Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Burgess Hill

On the 13th May went for a short walk along the track and a Nightingale was singing in the bushes along the railway track. and today on the 15th at 10.00 am a fine Red kite flew E over our house.

Friday, 11 May 2018

11th May, 2018 Beachy Head Sunny clear but cool SE 2-4

We joined RE and RAB at Birling and sea-watched from 05.20-11.15 and KH, RES, and RKH joined us later. With the winds now in the SE hopes were high, but unfortunately it didn't quite live-up to expectations with the highlights being just 1 early morning Pomarine Skua, and 7 summer plumage Black-throated Divers.

Red-throated Diver 2 E
Black-throated Diver 7 s/p E
Gannet 353 E
Shelduck 2 E
Common Scoter 118 E
Sanderling 1 E
Dunlin 1 E
Whimbrel 2 E
Pomarine Skua 1 l/p E @ 06.15
Arctic Skua 6 E
Black-headed Gull 2 E
Common Gull 5 E all immatures
Kittiwake c500 E
Sandwich Tern 47 E
Commic Tern 251 E
Auk Sp 47 E
Guillemot 2
Swallow 3 in off the sea.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

7th & 8th May, 2018 Beachy Head Hot and sunny ENE 1

7th May, 2018
RAB performed an evening sea-watch between 17.15-19.45 and recorded the following:
Gannet 22 E and 2 W
Shelduck 1 E
Common Scoter 1 E
Bar-tailed Godwit 2 E
Whimbrel 10 E
Pomarine Skua 17 E
Skua Sp. (Probable Pomarine without a tail)
Arctic Skua 4 E
Black-headed Gull 31 E in a single flock
Sandwich Tern 18 E
Commic Tern 46 E

8th May, 2018
KG recorded 5 Pomarine Skuas E @ 07.54

Friday, 4 May 2018

3rd and 4th May, 2018 Beachy Head

3rd May, 2018 RAB sea watched from 16.05-19.05 Sunny, SW 1-2
RE and LP also covered some of the headland sites during the morning. Very few migrants seen on the headland.

Gannet 13 E and 2 W
Brent Goose 1 E
Shelduck 5 on cliff top
Common Scoter 8 E
Whimbrel 1
Sandwich Tern 4 E
Collared Dove 1
Green Woodpecker 1
Tawny Owl 1
Swallow 5 (2 in off the sea)
Yellow Wagtail 1 over head
Wheatear 1
Song Thrush 2
Common Whitethroat 7
Willow Warbler 3

Harbour Porpoise 1

4th May, 2018 RAB, AQ, RKH, RES, and KH sea-watched from 05.35-11.00 (with odd breaks)
Cloudy with periods of thick mist. NW-SW 1-2.

Red-throated Diver 1 E
Diver Sp. 1 E
Gannet 51 E and 15 W
Shelduck 1 E
Common Scoter 51 E
Whimbrel 5 E
Curlew 1 E (with Whimbrel)
Arctic Skua 1 E
Pomarine Skua 2 E ( per RKH, RES, KH)
Bonxie 1 E
Sandwich Tern 24 E
Commic Tern 259 E
Little Tern 1 E

Harbour Porpoise 4 off Birling

RAB also visited B/T wood and scrub, but only saw a few migrants 
Willow Warbler 3
Chiffchaff 2
Common Whitethroat 2
Lesser Whitethroat 1

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

2nd May, 2018 Beachy Head Overcast SSW-S 6-7

RAB sea-watched yesterday evening and I have added this sea-watch to yesterday's blog at the end of our daily totals, to keep our figures in the correct order for further assessments.

