Saturday 5 May: 44 Common Terns and 6 Common Scoter flew east in a wet 90 minutes at Splash Point, Seaford. Martyn Kenefick, John King and I went on to Beachy where we saw a Hobby, 3 Swifts, 2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Tawny Owls, a Black Redstart, 14 Wheatears, 5 Garden Warblers, 20 Whitethroats and a Lesser Whitethroat. It was hard to find any sheltered areas in a strong NE wind and there was probably a lot more present but keeping out of site. An evening visit to the Adur produced few gulls, just one Redshank and a low flying Swift heading north.
Sunday 6 May. Another damp north-easterly. I picked up Martyn Kenefick and we met John King at Seaford. With just a Great Crested Grebe, 3 Sanderling and a pack of 17 Commic Terns east between 6-7 am it was no surprise that we were the only seawatchers present. We relocated to Beachy where a good selection of migrants were seen including 4 Hobbies, a Turtle Dove (hopefully not the only one I see this year), 5 Swifts, 44 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Whinchats, 18 Wheatears, a Garden Warbler and 25 Whitethroats (of which 8 were feeding on the grassy cliff edge). Also seen was a peregrine and the two Tawny Owls. An evening visit to the Adur produced 1 bait-digger, 1 little egret, no waders and a few gulls.
|Hobby on the cliff edge near Belle Tout|
|The pale nape and orange rather than red vent suggest that this is a 2CY bird returning to Britain for the first time. Welcome back, although I'm sure you'd prefer it to be warmer!|
|Tawny Owls at Beachy|
|nowhere seemed to give a clear view|
|Whinchat at Birling. Very nice to see in the spring, I usually have to wait until autumn|
|Yellow Wagtail at Birling. Very nice to see males in the spring, I often have to wait until autumn for a perched view of this species|
|typical female Yellow Wagtail|
|a greyer, paler female flava|
|easy to imagine this one being a female Blue-headed but can one be sure?|
|the very pale ear-coverts give this bird a quite distinctive look|
|no mistaking a White-tailed Wagtail though!|