December 2020

Friday 18th

In overcast conditions with a couple of brief squalls and a strong S wind 175 Gannets, 66 auks, 102 Cormorants and 135 Kittiwakes flew SW, while 6 Brent Geese flew NE and 4 Red-throated Divers were in the bay. The steadily declining numbers over the last ten days or so suggests that most have moved downchannel, presumably in search of better feeding.

Tuesday 15th

Up on the clifftop and farm this morning, it proved to be much more productive than usual for this time of year in some very pleasant December sunshine. Best bird by far was an adult male Hen Harrier over the fields, but the supporting cast included an influx of thrushes, largely on the farm, amounting to 51 Redwings, 3 Fieldfares and 40 Blackbirds, along with 3 Reed Buntings and at least 2 Tree Sparrows.

Friday 11th

Overcast with a brisk S breeze and spells of light but persistent rain and variable visibility it was a reprise of the last few days but with generally smaller numbers. SW movement included 617 auks, 238 Kittiwakes and 2 Bonxies, while 3 adult Med.Gulls, 80 Gannets, 3 Great Crested Grebes and around 80 Fulmars were in the bay.

Thursday 10th

Busy again in overcast conditions with a moderate SE breeze, a two hour seawatch produced totals of 1,347 auks and about 300 Kittiwakes flying SW, 41 Red-throated Divers that were all over the place and at least 60 Fulmars. Best bit of the session was a Little Egret flying NE that was apparently using a passing ferry as a windbreak!

Wednesday 9th

Calm and overcast again it was subtly different to yesterday, with a very light W breeze. Movement was almost entirely downchannel, involving an impressive 1,462 auks (most of those close inshore appeared to be Razorbills), 43 Red-throated Divers, a Sandwich Tern, 237 Cormorants, 3 Bonxies and 2 Great Crested Grebes, while a Shag, 5 Curlews, around 40 Fulmars and 12 Gannets were in the bay.

Tuesday 8th

Calm but mostly overcast, offshore movement, visible from the clifftop, included 172 Red-throated Divers, 5 Gadwall and 62 Cormorants, while 2 grey geese flew over as we packed up. A Black Redstart was in the bay and the farm and Fan Bay held 130 Linnets, at least 120 Skylarks, 10 Corn Buntings, 14 Yellowhammers and 4 Reed Buntings; a decent number for the time of year.

Sunday 6th

A pleasant Sunday stroll unearthed quite a few birds for the time of year, the best of which were 12 Tree Sparrows at Fan Bay and on the farm and a Chiffchaff in the Top Wood. 60 Skylarks and 50 Linnets were on the fields and 14 Yellowhammers, 2 Stonechats, 4 Redwings and a Reed Bunting were kicking about.

Wednesday 2nd

Despite it being early winter there seems to be some life in the old dog yet, with 36 Goldfinches and 3 Siskins flying along the cliffs and 26 Redwings and a Fieldfare hanging on, mainly on the farm. The farm fields were also quite busy with at least 110 Linnets and 110 Skylarks and 3 Song Thrushes were having a go at singing as the morning became increasingly pleasant.

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