Saturday, 2 November 2013

Birling Pallas's (02 November 2013)

Work commitments prevented me from taking Friday off and joining the Coopers on their successful trip to Unst.  Maybe next time.  Next best thing, well not usually, was a trip to Beachy and I met John King in the car park at Birling Gap at 7 am.  After a brief look at the sea we started to walk up the lane and I spotted an active small bird with whitish underparts in an open bush by the left hand tamarisks about 35m away.  It had two very prominent pale wingbars and a stripy head - a Pallas's Leaf Warbler - and I told John.  Unfortunately he saw a movement in a nearer bush which was a Chiffchaff and before he could get onto the right bird it flew up across the lane about 100m and dropped behind the second bungalow.  We followed it and after a few minutes heard it call as it flew past us and into a bush near the top of the lane about 30m away. This time we both saw it as it moved up in the bush before flying on another 100m and appearing to drop into the back of the plantation.  Disappointingly we never saw it again despite an hour of searching the area that produced a Firecrest, Goldcrest and several Chiffchaffs - all of which quickly moved through.  We looked and failed again later with Simon Linington, who had earlier seen 3 Black Redstarts and 2 Blackcaps in the gardens.  Elsewhere at Beachy we saw 14 Stock Doves, 25 Swallows, 2 Redwings, a few more Chiffs and another Goldcrest, a Raven, 205 Goldfinches and a Redpoll and heard a Ring Ouzel in France's Bottom.  I later visited Crowlink seeing just 4 Goldfinches.

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