October 2019

Thursday 17th

Overcast with a very light SSW breeze movement in the first hour was haphazard, to say the least, though it did include our first 2 Bramblings of the autumn, audible among a couple of impossibly high Chaffinch flocks, 159 Goldfinches, 9 Reed Buntings and 11 Siskins. A Black Redstart was at the lighthouse, 7 Golden Plovers flew over and a Collared Dove appeared to fly strongly in off the sea. The farm was beset with rain, but in lovely sunshine there were 14 Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaffs and a Ring Ouzel in the valley.

Tuesday 15th

Yesterday’s rain had more or less moved on, though it remained heavily overcast with a blustery SW wind. Two hours vis.mig. from Lighthouse Down was rewarded with 1,740 Goldfinches, 6 Siskins, 315 Linnets, 21 alba wagtails, 51 Meadow Pipits, 12 Greenfinches, 52 Chaffinches, 160 Swallows and 60 House Martins. 2 Ring Ouzels were noisily active, 5 Chiffchaffs remained in the valley and 2 Little Egrets were fishing in the rock pools below.

Sunday 13th

A brief window in some unruly weather allowed for an hour and a half of vis.mig. at the clifftop, which resulted in totals of 368 Goldfinches, 249 Linnets, 2 Siskins, a Grey Wagtail, 3 alba wagtails,  and, best of all, 2 Woodlarks. The blustery S wind was perfect for at least 7 Ravens, which were playing about on the breeze, annoying the local Peregrines, a Firecrest was found in the valley and 2 Redwings and 3 Mistle Thrushes flew over.

Thursday 10th

Downchannel movement in the first hour of a crystal clear morning with a brisk SW breeze included 184 Goldfinches, 117 Linnets, 12 alba wagtails, 104 Meadow Pipits, 8 Reed Buntings, 4 Sparrowhawks and a Siskin. 4 Ring Ouzels were unearthed along the cliffs and a Wheatear was found near the lighthouse.

Wednesday 9th

Two hours vis.mig. on an overcast, damp and chilly morning produced a SW movement of 269 Goldfinches, 4 Reed Buntings, 36 Meadow Pipits, 3 Mistle Thrushes and 60 Swallows. Otherwise, 2 Redwings flew over the valley and 3 Ring Ouzels were recorded.

Tuesday 8th

Another day of good variety, if smaller numbers. Overhead movement in the first 75 minutes after dawn amounted to 51 Meadow Pipits, 209 Linnets, 13 Reed Buntings, a Rock Pipit and 15 alba wagtails. A loose party of 11 Ring Ouzels was at Fan Bay, with at least 10 more in Langdon Hole, 320 more Linnets were on the farm, where a very nice male Redstart put in an appearance, and 2 Siskins flew over the top wood.

Steve Ray
Ring Ouzel by Steve Ray

Monday 7th

Yesterday’s rain cleared overnight and the first hour or so was spent counting most of the 64 Song Thrushes that flew off inland, to a background of ticking Robins and calling Dunnocks. Overhead movement included 236 Goldfinches, 3 Siskins, 21 alba wagtails, 11 Jays and most of the 38 Reed Buntings that were recorded during the morning, while 6 Ring Ouzels and at least 120 Robins were scattered about, 3 Sparrowhawks were conspicuously active and a late Willow Warbler was found in Langdon Hole.

Sunday 6th

Despite a day of almost continuous rain 3 Ring Ouzels and a Yellow-browed Warbler were reported from Fan Bay.

Saturday 5th

With light overnight rain, a light NE breeze and a drizzly dawn it really should have been better than it turned out to be. A Tawny Owl was calling in the valley before sun-up and a Ring Ouzel was flushed from the farm at much the same time, but there was precious little movement and a Treecreeper, trapped on the farm, and a Short-eared Owl over the fields were the most interesting bits on offer.

Friday 4th

Noticeably warmer this morning, it was nevertheless very quiet, with a Merlin flying along the cliff and a Ring Ouzel in bushes below the lighthouse the best bits on offer. Otherwise, 450 House Martins and 160 Swallows flew SW and 72 Brent Geese flew NE offshore.

Thursday 3rd

The coldest night since early May contributed to a character-building start to proceedings, though at least there was no wind. An hour and a half of vis. mig. produced totals of 166 Chaffinches, 128 Linnets and 8 Reed Buntings and a total of 62 Skylarks included 5 coming in off the sea. The bushes contributed 70 Chiffchaffs and 30 Blackcaps and the fields singles of Wheatear, Black Redstart and Golden Plover.

Wednesday 2nd

Clear and bright with a chill and brisk NW wind meant thrushes and even though it is probably too early for large numbers we were treated to 2 Ring Ouzels, 21 Song Thrushes, a Fieldfare and 17 Redwings. Birds of prey were also conspicuous, including 5 Sparrowhawks and a late Hobby, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers included one flying strongly SW over the farm and 2 Skylarks came in off the sea.

Tuesday 1st

In the hour it took for an overcast start to clear 166 Meadow Pipits, 170 House Martins, 140 Swallows and 5 Reed Buntings flew downchannel. Otherwise, a Black Redstart was at Fan Bay, 70 Chiffchaffs and 60 Blackcaps were in the bushes, 2 Mistle Thrushes flew SW and a vocal party of 5 Golden Plovers was on the lighthouse field.