Sunday, 29 September 2013

Mill Hill and Shoreham (29 September 2013)

Sunday 29th.  After the disappointment of Beachy yesterday and a similar or worse forecast I decided to try Mill Hill instead - the western aspect of the area makes it sheltered from a north-easterly.  I was there from 07:00-09:00 and birds were very similar.  I recorded 110 Swallows, 120 House Martins, 11 Pied Wagtails, 10 Meadow Pipits and 19 Linnets flying east while grounded migrants were a Wheatear, 2 Whitethroats, 19 Blackcaps, 48 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher.  A distant Cetti's Warbler was heard, two Long-tailed Tits were seen and a Jay flew over the Old Shoreham Road on my return.  A mid morning visit to the allotment produced another 20 Swallows and some heard Meadow Pipits east while 65 Lapwing and 5 Dunlin flew over the Adur at low tide.  Later I called into Shoreham Harbour and saw 3 Sandwich and an Arctic Tern and a Kingfisher.
Wheatear at Mill Hill - not very approachable
Chiffchaff on Mill Hill in poor light

Saturday 28th.  A morning walking round a fairly windswept Beachy Head.  Easterly winds from the continent in late September should be good but no sign of anything at all interesting today with most birds keeping their heads well down.  Birds seen included Buzzard, 300 House Martins, 18 Pied and a Grey Wagtail, 35 Meadow Pipits and 70 Linnets flying east while a Wheatear, 3 Whitethroats and 3 Chiffchaffs were seen on the deck.  More Chiffs where heard but not a single Blackcap.  Still a nice place to be out, especially with good company - Martyn Kenefick (regaling us with tales from the trip he'd just led to California - loads of new birds for me there), John King and John & David Cooper. 

Monday 23rd-Friday 27th.  1-2 Peregrines on Southwick Power Station each day, two Wheatears on Southwick Beach on 23rd, Herring Gull A4AH at Sussex University on 24th, a Rock Pipit on Carots Cafe on 25th and 3 Sandwich and an Arctic Tern in Shoreham Harbour on 26th.  The days are drawing in but still a month of cycling home in the light.

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