Saturday, 25 October 2014

Beachy Red-breasted Flycatcher (25 & 26 October 2014)

Sunday 26th.  Another morning at Beachy with the usual suspects where the Red-breasted Flycatcher had exceeded all expectations in still being present.  It was again easily the day's highlight.  Also seen on a quieter and much windier day were a Merlin, 1000+ Stock Doves, 2 Tawny Owls, 30 Sky Larks, 4 Swallows, Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaffs, Goldcrest, firecrest, 2 very showy/vocal Ravens  and 70 Goldfinches.  The Stock Doves were in a huge straggling flock that came up from behind Cornish Farm with most heading NE although at least 200 came back and dropped into stubble fields.  About 300 Herring Gulls, 30 Sky Larks, 600 crows (mainly Jackdaws) and 400 Starlings were also constantly being disturbed and flying around.  Although we did not see it at the time a falconer was later seen with his falcon.  In the afternoon Megan and I went to Rackham where a small bird flock included Firecrest, Marsh Tit, Nuthatch and Treecreeper with two male Mandarins and a flock of 50 Goldfinches in Parham Park.

Red-breasted Flycatcher still pleasing the crowds (and me)
it wasn't keeping any stiller today, and the light was worse

Tawny Owl at Beachy
falconer and falcon - presumably the cause of much consternation amongst the corvid and gull flocks around Cornish Farm
perhaps closest to Lanner (I didn't get a clear view of it in flight) although hybrids are a possibility. I'm not sure if this is the bird flying rather more freely (despite radio antenna) a couple of times over the last four weeks

Saturday 25th.  Most of the day at Beachy with John King,  John & David Cooper and Brenda Kay.  We did our usual route starting at Birling, arriving at the Red-breasted Flycatcher when the crowd had dissipated somewhat and the sun was trying to come out.  it was easily the day's highlight but we also saw 2-3 Merlins, Tawny Owl, 33 Sky Lark, Ring Ouzel, 3 Dartford Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, 13 Chiffchaffs, Firecrest, 3 Goldcrests, 2 Ravens, 12 Jays, 1230 Goldfinches and 15 Reed Buntings.  I failed to see any hirundines (or Bramblings) and went on to try my luck at Crowlink.  A Black Redstart made the visit worthwhile and I also saw 2 more Chiffchaffs, 3 more Goldcrests and 2 more Ravens.  Light winds and some sunshine,along with the company and birds, made it a very enjoyable day .
Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Old Trapping Area at Beachy
the extent of red on the breast suggests it is in a least its third year

the white in the tail was much more obvious in flight

too often it sat partially obscured, or if in the open flew just as I found or focused on it in my telescope
police helicopter over the cliff edge at Belle Tout

Raven at Crowlink
Black Redstart on a roof in Crowlink
Goldcrest in fading light in Crowlink

Friday 24th.  A lunch-time visit to Beachy where the Red-breasted Flycatcher was seen in appalling conditions, my first adult male in Britain.  A adult Mediterranean Gull was on Southwick Beach on my way home - the last time I'll be doing the journey in daylight for several months.

Thursday 23rd.  Two Grey Wagtails over Stamner Park.

Wednesday 22nd.  A adult Mediterranean Gull was on Southwick Beach on my way home.

Monday 20th.  A Peregrine on Southwick Power station in the gloom on my way to work.

Sunday 19th.  A morning walk around Cissbury with Megan was quiet with one Ring Ouzel glimpsed, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests and a Treecreeper.  A low tide visit to the Adur in the afternoon produced a juvenile Brent Goose looking a bit lost, Kingfisher, Curlew and Mediterranean Gull.

Toadstool at Cissbury
Brent Goose on the Adur
Kingfisher on the Adur

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