Monday, 26 September 2016

Beachy (24 & 26 September)

Monday 26th. I left home just after 06:00 anticipating arriving at Birling just before sunrise although was stuck in traffic approaching Newhaven for half an hour. After a diversion through narrow streets in the upper part of the town I passed the scene of the accident and someone being attended as they lay in the road. There are many worse things than being delayed. Other than for Chiffchaffs Beachy was rather quiet. Walking around Birling, up to the rides above Whitbread Hollow and back over Long Down I saw 3 Peregrines, 130 Swallows (but no martins), a Whinchat, 27 Stonechats, 3 Wheatears, 2 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 64 Chiffchaffs, 2 Ravens and 16 Corn Buntings. Nothing other than swallows was flying over although I did see a Siskin, my first of the year(!), during an impromptu stop at Roger and Liz's.
an early Blackcap at Birling
Corn Bunting at Birling. Not the bunting one hopes for at Beachy
Whinchat at Birling, the only one seen in two late September visits (with no redstarts of flycatchers either how poor is that!)
Seven Sisters heading for Dieppe
Beachy Head lighthouse and Peregrine (small dark speck) on the left of the chalk stack
Wheatear at Long Down, just 3 were seen
excitable Jackdaws and other corvids behind Cornish Farm, maybe one of the Peregrines was around
roadworks East of Birling, the old road surface has been completely removed
Sunday 25th. A low tide visit to the Adur produced new two colour-ringed gull sightings, single Grey Plover and Greenshank, 33 Ringed Plover and 18 Dunlin. Not great viewing conditions (low sun and strong wind) and a couple of bait diggers didn't help.
Great Black-backed Gull AT. It appears to be from a scheme in the Netherlands where birds are ringed above the knee to make it easier to read as the colony is in long grass. The image of this ring would have been easier to read if my camera hadn't been set at 1600 ISO, something I only realised when checking these gull images and wondering why they didn't crop very well!
North Thames Herring Gull A6GT 
Saturday 24th. I visited Birling and walked up to Shooter's Bottom and back via Long Down. An enjoyable walk (nice weather and excellent views) but much quieter bird-wise than yesterday with a Hobby, 2 Sand Martins, 170 Swallows, 60 House Martins, 3 Yellow Wagtails,single Wheatear and Mistle Thrush, 3 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps and 5 Chiffchaffs. Later Megan and I walked around Mill Hill seeing just 16 Swallows flying east.
Canada Geese over Birling Gap
presumably the Cuckmere flock, there were about 400
most landed in the fields behind Cornish Farm
Seaford Head and the Seven Sisters
Belle Tout Lighthouse
Yellow Wagtail, one of three with cows behind Cornish Farm
a sky full of birds, but on this occasion only corvids were seen. Later a Hobby was seen up with them but it seems doubtful it would have caused a scare?

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