Saturday, 8 June 2019

Beachy Head - Summary of Spring 2019.


Summary of  Spring 2019

Sea-watch details:
Jan-Feb:            18 dates         28.25 hours 
March                13 dates         18.75 hours 
April                  19 dates         69.50 hours
May                   13 dates         23.50 hours
June                    3 dates            3.50 hours

Black-throated Diver
2019: Jan-Feb sea-watches: Recorded on 3 dates from 2/1 (2 on the sea at 300 metres drifted W), 7/2 2 (1 E and 1W), 18/2 (1 E with 6 RTD’s)
Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 9 dates from 4/4 (4 E in summer plumage) to 17/5 (1 E in s/p), with a total of 28 E majority in s/p with a daily max of 9 E on the 25/4.

Red-throated Diver
2019: Jan-Feb sea-watches: Recorded on 17 dates from 5/1 to 27/2 with a total of 579 with the daily max of 91 on the 16/2.
Spring sea-watches: Recorded from 1/3 to 18/5 with a total of 216 majority moving E and with a daily max of 51 E (majority in summer plumage ) on the 30/3.
After reasonable numbers seen during Jan and Feb, the Spring sea-watches were very poor.

Great-crested Grebe
2019: Jan-June: Recorded on 27 dates from 5/1 (3) to 18/5 (2) with a daily max of 6 on the 13/2.

Fulmar
2019: Jan-June: Recorded throughout this period. On the 5/1 8 moved W off Birling. Daily max: 12 on the sea on the 15/2. By mid-May only around 3 were present off Birling although 7 were seen off Icky Ridge.

Manx Shearwater
2019 Spring sea-watches: 4 (4,1E and 3 W), 25/4 (2E) and 29/5 (1E).

Gannet 
2019: Jan-Feb: Recorded on 18 dates from 5/1 to 27/2 with daily max of 121 E on the 2/2
Spring sea-watches: Recorded throughout with Max. movements 4/4 343E, 5/4 387E, 6/4 306 E, 15/4 218 E.


Gannets off Birling


Cormorant
2019: Spring sea-watches: Max. daily sightings:  2/2 245 were on the sea off Birling and then departed W. 17/2 158 ( 126 W and 32 E), 23/2 Flock of 50 W.

Shag 
2019: Spring sea-watches: 22/4 (1 ad E, ) 25/4 (1 E), 26/4 (1 ad E).

Little Egret 
2019: Spring: Logged on 11 dates at Birling from 15/1 (1) to 22/5 (2) with a daily max: 23/4 (5). On the 17/4 2 were moving E a long way out off Birling.



Little Egret over Birling beach.


Spoonbill 
2019: 19/4 1 E @ 13.45 off Cow Gap, photo (LP).
Our 9th record since 1960 involving 16 individuals.

Grey-lag Goose
2019 Spring: 17/3 1 E over Birling sewage farm, 8/4 1 over the Downs, 14/4 1 E off Birling and 16/4 2 E off Birling.

Canada Goose
2019: Spring: 11/3 1 W off Birling, 29/3 15 E off Birling and 18/4 2 in off the sea at Birling.

Brent Goose
2019: Jan-Feb: Recorded on 10 dates from 7/1 to 27/2 with a total of 790 mainly E daily maxs: 17/2 242 E and 23/2 203 E.
Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 24 dates from 1/3 to 23/5 with a total of 2,081E with daily maxs: 7/3 687 E, 4/4 348 E.
With the two totals added together this makes a total of 2,871 for the first 6 months.
A poor Spring, in recent years 5,000+ have been recorded.



One of the features of the early sea-watches is the 
Brent Geese passage.

Shelduck
2019: Spring: Recorded on 23 dates from 15/2 to 23/5 with a total of 89. Daily Max: 22/4 17. A pair were prospecting again around Birling area between 20/3 to 23/5.

Wigeon 
2019: Spring sea-watches: 15/2 (50 E) and 1/3 (7E).

Gadwall 
2019: Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 7 dates from 13/4 to 25/4 with a total of 25 E. Daily max: 14/4 (11 E)

Teal 
2019: Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 14 dates from 18/1 to 16/5 with a total of 116E. Daily Maxs: 15/4 (21E) and 23/4 (27 E).

Mallard 
2019: Spring sea-watches: 18/4 (2E) and 22/4 (4E).

Pintail 
2019: Spring sea-watches: 15/2 (3E), 23/2 (9 E) and 23/4 (3 E).

Garganey 
2019; Spring sea-watches: 15/4 (5 E), (2 singles with Scoters and 3 with 2 Teal). (JFC, RAB, RKH, RES, KH)

Shoveler
2019 Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 10 dates from 29/3 to 16/5 with a total of 34E. Daily Max 16/5 10 E.

Tufted Duck 
Spring sea-watches: 28/3 3 E and then W.2

Scaup
Spring sea-watches:  15/4 1 drake E (RAB).

Eider
Spring sea-watches: 5/4 (5 sat on the sea and departed E), 11/5 (4 W), 22/5 (1 imm.drake stood on the ledge off Cow Gap).

