Wednesday, 23 August 2017

21st, 22nd & 23rd August, 2017 Beachy Head and Portland Bill

21st August, 2017 Beachy Head Calm humid morning

LP visited Crowlink, Birling area, Belle Tout and Shooters Bottom. Generally quite for migrants in the areas covered with only 4 Willow Warblers logged. No diurnal migration was seen.

Swift 1 W
Yellow Wagtail 5 at Birling
Swallow 30
Whinchat 1
Reed Warbler 1
Sedge Warbler 1
Common Whitethroat 25
Willow Warbler 4

22nd August, 2017 Beachy Head Clear with an E breeze.

Combined totals:

RE was ringing in Whitbread Hollow and LP covered a number of sites on the Headland. A reasonable fall of night migrants with the highlight being a female Nightjar which was trapped and ringed in Whitbread Hollow. This now becomes our 11th record for Beachy since 1960 with 8 found in September and one last Spring. In 1978, a single bird was present in Whitbread Hollow from 12th Aug to 10th September, and although it was never trapped much to JFC annoyance, as he saw it virtually every morning during its stay as he was opening the nets. It would fly along the mist-net run but would never fly into the nets.
Diurnal migration was chiefly over the Headland with our first Grey Wagtails for the Autumn, Hirundines with 8 Swifts and Yellow Wagtails.

Sparrowhawk 1 Hollow
Kestrel 1 Hollow
Nightjar 1adult female trapped Whitbread Hollow
Swift 8 E
Green Woodpecker 1 Hollow
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1 Hollow
Sand Martin 20 E
Swallow 280 E
House Martin 25 E
Tree Pipit 1
Yellow Wagtail 42 (30 at Birling & 12 overhead)
Grey Wagtail 2 overhead
Nightingale 1 Whitbread Hollow
Common Redstart 2 (including the male which has been present since the 15/7).
Whinchat 3
Wheatear 1
Sedge Warbler 2
Reed Warbler 3
Lesser Whitethroat 5
Common Whitethroat 65 (45 Headland & 20 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 1
Blackcap 70 Whitbread Hollow
Chiffchaff 1
Willow Warbler 50 (35 Headland and 15 Hollow)
Spotted Flycatcher 1 (first for the Autumn)
Raven 1 Hollow

taken by RE
Adult Female Nightjar trapped and ringed in Whitbread Hollow

22nd August, 2017 Portland Bill

With a Yellow Warbler (first for Dorset) present at Portland Bill yesterday, Myself, RJF and JK decided an early morning drive but unfortunately when we arrived there were around 300 birders on site but no sign of the Yellow Warbler. We spent 3-4 hours at the site and saw very few migrants with just a few Willow Warblers. A Jersey Tiger Moth showed very well on a bush and we did a short sea-watch where RJF picked out a light phase Balearic Shearwater at reasonable range which proved to be the highlight of what was a disappointing day.

Jersey Tiger Moth at Portland Bill

23rd August, 2017 Beachy Head Bright start with low cloud from 09.00 SSE wind

Combined totals with adjustments for overlapping areas covered:

LP covered the headland from the Hotel to Shooters Bottom,
while RE. SM and MB were ringing in Whitbread Hollow.
RAB also visited the Headland and covered  Bridleway to Long Down
and the Cattle Field, Old Trapping Area and Shooters Bottom. 

A much quieter day on both the Headland and in the Hollow. Diurnal migration was mainly Swallows with 120 E. and 40 W, a single Grey Wagtail over the Hollow.

Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1
Peregrine 1
Green Woodpecker 1 Long Down
Swallow 120 E & 40W 
Yellow Wagtail 16 (5 moved overhead)
Grey Wagtail 1 Hollow
Wheatear 3
Whinchat 3 
Common Redstart 5
Grasshopper Warbler 1 Hollow
Reed Warbler 1
Common Whitethroat 26 (20 Headland and 6 Hollow)
Lesser Whitethroat
Blackcap 25 Hollow (compared with 70 yesterday)
Willow Warbler 9 Headland

Sunday, 20 August 2017

16th August, 2017 & 20th August, 2017. Beachy Head & Woods Mill

16th August, 2017
RE was ringing in Whitbread Hollow and LP visited the Headland.

