Sunday, 26 August 2012

Beachy Head (26-27 August 2012)

Sunday 26 August 2012.  I met John King at Birling at 06:25 and we covered most of the areas on the head seeing 3 Sparrowhawks, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Sand Martin, 15 Swallows, 18 Yellow Wagtails (8 in Birling cow field and 10W), 3 Redstarts, 4 Whinchats, 16 Wheatears, 2 Grasshopper Warblers, single Reed & Sedge Warblers, 27 Whitethroats, 20 Willow Warblers (including one acredula type), 3 Spotted Flycatchers and 2 Ravens.  

Redstart in the Old Trapping Area - two were seen here as well as a male in the rides above Whitbread Hollow

Male Wheatear above Belle Tout Wood, at least 15 were present in this area

Monday 27 August 2012.  06:30-14.30 at Beachy Head.  Pleasant walking around mostly in company of John King & Simon Linington but birds took some digging out although after a black year in 2011 a Pied Flycatcher in Shooter's Bottom made it worthwhile. Without going into Whitbread Hollow or Cow Gap (both rather exposed in a stiff southerly wind) I saw a Sparrowhawk, 3+ Peregrines (2 chasing a Greenshank below the cliff edge - Peregrines need to eat but we hope it got away), 6 Swifts, 140 Sand Martins, 15 Swallows, 2 Tree Pipits,  54 Yellow Wagtails, 6 Redstarts, 5 Whinchats, 15 Stonechats, 9 Wheatears, Lesser Whitethroat, 28 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 9 Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, Pied Flycatcher, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Ravens and a Crossbill.  About 50 Gannets were seen from occasional glances out to sea but when JK & I heard of an impressive passage past Dungeness we tried a short seawatch from Birling but only saw 6 Sandwich and 4 Common Terns.

I called in at Arlington on the way home but had my usual unproductive visit - no Osprey, no terns, single Ringed Plover, Dunlin & Common Sandpiper, 4 Sand Martins and 2 Swallows.  I then tried the Adur as the tide was still low seeing 25 Ringed Plover, single Dunlin & Common Sandpiper and 4 Sandwich Terns but no colour-rings amongst the few gulls.  Finally half an hour up on Mill Hill hoping an Osprey might fly past - one didn't - produced 5 Swallows.

Sandwich Terns on the Adur
first winter Lesser Black-backed Gull on the Adur

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