November 2020

Friday 27th

Overcast with some occasional rain and a light NE breeze an hour and a half seawatch produced a mainly SW movement of 184 Gannets, 84 Common Scoter, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Bonxie, 36 Brent Geese, 50 Kittiwakes, 11 Wigeon, 25 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 84 auks, 34 Red-throated Divers and 93 Cormorants. 2 Little Egrets were on the shingle in the bay and around 20 Fulmars were in the bay.

Thursday 26th

Overcast with a slight breeze from the NNW there was nothing moving, though 13 Tree Sparrows were on the farm and Fan Bay and 2 Stonechats were still on the clifftop. At least 10 Fulmars were wheeling about off the cliffs and 96 Cormorants headed towards Dover Harbour in a taste of things to come as autumn turns to winter.

Monday 23rd

A beautiful late autumn morning, calm and chilly to begin with, was still reasonably busy, with 19 Redpolls flying NE, 51 Woodpigeons flying in the opposite direction and an influx of 40 Blackbirds.

Friday 20th

Calm, clear and the frostiest yet, the morning brought a SW/W movement of 1,040 Woodpigeons, accompanied by at least 23 Stock Doves. 3 Tree Sparrows were at Fan Bay, 2 Stonechats were still present and a late House Martin flew over, but everything else was in very muted numbers.

Thursday 19th

The W wind was nowhere near as forecast, little more than force 2-3, so for the most part movement was subdued, except for Woodpigeons that were arriving from the north, amounting to 570 during the morning. Otherwise, 52 Goldfinches, 13 Siskins, 4 Redpolls, a Brambling, 23 Redwings and 12 Fieldfares flew W.

Wednesday 18th

Despite an increasingly fresh S wind there was a decent amount of movement up the valley this morning, amounting to 182 Goldfinches, 18 Crossbills, a Brambling, 11 Redpolls, 8 Siskins and 2 Swallows, while 2 Redwings were on a rather wind-blown farm.

Tuesday 17th

Just an hour peering out to sea this morning, which produced 96 Gannets, the first three returning Fulmars and singles of Red-throated Diver, Guillemot and Great Crested Grebe, while 2 Little Egrets were poking about in the rock pools, socially distanced as they did so.

Monday 16th

Having got the recent meteorological nonsense out of the way a bright start gradually clouded over but in a frisky W breeze there was a fair amount going on, for mid-November anyway. Bird of the morning was a ringtail Hen Harrier that flew up the valley, while movement into the wind included 86 Goldfinches, 290 Woodpigeons, 37 Chaffinches, 6 Siskins and 2 Bramblings. A Fieldfare and 2 Firecrests were pretty much the only bits of interest in the valley.

Wednesday 11th

A slight increase in the S breeze stimulated a bit of movement, amounting to 206 Goldfinches, 62 Redpolls, 12 Siskins, 4 Bramblings and singles of Crossbill and Tree Sparrow. A few thrushes on the farm included 32 Redwings and 15 Fieldfares.

Tuesday 10th

It continues to be ridiculously warm for the time of year and although birding has an increasingly end-of-term feel there were a few bits of interest. At least 7 Tree Sparrows remained on the farm, where a Firecrest was also seen, 12 Redpolls and 22 Goldfinches were noisily active in the valley and two Sparrowhawks included an impressively huge female.

Monday 9th

A late start occasioned by unexpected rain overnight and a saturated moth trap, taken indoors at 3am! A few bits and bobs included 6 Swallows, 20 Goldcrests and a Treecreeper in the Lower Wood.

Saturday 7th

In bright, calm and sunny conditions nothing was moving, though 2-3 Tree Sparrows and a Chiffchaff were still on the farm, with 3 more Chiffchaffs in the valley where 5 Firecrests were flitting about. A late Clouded Yellow was on the farm.

Friday 6th

A stunning mackerel sky kicked off the morning and the E breeze, lighter than forecast, encouraged a resurgence in movement that included 254 Goldfinches, 3 Bramblings, 230 Starlings, 3 Swallows and 15 Redpolls, while 14 Fieldfares and 6 Redwings dropped in. 40 Goldcrests, a Firecrest and 3 Chiffchaffs were in the valley and 21 Yellowhammers and 4 Tree Sparrows were on the farm.

Thursday 5th

Cloudless and calm with a few patches of frost it was another brilliant late autumn morning. Birding was typically slow going for the time of year, but 18 Redwings flew from the valley and a constant procession of at least 50 Blackbirds was evident; some dropping from the ether while other made their way inland from the clifftop. 4 Tree Sparrows were on the farm, 5 Stonechats were still present, 8 Swallows flew SW and a Yellow-browed Warbler gave fabulous views at it fizzed through the sycamores and sallows at the top of the valley.

Wednesday 4th

Thank goodness, the rain and gales of the last few days were replaced by blue sky, a light NW breeze and the first frost pockets of frost this autumn. Birding was basically a watered-down version of late October, the main highlights being a Yellow-browed Warbler, 5 Firecrests, 4 Bramblings, a Ring Ouzel and 7 Tree Sparrows in Langdon Hole, 2 Swallows sitting rather forlornly on the fence at Fan Bay, 17 Redwings and a Fieldfare, 6 Stonechats, 6 Reed Buntings and 14 Redpolls, while 820 Starlings flew in off the sea.