Tawny Owl 1
Tree Pipit 1
Nightingale 2 new birds trapped
Common Redstart 2
Whinchat 1
Wheatear 8
Song Thrush 1
Grasshopper Warbler 1 Headland
Sedge Warbler 1
Common Whitethroat 118 (38 Headland & 80 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 26 (25 Hollow & 1 Shooters Bottom)
Blackcap 40 Hollow
Willow Warbler 49 (25 Headland & 24 Hollow)

Woods Mill N.R.
We visited here and met SL and we were hoping to see Willow Emerald Damselfly as several were seen here yesterday, but unfortunately none showed whilst we were looking. A decent number of
dragonflies. were seen including Brown Hawker, Southern Hawkers, Emperor, and many Ruddy Darters. The highlight was while Simon was showing us where he had seen a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker recently, much to our surprise one came flying along. Probably the first I have seen for around 10 years.

Southern Hawker  at Woods Mill

20th August, 2017 Beachy Head Fine sunny W 1-2

Just received this picture taken around 1960 by my brother
Barry Cooper. It shows myself, the late Sid Greenwood
and Tony Quinn. The three of us and my brother used to
watch and ring together at Beachy.

We covered most of the usual sites on the Headland with RE and MB ringing in Whitbread Hollow and KG also was birding in the Hollow area.

An early small influx of Willow Warblers at Birling, and these quickly moved inland and by 08.00 most had gone, otherwise reasonable numbers of Sylvia warblers were present in the Hollow. Little in the way of diurnal passage with 2 Swifts W, 13 Yellow Wagtails W over the headland, and 4 Tree Pipits overhead in the Hollow area.

Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1
Tawny Owl 2 Hollow
Swift 2 over the cliffs at Birling
Green Woodpecker 1
Sand Martin 1
Swallow 20
Tree Pipit 4
Yellow Wagtail 17 (13 W)
Pied Wagtail 5
Nightingale 1 heard in Whitbread Hollow
Stonechat c20 on headland
Wheatear 8
Song Thrush 1
Sedge Warbler 1
Reed Warbler c20 Whitbread Hollow
Common Whitethroat 71 (50 Hollow and 21 Headland)
Garden Warbler 6 Hollow
Blackcap 40 Hollow
Willow Warbler 50 (40 Headland early morning & 10 Hollow)
Corn Bunting Party of 7 at Birling in the bushes

Good selection of  butterflies seen today including Brown Argus, Clouded Yellow and 4 Painted Ladies. Also 1 Stoat seen in Whitbread Hollow.

Some of today's Willow Warblers at Birling which quickly
moved off inland.

Monday, 14 August 2017

14th August, 2017 Beachy Head Fine and sunny SE 1

A somewhat strange morning, with light SE breeze very hopeful of a good fall of migrants. We started off at Birling but other than just 4 Willows and 3 Whitethroats the area was quiet. We quickly moved on to the Old Trapping Area and virtually not a bird seen and the Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge were similar. We then stopped off at Shooters Bottom meeting up with LP and Whitethroats were everywhere many hopping around on the ground with a selection of other migrants. RE was again ringing in Whitbread Hollow and found it generally to be fairly quiet. In case there had been a mid-morning fall of migrants I quickly re-checked the Old Trapping Area but still no change from earlier.

Combined totals:

Sparrowhawk 2
Common Buzzard 1
Red-legged Partridge 2 (1 ad with 1 virtually full grown young)
Tawny Owl 1
Green Woodpecker 1
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1 flew E through Shooters Bottom
Sand Martin c35
Swallow c150
Swift c180 in Shooters Bottom during the evening feeding on ant swarm.
Tree Pipit 3
Yellow Wagtail 2 overhead
Nightingale 1 heard Shooters Bottom
Common Redstart 2
Whinchat 1
Wheatear 6
Sedge Warbler 4
Reed Warbler 25 Hollow
Common Whitethroat 90 (50 Headland and 40 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 18 Hollow
Blackcap 20 Hollow
Chiffchaff 2
Willow Warbler 20 (6 Hollow and 14 Headland)

Tree Pipit in Shooters Bottom 

Adult Red-legged Partridge

Sunday, 13 August 2017

13th August, 2017 Beachy Head Part cloud becoming sunny, cool at first becoming warm N2-3 vearing NE 1

We covered Birling lane and scrub, Belle Tout wood and scrub, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge, The Rides and Shooters Bottom. LP also visited the area around the Pub and RE, SM & MB were ringing in Whitbread Hollow. KG also visited the Hollow area.
Reasonable numbers of night migrants with the highlight being a Wood Warbler trapped in the Hollow and a Pied Flycatcher also there. Virtually no diurnal passage was recorded.

