Monday, 24 July 2017

23rd & 24th July, 2017 Beachy Head Overcast with periods of drizzel N 2 increasing to 4

23rd July, 2017

RE and MB went ringing in Whitbread Hollow and had a small arrival of night migrants which included 4 Grasshopper Warblers trapped. 
RJF covered Crowlink to Belle Tout with a Cuckoo east of Belle Tout and LP visited Shooters Bottom and also had a juvenile Cuckoo, so possibly 2 Cuckoos on the headland.

Cuckoo 1-2 
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Grasshopper Warbler 4 (all juvs 2 yellow, 2 greyish morphs)
Reed Warbler 5
Whitethroat 1
Garden Warbler 1
Blackcap 20
Chiffchaff 15
Willow Warbler 10
Greenfinch 1

(taken by LP)
Juvenile Cuckoo in Shooters Bottom
24th July, 2017

We covered Birling lane and scrub, Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge. We also met up with AR, LP and RB who were also covering sites on the Headland and RE was again ringing in Whitbread Hollow.
The Cuckoo was again present in Shooters Bottom with our first Wheatear of the Autumn on Icky Ridge and during a period of drizzle, 230 Swifts moved W in ten minutes from 08.00 to 08.10.
Combined totals:

Sparrowhawk 1
Common Buzzard 1
Peregrine pair at Icky Ridge
Whimbrel 1 calling over Shooters Bottom
Cuckoo 1 juv. Shooters Bottom
Swift 230 W in drizzle between 08.00-08.10
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1 Whitbread Hollow
Meadow Pipit 15
Wheatear 1 Icky Ridge
Song Thrush 3
Reed Warbler 1
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Common Whitethroat 30
Blackcap 6
Chiffchaff 2
Willow Warbler 9
Tree Creeper 1 Whitbread Hollow (our first this year)
Raven 3
Greenfinch 1
Goldfinch 40
Corn Bunting 12

Visibility better today for the view of the wind farm from Birling.

Movement of Swifts this morning.
Unfortunately, no sign of any White-rumps??

Juvenile Cuckoo in Shooters Bottom taken in drizzle

Looking down on a Wheatear on Icky Ridge

Saturday, 22 July 2017

22nd July, 2017 Beachy Head Overcast SW 4

We covered Birling lane and then a sea-watch from 07.10-07.45. We then birded the Birling scrub, Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge. RE also covered Birling lane and then onto Whitbread Hollow.

Area very quiet with a few new Blackcaps seen on the Headland but no diurnal movement seen.

Fulmar 1
Gannet 26 E
Common Scoter 6 E
Rock Pipit 2
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Common Whitethroat 26
Blackcap 6 (4 Headland and 2 Hollow)
Chiffchaff 1

Wall Butterfly 3

Grey Seal 1 off Birling

Wind farm taken from Birling Gap

Blackcap in Shooters Bottom-Four new birds seen on the Headland today.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

19th July, 2017 Beachy Head Fine becoming low overcast E 1 vearing SW 2-3

A very pleasant early morning but by 08.00 low cloud had arrived causing fog over the Head. We covered Birling lane and scrub, Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area but the remainder of the area was covered in fog. RE also covered Birling lane and the Birling to Belle Tout loop, Belle Tout wood and the Cornish Farm track. An early influx of 40 Meadow Pipits, but otherwise no new migrants were seen .

Common Buzzard 1
Swallow 19
Meadow Pipit 40
Song Thrush 1 singing
Common Whitethroat 16
Corn Bunting 10+ (several juveniles seen)

Belted Hoverfly-Volucella zonaria 1 present at the top of Birling lane was considered to be this specie. Thanks to RE for this identification.

(taken by Peter Brooks)
Thunder storms over Belle Tout lighthouse during last night.

Swallow at Birling

 Juvenile Corn Bunting near Birling.
Breeding population at Beachy has increased this year to
around 10 pairs and odd birds have been heard singing from the
gorse area above Belle Toutwood. A number of juveniles
have been seen recently.

Monday, 17 July 2017

16th & 17th JulyBeachy Head Overcast cool ENE 4

16th July, 2017

RE commenced this Autumn's ringing season in Whitbread Hollow. As expected not to much happening although a Reed Warbler was an obvious migrant. Also present 6 Blackcaps including a re-trap which was first ringed in 2014 and 15 Chiffchaffs with the majority ringed were juvenile birds. Also a Song Thrush in song.
LP visited the Headland which was very quiet.

