Monday, 17 October 2016

Beachy and Crowlink (17 October 2016)

Monday 17th October. I arrived at Birling at 07:30 where a superb Hunter's Moon was setting behind clouds. Bob Edgar was coming down the lane as I walked up. Neither of us saw any migrants at all although there were at least 8 Corn Buntings in the corner field near the road. I walked over to Belle Tout Wood where Roger Haggar, Bob Smith and Keith Hackett were watching 6-7 Chiffchaffs along the western edge. While talking to Roger I picked out a/the Yellow-browed Warbler which he and Keith saw but unfortunately not Bob. I then continued on to Shooter's Bottom where about 8 Ring Ouzels were keeping well hidden. 2 Blackcaps were the only other migrant seen until I returned to Belle Tout where 8 Swallows flew over. I joined Richard Kelly but the Yellow-browed Warbler did not reappear. I then went to Crowlink but couldn't find the four Ring Ouzels Richard had seen there that morning, 5 Chiffchaffs being the best I could manage. Yellow-browed Warbler and Ring Ouzel made it a good day for Sussex, but Yorkshire is in a completely different league and I sometimes wonder why I bother.
Hunter's Moon at Birling
Sunday 16th October. With a strong southerly wind and some early heavy showers seawatching from Widewater seemed the least worst option. I was there after most of the heavy rain had gone through and from 08:25-10:25 saw a Sooty Shearwater (W at 08:45), Great Skua (W at 09:53), 1-2 Common Scoter and 200+ Gannets (150E:100W). Most birds were distant, as is usually the case from Widewater, that there was anything made a pleasant change! On the Adur before dark 45 Ringed Plover, 14 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail, a much better visit than the previous evening's.
Greenshank by the Dog's Trust


Kingfisher by the Dog's Trust
it caught a tiddler while I was watching it

Saturday 15th October. A bit of a lie in after yesterdays exertions (it is hard sleeping in the back of Matt's car!) before walking around Mill Hill. It produced a single Ring Ouzel, 20 Swallows flying east and 2 Chiffchaffs. Little was seen on a  late afternoon visit to the Adur, not helped by two bait-diggers, although a Norwegian colour-ringed great Black-backed gull was seen. It had come 950 km SW from Vest-Agder. 

Roe Deer at Mill Hill
First calendar year Great Black-backed Gull JAU09


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