Monday, 28 August 2017

20-28 August 2017

Monday 28 August. With roads likely to be closed at Birling and wanting to avoid Bank Holiday traffic as much as possible I decided to give Cissbury a go, arriving at 06:00. I saw 5 Green Woodpeckers, 35 Swallows, Redstart, 22 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 7 Willow Warblers and 3 Spotted Flycatchers. John Dodd was birding there too seeing similar fare, rather disappointing really. There was nothing interesting amongst the 300 or so mainly Herring Gulls on the Adur while a late afternoon walk with Cookie on Mill Hill produced single Reed and Willow Warblers and 2 Whitethroats.
juvenile Great Black-backed Gull pestering a parent for a meal

the adult soon became fed up with the begging and flew off
Whitethroat and Reed Warbler at Mill Hill - a decent fall by Unst standards but there it would be Barred and Blyth's Reed Warblers
Whitethroat with caterpillar 

Willow Warbler
Sunday 27 August. Megan, Ruth and I took Cookie to Crowlink from where we walked to Birling and back. It was hot and we didn't arrive until gone nine so it was no surprise there was little about. I saw 11 Yellow Wagtails, Redstart, Whinchat, 6 Wheatears, 8 Whitethroats, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warblers and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Cookie on Mill Hill
Roe Deer
Willow Warbler in evening light
Saturday 26 August. A pleasant morning at Seaford Head where I met up with JK and Matt who kindly showed us around. I saw Snipe, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Swifts, Sand Martin, 120 Swallows, 25 House Martins, 15 Yellow Wagtails, Whinchat, Wheatear, 3 Reed Warblers, 5 Lesser and 8 Common Whitethroats, 65 Blackcaps, 8 Willow Warblers, 3 Spotted Flycatchers and a Raven. JK and I stopped at High and Over where we had distant views of the 2 Cattle Egrets.
Seven Sisters and Belle Tout from Hope Gap
early morning Wheatear in Hope Gap

Friday 25 August. A changed itinerary for what was to be a visit to Crowlink and Birling with Megan, Nessa, Ruth and Cookie. We started at Beachy Head Hotel and took in the Old Trapping Area Melodious Warbler which showed soon after our arrival, had a chat with Doreen Cooper and Brigit and Gareth James, and did a short circuit back to and part-way along the Cliff Path. It was very quiet but we hadn't been early and the day was heating up. We drovew back to Birling, found a space and walked a circuit to Belle Tout Lighthouse and Wood seeing 4 Wheatears along the cliff edge. After a visit to the centre and a brief roadside stop for 8 Yellow Wagtails in the cow field we headed back to Hove. Hopes of . 

Thursday 24 August. Single Wheatears at Hove pitch & put and on Southwick Berach on my cycle home from work. At dusk an unringed juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 3 Common Sandpipers
juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on the Adur, a chunkier bird than the colour-ringed individual so pewrhaps this one is a male and the other a female?

apparent darker mantled Herring Gull
the flock flew before I could get anything on it

Wednesday 23 August. Quiet on Mill Hill with single Reed and Willow Warblers seen, a Blackcap and 6 Whitethroats. At dusk on the Adur juvenile Yellow-legged Gull HD429 was again present (I'd seen it first on 27 July and Tony Fenton had seen it shortly after). Also with the gulls was a North Thames Herring Gull and a Kingfisher shot past.
Peregrine on Mill Hill trig point
gulls roosting on the Adur at low tide 
North Thames Herring Gull, it looked to be DX6T
Yellow-legged Gull HD429. No news yet from the ringing scheme to which the earlier sighting was submitted.

the same bird on 27 July showing slightly more dark juvenile mantle feathers
Tuesday 22 August. John Cooper drove John King and me on an 'oldies day out' to Portland but was to be an abortive trip with no sign of yesterday's Yellow Warbler. A close Balearic Shearwater past the Bill was the only worthwhile sighting although 2 Ravens were the first I've seen there.

Jersey Tiger Moth at Portland
Monday 21 August. A Rock Pipit by the Lock Gates on my way home.

Sunday 20 August. 54 Ringed Plovers, 17 Dunlin and a juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull on the Adur.
juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull. Very uniformly dark upperparts
with Herring, longer and thinner
much easier to identify when with a parent

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