17th July, 2017

We visited the Headland and covered Birling lane and scrub, Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge meeting up with AR and LP both who were birding the headland. Once again the strongish wind proved troublesome although small numbers of Sand Martins, Swallows and Swifts moved E otherwise just the odd night migrant seen, also 2 Great-spotted Woodpeckers.
Combined totals:

Swift 21 E
Great-spotted Woodpecker 2 (1 Shooters Bottom & 1 flew E over the Old Trapping Area)
Sand Martin 20 E
Swallow 47 E
Meadow Pipit 10
Reed Warbler 1 Old Trapping Area
Common Whitethroat 24
Willow Warbler 3

DRC looking for migrants at Birling

Adult Common Whitethroat in the Old Trapping Area.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

15th July, 2017 Beachy Head and Newhaven Light overcast W 0 increasing to 3-4

We covered Birling lane and scrub opposite, Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge. No sign of any diurnal migration this morning although a few new night migrants including a fine adult male Redstart.
RE visited Whitbread Hollow.
Combined totals:

Common Buzzard 1 Hollow
Kestrel 2
Swallow 16
Common Redstart 1 ad. male Hotel Garden
Stonechat 12
Song Thrush 4
Sedge Warbler 1 Birling
Blackcap 1
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Common Whitethroat 18
Chiffchaff 3 (1 Hotel Garden & Hollow)
Willow Warbler 1 1styr bird (Our first this Autumn)
Starling 100
Jay 2
Linnet 40
Goldfinch 20
Bullfinch hear calling in Whitbread Hollow

Weasel 2-3
Fox 1

Adult male Redstart taken through the car windscreen
by DRC.

On our way home we stopped off at Newhaven harbour. A few Herring Gulls were on the beach with one juvenile Herring/ Yellow-legged Gull. It was a different individual which we saw on the 10th as it was smaller with shorter legs and more markings on the upper and under tail coverts, and a few extra markings behind the eye. The bill appeared very similar in size to Herring Gull and the tertials show notches which is a pointer towards Herring Gull, whereas Yellow-legged usually shows a plain white fringe without the notches. 

Juvenile Herring or Yellow-legged Gull at Newhaven harbour.
Now considered to be a juv. Herring Gull, many thanks to
DC and RJF for their input on the identification.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

13th July, 2017 Beachy Head Fine and sunny SE 1 increasing to 2-3

We met up with RAB and covered Birling lane and scrub opposite, Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge area and finally Belle Tout wood. LP also covered a number of sites on the headland. Several new night migrants seen and 35 Sand Martins E.
Combined totals as follows:

Ringed Plover 1 over the headland
Common Buzzard 1 Birling
Kestrel 1 juv.
Black-headed Gull 20 off Birling
Green Woodpecker 2 Birling
Sand Martin 35 E
Swallow 15
Song Thrush 2 Shooters Bottom
Sedge Warbler 2 (Old Trapping Area & Shooters Bottom)
Reed Warbler 1 Old Trapping Area
Lesser Whitethroat 2 Shooters Bottom
Common Whitethroat 26
Chiffchaff 1
Raven 2
Starling 200 (many juvs.)

Butterflies estimated numbers:
Meadow Brown c40
Gatekeeper c50
Chalk Hill Blue 3
Small Heath 1
Large Skipper 1
Small Skipper c15
Essex Skipper 1
Comma 1
Small White c15
Large White 2
Red Admiral 3
Marbled White c20

Fox 1

LP visited the headland yesterday evening and saw the Little Owl with 1 young at Birling manor farm, also had a juv. Yellow-legged Gull fly over the headland.

Comma in Belle Tout wood.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

12th July, 2017 Beachy Head Heavy rain overnight clearing around 07.00 Overcast NE 4

We waited for the rain to clear although the NE wind was stronger than expected. We covered Birling lane and scrub opposite, Shooters Bottom and the Old Trapping Area. The headland was extremely quiet with 53 Swifts were seen over the top fields.

Late news: LP had 2 juv. Yellow-legged Gulls during the evening on Holywell beach on the 10th and 1 on the 11th.

Little Egret 1
Kestrel 2 (at least 1 was a 1stW)
Peregrine 1 carrying prey over Shooters Bottom
Swift 53 feeding over the top fields
Green Woodpecker 1
Song Thrush 3 Birling scrub
Common Whitethroat just 7 seen today.

We stopped off at Newhaven, and although a reasonable size flock of gulls was on the beach, no sign of any Yellow-legged  or Mediterranean Gulls.