Monday, 3 October 2016

Beachy success (eventually)

Monday 3rd October. I wasn't working and after much deliberation decided to try Beachy again. Yesterday had been disappointing but it was supposed to be a little warmer with a lighter wind supposedly going around to the east. I arrived at Birling just after dawn and walked up the lane seeing Chiffchaffs but little else. I was just about to start back down when I met Richard Kelly and we decided to try Michel Dene but could only find Chiiffs and the odd Blackcap there. Returning to the top of the lane at Birling I heard a single disyllabic call sounding very like a Yellow-browed Warbler but Richard didn't and it didn't repeat. We looked for 20 minutes or so but only saw Chiffchaffs so gave up assuming I had been mistaken. We walked up to Shooter's Bottom and back seeing a few more Chiffs and Richard a skulking Redwing. I ended the morning having seen Sparrowhawk, 4 Buzzards, 50+ Swallow, 500+ House Martins, 27 Pied Wagtail, 11 Stonechats, a Whitethroat, 7 Blackcaps, 68 Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest. Back at Birling I left Richard but a story he'd told me about having the courage of one's convictions was playing on my mind. He had been at Church Norton and briefly seen a pale phyllosc he felt sure was a Bonelli's but after some time a pale Willow appeared and he left assuming that was it to later discover a Bonelli's had been found there. I returned to the plantation at the top of the lane at Birling and almost the first bird I saw was a Yellow-browed Warbler although it disappeared before I could get my bins on it. Fortunately it soon reappeared and I had good views although not for long. I then tried putting out the news but had no signal. I waited another hour or so but it didn't reappear. I went on to Crowlink seeing 3 Blackcaps and 19 Chiffchaffs. Yellow-browed Warbler had saved the day.
Chiffchaff, one of many seen today


the top of the lane at Birling
sheep and friend at Crowlink

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