Tuesday, 24 March 2015

24 Mar 2015 Beachy Head Early rain becoming dry with rain again later. NW light

LP visited the Headland and covered most of the usual sites. Small arrival of night migrants, also a party of 7 Red Kites.

Red Kite 7 drifted in from the west and circled over Belle Tout and departed E
Common Buzzard 6
Peregrine 2+
Black Redstart 3 (1 Birling and 2 Hodcombe)
Wheatear 1 female
Blackbird 20
Redwing 2
Blackcap 3
Chiffchaff 30+

Red Kites over Belle Tout

Red Kites 
(All pictures taken by Lawrence Pitcher)

Monday, 23 March 2015

23 Mar 2015 Beachy Head

LP decided to sea-watch from 17.10-18.45 as the wind had swung to the SW and recorded c1,300 Brent Geese E majority in large flocks.

Also a report on the SOS web-site of a Ring Ouzel, Wheatear and Chiffchaff seen during the morning.

(taken by Lawrence Pitcher)
Brent Geese moving over Birling

Saturday, 21 March 2015

21 Mar 2015 Beachy Head Clear and sunny at first becoming overcast and cool N 3-4

With a cold brisk N wind, we didn't bother with a sea-watch and covered Birling lane, Birling to Belle Tout loop including the wood, and Shooters Bottom.

Migrants were in short supply although 2 new Black Redstarts were seen and c100 Meadow Pipits came in and a flock of 28 Chaffinches flew over high moving E.

Sparrowhawk 1
Common Buzzard 1
Kestrel 1
Curlew 2
Stock Dove 2
Meadow Pipit c100 in and then N.
Alba Wagtail 2 in
Black Redstart 2 (both 1stW males)
Stonechat 5
Blackbird 6
Song Thrush 1
Chiffchaff 2
Raven 3+
Chaffinch 28 high E

Late news from yesterday evening was a Short-eared Owl near Belle Tout.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

18 March 2015 Beachy Head Fine and sunny ENE

LP visited Belle Tout wood, Birling and Sardine Valley. Small fall of 14 Chiffchaffs with another Firecrest at Birling and c30 Meadow Pipits in off the sea.

SL also visited Belle Tout wood and had 10 Chiffchaffs, 1 Firecrest and 1 Goldcrest.

Chiffchaffs taken by Lawrence Pitcher

Monday, 16 March 2015

16th March 2015 Beachy E4

LP visited the Belle Tout area seeing 3 Firecrests and 3 Chiffchaffs in the wood and a second calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull in the field opposite and the female-type Black Redstart still in the Old Lighthouse garden.

Firecrest in Belle Tout Wood (Laurence Pitcher)

Chiffchaff in Belle Tout Wood (Laurence Pitcher)

Black Redstart in the Old Lightouse garden (Laurence Pitcher)

Sunday, 15 March 2015

15th March 2015 Beachy NE4 Overcast

With the cold northeasterly remaining overnight our hopes were pinned on some pre-dawn rain and the overcast conditions dropping any migrant braving the Channel crossing onto first landfall. However, a five minute look out to sea failed to impress and covering Birling, Belle Tout and the top fields failed to produce any migrants at all. 

Red-throated Diver 1E
Great Crested Grebe 1 on sea
Brent 20E
Sparrowhawk 1
Stonechat 8

Saturday, 14 March 2015

14th March 2015 Beachy NE3 Clear

A cold north-easterly wind combined with clear conditions rarely does us any favours in the Spring so it was no surprise that effectively no migrants were seen today. A fifteen minute sea-watch proved deadly quiet so we covered Birling, Belle Tout and the top fields. A Yellowhammer dropped into the scrub at the top of Birling Lane being a formerly favoured area for the species, a Redwing was seen on the eastern side of Belle Tout Wood and the Black Redstart was still at the Old Lighthouse but the only diurnal migration was limited to a tight flock of 12 Chaffinches flying over heading east.

Red-throated Diver 1E, 2W, 6 on sea
Grey Heron 1W
Buzzard 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Auk sp. 1W
Redwing 1
Stonechat 14
Black Redstart 1
Meadow Pipit 2N, 15
Chaffinch 14E
Yellowhammer 1
Reed Bunting 3

Male Reed Bunting at Belle Tout

Carrion Crow over the Old Belle Tout Lighthouse
Carrion Crows with predominantly white flight feathers were once a feature of birding at Beachy but have been encountered far less frequently in recent years.