Saturday, 3 November 2012

Beachy Head & Hume's Leaf Warbler (03 November 2012)

A busy week at work meant no chance to slip off over to Beachy for the Hume's Leaf Warbler that was found by John Marchant on Tuesday.  Two Peregrines on the Power Station chimney and a Grey Wagtail over the Old Steine that day were my only notable sightings going to work, return journeys now in the dark.  Then I thought there was no chance that the Hume's would stay, but each day it did made the wait to the weekend more anxious.  Leaving work on Friday under a clear sky with the temperature having dropped made be particularly concerned that it would be a Friday night splitter.

Very heavy overnight rain was slow to clear and driving over to Birling on Saturday morning gave my car its annual wash (above and below).  I arrived at Birling at 06.40 just as the rain started to ease off and y the time I had got my leggings and Wellingtons on and John King had arrived the rain had just about stopped.   John and David Cooper and Brenda Kay were not far behind but other than pigeons there was little moving overhead and virtually nothing on the deck.  we made our way up to Belle Tout lighthouse and down to the wood where I greatly relieved to hear the the Hume's was still present.  We spent two hours there with the small crowd keeping tabs on for most of the time, although it was moving about a lot.  It performing reasonably well but was still too quick for me to get anything other than barely identifiable photos, not helped by poor/variable light and focusing difficulties with leaves and glasses.  We then covered the rest of the Head up to the Hotel garden but by then the wind had picked up making it difficult to see anything even if there had been anything to see.

Birds recorded by me at Beachy were c10 Common Scoter (on the sea before the wind got up), 2 Sparrowhawks, Merlin, 2 Peregrines, 13 Stock Doves, 3900 Wood Pigeons (including at least 3000 heading out south), 23 Sky Larks, 8 Swallows, Hume's Leaf Warbler, 5 Goldcrests, 25 Goldfinches and a Siskin (heard).

Ferry, gull and rainbow from Birling
DC suggested the rainbow might be over Portland after the spell they've been having but a  ship assisted House Crow would seem more likely
spot the bird - Hume's Leaf Warbler in Belle Tout Wood, Beachy
one small step ...
quick check on the wing formulae
at times like these a better camera and lens would be nice, although I'd need someone to carry them for me
a nice bird to most likely finish the autumn with, although one always hopes ...

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