January 2020

Thursday 30th

Grey and drizzly with a brisk S wind, a walk around the valley was pretty unpleasant, with only a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker of note. It was very mild, however.

Tuesday 28th

A morning of scrub management at the top of the valley, ably assisted by Ted and Colin here ……….

Ted and Colin January

Monday 27th

‘Low tide, low numbers, my boy’ my old gran used to say and how right she was. An hour of looking hopefully towards France produced just 122 Cormorants, 7 Red-throated Divers, 26 Gannets, 12 Kittiwakes and a Bonxie.

Friday 24th

Very gloomy with poor visibility it was at least calm. Stonechat, Peregrine and Raven were seen along the cliffs and 119 Cormorants flew from a roost just north of Fan Bay. 36 Blackbirds was more than double the numbers that were apparent earlier in the week, though their origins were probably no further than nearby gardens, where they doubtless go in less benign conditions.

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Monday 20th

A beautiful sunrise heralded a bright, calm and initially frosty winter morning. Merlin, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard were seen on a walk along the cliff and farm, 70 Skylarks were on the fields and 7 Song Thrushes were on the farm, suggesting a small cold weather influx.

Friday 17th

Overcast with occasional brief showers an hour and a half looking out to sea proved busy, if variety was rather limited. 1,825 auks moved SW, many of which appeared to be Razorbills, as did 58 Gannets and 149 Kittiwakes.

Tuesday 14th

This morning brought a window of relative calm between last night’s 60mph excesses and more strong winds later today. An hour and a half in the bay produced totals of 510 Cormorants (or thereabouts), 83 auks, 88 Gannets, 102 Kittiwakes, 9 Red-throated Divers and the obligatory Bonxie. However, the morning’s best bird was a Snow Bunting, flushed from the edge of a field near Wallet’s Court on the way in.

Monday 13th

The start of a fractious-looking week was pleasantly bright, although the SW wind had freshened considerably by late morning. A walk around the farm and valley was invigorating and largely bird-free, but 4 Song Thrushes were doing their best to make it sound like spring and a Little Egret was on the rocks in the bay.

Wednesday 8th

An hour and a half seawatch in overcast conditions with a light SW breeze produced 2 Bonxies, 40 Fulmars, 55 Gannets and 265 Cormorants, mostly flying SW, while a Razorbill and a Shag on the sea in the bay were the best of the rest.

Thursday 2nd

Dull again, misty again but with a brisk S breeze to stir things up, 2 hours looking out to sea produced 2 Eider (an adult male and female), a Shag, 3 Curlews, 33 Red-throated Divers and 1,150 Cormorants. The Cormorant show was fairly pedestrian for the first hour but picked up seriously around 9 and most flew by in half an hour or so after that, at which point hordes turned back, while some sat on the sea and generally turned the scene into a spotty mess.

Wednesday 1st

Dull, calm and misty it was nevertheless a good opportunity to remove some of the post-Christmas cobwebs with a walk around the clifftop and farm. 2 Ravens were tumbling about above, a Little Egret was on the rocks below and a Stonechat was at the lighthouse, while the tame Pink-foot was still on the fields.