He also sea-watched today from 05.40-08.40 and recorded the following:
Black-throated Diver 1 in full s/p E
Gannet 119 E and 31 W
Arctic Skua 15 E
Bonxie 12 E
Sandwich Tern 14 E
Commic Tern 4 E
Common Scoter 24 E
Whimbrel 6 E
Sanderling 1 E
Auk Sp. 2 E

Late News: Richard also visited Belle Tout wood on the 29th April and had singles of Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher and Garden Warbler, also the Ring Ouzel in Shooters Bottom.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

1st May, 2018 Beachy Head Sunny and clear but cold wind. WSW 2 increasing to 3-4

After a very wet and windy day yesterday, we decided to try a sea-watch in the hope that the odd Pom. may have been waiting for a break in the weather to move through the Channel. We sea-watched from 06.30-09.00 and within 5 minutes a d/p Pom. was picked out above the horizon with a good tail and spoon. It was watched firstly chasing a Herring Gull followed by a Kittiwake obviously hoping for breakfast. Within 5 minutes a superb l/p Pom. with a good white collar came along again above the horizon with the usual steady plodding flight, and another good tail. A third d/p Skua sp. than appeared again on the same line above the horizon  with a steady plodding flight but this time I was unable to see any tail at all. I strongly suspected this to be another Pom. although I left it at sp. Although all 3 skuas were about 10 minutes apart, they were probably at one time were all moving together. We also had 2 Bonxies but just 10 Med. Gulls and only 2 Sandwich Terns.
We also covered the Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge and RE had covered Birling lane, Birling loop, Cornish Farm track, B/T wood and Shooters Bottom. A small arrival of night migrants including 20 Wheatears and our first Spotted Flycatcher for the year.

Gannet 16 E
Shag 1 ad. E @ 8.05
Shelduck 1 W
Common Scoter 2 E
Red-legged Partridge 5 (2 pairs and 1 single bird)
Sanderling 1 E
Whimbrel 1 E
Pomarine Skua 2 E (1 d/p at 06.35, and 1 l/p at 06.45)
Skua sp. (probable Pomarine d/p E at 06.50) 
Bonxie 2 E
Mediterranean Gull 10 (6 adults and 4 2ndcy)
Sandwich Tern just 2 E
Auk Sp. 1 E
Collared Dove 1 N up Birling lane
Tawny Owl 1
Green Woodpecker 1
Swallow 2
Wheatear 20 (Our largest daily total so far this year)
Song Thrush 2
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Common Whitethroat 5 (Still very low numbers present on the headland)
Garden Warbler 1 B/T wood
Chiffchaff 1
Willow Warbler 14
Spotted Flycatcher 1 B/T wood 

Evening Sea-watch 17.40-19.25 by RAB
Red-throated Diver 1 E
Gannet 3 EWhimbrel 16 E
Arctic Skua 14 E
Bonxie 4 E
Black-headed Gull 52 E
Little Egret 1 Birling

Speckled Wood 1
Early Purple Orchid - Good numbers in flower at a number of sites.
Early Spider Orchid 24 counted at one site

As a matter of interest, observers at Cap Gris Nez in nearly 5 hours of sea-watching this morning reported 12 Pom. Skuas, 27 Arctic Skuas 3 Skua sps. 44 Black-throated Divers, 43 Black Terns, 688 Sandwich Terns, 261 Little Terns, and over 2,000 Commic Terns. plus a selection of other birds.
Once again, we seem to be on the wrong side of the Channel!!

Thousands and thousands of Cowslips are now in flower.

Our best day this year for Wheatears, and not before time

Still relatively few Willow Warblers so far this Spring.

Speckled Wood butterfly in the Hotel Garden

Good numbers of the Early Purple Orchids are now showing.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

28th April, 2018 Beachy Head Overcast with sea-mist. WNW 4

Arrived at Birling to poor visibility with sea-mist. We sea-watched from 06.15-07.45 but unfortunately I then had to pack up due to bad side-effects from my chemo. treatment. A good movement of Gannets with 7 Manx Shearwaters but again very few terns seen although with a WNW wind that wasn't surprising.

Manx Shearwater 7 (3 E and 4 W)
Gannet 203 E
Brent Goose 22 E
Common Scoter 58 E
Whimbrel 2
Bonxie 1 E
Sandwich Tern 2 E
Commic Tern 1 E

Roger and Liz had an Osprey E late afternoon.