Combined totals:

Cormorant party of 7 W
Sparrowhawk 2
Yellow-legged Gull 1 Juv Birling with Herrings
Tawny Owl 1
Tree Pipit 3
Sand Martin 30
Swallow 30
Nightingale 1heard in the Hollow
Common Redstart 3
Wheatear 1
Whinchat 3
Grasshopper Warbler 2 Headland
Sedge Warbler 1
Reed Warbler 20-25 in the Hollow
Common Whitethroat 91 (51 Headland & 40 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 12
Blackcap 16
Wood Warbler 1 trapped and ringed Whitbread Hollow 
Willow Warbler 51(21 Headland & 30 Hollow)
Pied Flycatcher 1 Whitbread Hollow

No butterfly count made today but reasonable numbers on the wing including:
Clouded Yellow 1
Hummingbird Hawk-Moth 3

Record shots of the Whinchat at Birling

(taken by RE)
Wood Warbler trapped in Whitbread Hollow

Three Hummingbird Hawk Moths were seen today

Saturday, 12 August 2017

12th August, 2017 Beachy Head Dull overcast with periods of drizzle. W 4-5

A fairly short visit this morning and decided to depart when a period of drizzle started. We covered Birling lane and scrub, Shooters Bottom and the Old Trapping Area. No repeat of yesterdays fall of migrants although the wind made birding difficult.

Yellow Wagtail 2 in the cow field at Birling
Wheatear 1
Whinchat 1
Common Whitethroat 24
Willow Warbler 9

Wheatear at Birling

Friday, 11 August 2017

11th August, 2017 Beachy Head Fine calm and sunny W calm slowly increasing to 3

A beautiful calm sunny early morning. I visited today with Terry and we covered Birling lane and scrub, Belle Tout wood and scrub, Shooters Bottom, and Old Trapping Area. LP also covered sites on the headland and RE was again ringing in Whitbread Hollow.
Another excellent fall of night migrants chiefly Common Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and over 100 Reed Warblers which were either seen or trapped. Highlight was an elusive Pied Flycatcher at Birling. Virtually no diurnal migration was seen other than a Snipe high W.

Kestrel 2
Peregrine 1 adult
Snipe 1 high W over Birling
Green Woodpecker 2
Sand Martin 2
Swallow 25
Tree Pipit 4
Yellow Wagtail 3 juv. types
Pied Wagtail 5
Nightingale 2 (1 ad Hollow and 1 OTA)
Common Redstart 2-3
Wheatear 3
Grasshopper Warbler 2 Hollow
Sedge Warbler 1
Reed Warbler  c117 (17 Headland & c100+ Hollow, with 51 trapped and ringed).
Lesser Whitethroat 4
Common Whitethroat 160 (90 Headland & 70 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 7+ Hollow
Blackcap 10
Chiffchaff 4
Willow Warbler 125 (65 Headland & 60 Hollow)
Goldcrest 1
Pied Flycatcher 1 Birling
Bullfinch 2
Corn Bunting 3

Clouded Yellow 1
Painted Lady 2

Herring Gulls feeding on the ground on Birling lane

Juvenile type Yellow Wagtail in with cattle at Birling

Another juvenile type Yellow Wagtail on the flag pole at Birling.

taken by TEC
Pied Flycatcher at Birling

taken by TEC
Adult Peregrine on the hunt over Birling

Reed Warbler in Shooters Bottom.
Probably a record day for Beachy for numbers.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

9th August, 2017 Beachy Head Early morning rain becoming sunny and calm with later rain NW 0-1

After the early morning rain had cleared we covered virtually all the main sites on the Headland excluding the Birling loop. RE was ringing in Whitbread Hollow and AR visited the Cow Gap area.
Again the Headland was very quiet with just small numbers of migrants and no diurnal migration seen. Whitbread Hollow was busier with migrants.

Combined Totals:

Little Egret 1
Sparrowhawk 3 (2 Headland and 1 Hollow)
Common Buzzard 1
Green Woodpecker 1
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Swallow 5
Nightingale 1 ad trapped Hollow (new bird)
Common Redstart 1 Hollow
Grasshopper Warbler 1 Cow Gap
Lesser Whitethroat 6
Common Whitethroat 80 (23 Headland, 27 Cow Gap and 30 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 18 Hollow & Cow Gap
Blackcap 13
Chiffchaff 2
Willow Warbler 62 (10 Headland and 52 Hollow area)
Jay 1

No butterfly count made today with the more interesting sightings
Wall 1 Birling lane 
Brown Argus 1 Belle Tout
Dingy Skipper 1 Belle Tout

Autumn Ladies Tresses reasonable numbers are now showing at Birling (seems to be an early date)

Common Whitethroat at Birling

Autumn Ladies Tresses at Birling