethroat was near the Bluebird cafe. Richard had a Yellow-browed Warbler near his house in Kingsdown on his way home. Goldcrests were not counted but seemed to have increased, a Firecrest was also in Kingsdown.

A Nightingale was heard in the Freedown but failed to show in spite of a concerted search.

Phil, Nigel, Brendan, Richard & Jack

Cetti's Warbler (Nigel Jarman)

Saturday, 5 October 2019

5th October

A good turn out of birders but unfortunately the birds hadn't read the script. All in all a disappointing day although one or two interesting records including a single Goosander flying down channel, two late Yellow Wagtails, 11 Rock Pipits  and a Redpoll overhead, a Common Treecreeper, 15 Stonechats and a Wheatear. Yesterday's Cetti's Warbler was still present at Hope Point but Chiffchaffs (26) and Blackcaps (9) were well down. There were a further 20 Chiffs and 35 Blackcaps at the Kingsdown end of the recording area. Goldcrests increased to 25 and two Firecrests were encountered.

Jack, Phil, Gerald, Brendan, Richard plus Steve Clinch & Julian Russell

15 Stonechats seen today including 12 on clifftop between Hope Point & the Monument (BR)

Friday, 4 October 2019

4th October

A Cetti's Warbler performed quite well at Hope Point this morning, singing and showing occasionally. This is only the second Cetti's for Bockhill, the first being in October 2000. Other than that it was very quiet in a brisk SW wind. Chiffchaffs again dominated with around 64 seen, along with 26 Blackcaps, seven Goldcrests and  single Lesser Whitethroat and Firecrest. There was a reasonable movement south of hirundines but sadly we didn't count them

Jack, Richard and Brendan

Thursday, 3 October 2019

3rd October

Light SW winds made viewing much easier this morning but didn't improve the birding significantly. Bird of the day was a Short-eared Owl over the Freedown from where a Common Snipe was flushed. Plenty of Chiffchaffs remain in the area with 76 at Bockhill and a further 15 seen by Richard at the Kingsdown end. Blackcaps on the other hand seem to have had a mass clear out with only six this morning. Goldcrest numbers have remained fairly constant in recent days with eight recorded today, plus another 10 in Kingsdown. 12 Stonechats were seen including six together n the Freedown.

There was a little overhead movement this morning with eight Siskins, seven Reed Buntings and around 250 hirundines, almost all Swallows. the first good numbers of "alba" Wagtails were recorded (43) with about 25 grounded near Hope Point which included several showing characteristic of White Wagtails. two Grey Wagtails flew over.

2nd October 2019

A colder start to the day with a moderate NW. Brendan had the first Ring Ouzel of the Autumn in The Paddock. Elsewhere around Bockhill were a Common and Lesser Whitethroat in The Freedown, three Redwings over, a Tree Pipit, a Grey Wagtail, four ‘alba’ Wagtails, a Lapwing, a Curlew, seven Goldcrests, 47 Chiffchaffs, 28 Blackcaps and five Stonechats. Walking up from Kingsdown I had a further 10 Goldcrests, 25 Chiffchaffs, 12 Blackcaps and three Coal Tits.

1st October 2019

The early morning was spent dodging rain showers, which gave way to more pleasant conditions later with a SW wind. Still plenty of warblers but they were concentrated at Hope Point, The Farm Wood, The Rough and along Granville Road in Kingsdown. 100 each of Chiffchaff and Blackcap, seven Stonechats, 20 Goldcrests, 25 Yellowhammers and nine Grey Partridge.