Five Eiders on the sea off Birling.

Common Scoter
Jan-Feb: Recorded on 11 dates from 5/1 to 27/2 with a total of just 71.
Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 39 dates from 1/3 to 1/6 with a total of 6,062. Daily maxs: 5/4(727), 15/4 (1,100), 22/4 (1196).
No repeat of last year's total of 12,896.

                            

Common Scoters going past Birling
                                                      
Velvet Scoter
Spring sea-watches: 5/4 (3E), 18/4 (6E), 22/4 (9E), 25/4 (9E).
Similar numbers to last year.

Red-breasted Merganser
Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 10 dates from 15/2 to 22/4 with a total 43 E with a daily max; 1/3 (14 E).
Still very low numbers, in 2004, 344 were logged.

Red Kite
Spring: 25/3 2W over the Headland, 18/4 2 seen from Hodcombe, 20/4 2 (1 wing-tagged over B/T wood, and 1 untagged over Shooters Bottom, 21/4 2 over Birling Gap, 29/4 1E over the Headland.
A total of 9 birds.

Sparrowhawk
Spring: Recorded on 16 dates from 2/2 to 29/5. All singles with both males and females i/d, apart for 2 on the 11/3 with 1 at Birling and 1 appeared to come in and departed high NE over the Headland.

Female Sparrowhawk above Whitbread Hollow

Common Buzzard
Spring: Logged on 16 dates from 7/1 to 20/5 with a total of 30 seen. Daily maxs: 7/3 ( 6 over B/T wood) and 11/5 (4 over the Headland).

Common Buzzard over Belle Tout

Kestrel 
Spring: Recorded on 32 dates from 5/1 to 9/6. Chiefly singles, with 2 over the Headland on the 23/5, although both male and females were i/d., the male has now been present for several years, and on the 24/4 and 25/4 it appeared to be hunting out over the sea off Birling. 



Kestrel over Shooters Bottom

Merlin 
Spring: Recorded on six dates from 21/3 to 8/4 on the Headland and probably all related to a single female which was photographed by LP on the 8/4.

Hobby
Spring: Singles recorded on 6 dates from 20/4 to 7/6 with 1 moved E along the Cliff Path on the 1/5 until out of sight, and 1 in off the sea and headed off N inland on the 23/5.
Our earliest Spring date was on the 19/4/1997.

Peregrine
Spring: Recorded throughout the Spring with a daily max: of 5 on the 20/3. On four dates during April, up to 2 adults were watched hunting out over the sea, although they were not seen to catch any prey.

Red-legged Partridge
Spring: Up to two recorded on 17 dates from 18/3 to 24/5.

Pheasant
Spring: Up to 2 recorded on 7 dates from 11/3 to 22/5.

Oystercatcher
Spring: Small numbers logged from 16/2 (10) along Birling beach. On 22/3 1 high E a long way out off Birling, and 7/5 4E moving a long way out off Birling.

Avocet
Spring sea-watches: 13/4 (2E), 22/4 (5E), 30/4 (8E) and 12/5 (3E).

Ringed Plover
Spring sea-watch: 17/5 1 E

Grey Plover
Spring sea-watches: 17/4 18 E and 6/5 1 E.

Knot
Spring sea-watches: 22/4 8E

Sanderling:
Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 4 dates from 14/4 to 17/5 with a total of 68 E. Daily maxs: 14/4 (13E) and 16/5 (40 E).

Dunlin:
Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 5 dates from 13/4 to 30/4 with a total of 21 with daily maxs. of 6 on the 13/4 and 25/4.

Woodcock:
Spring: 20/2 1 in Whitbread Hollow, 21/3 1 flushed in Shooters Bottom and 23/3 1 flushed in Shooters Bottom.

Bar-tailed Godwit:
Spring sea-watch: Recorded on 11 dates from 13/4 to 16/5 with a total of 1,024E with Daily maxs: 22/4 283 E and 23/4 525 E.
Our best Spring since 2011

Whimbrel
Spring sea-watch: Recorded on 14 dates from 5/4 to 23/5 with a total of 368 E. Daily Maxs: 22/4 (74 E) and 25/4 (63 E).
Our best Spring since 2011 when 661 were recorded.

Curlew:
Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 19 dates from 7/1 to 23/2 with a total of 59. Daily max: 18/4 9E.
The above totals also include several birds which winter off Beachy Head.

Redshank
Spring sea-watches: 22/4 7 E.
Surprisingly for such a common wader, the party of 7E is our largest party recorded from the Headland.

Greenshank
Spring: 8/4 1 calling over the Headland.

Pomarine Skua
Spring sea-watches: 22/4 (17E), 23/4 (1E), 24/4 (3E) and 17/5 (5E). A total of 26 E.
The main passage this year was on the afternoon of the 16/5 when 37 moved E off Selsey Bill and when no observers were watching off Beachy Head.

Pomarine Skua off Birling
 pity it never had a spoon

Arctic Skua
Spring sea-watch: Recorded on 6 dates from 4/4 to 18/5 with a total of 146 E.
Daily Maxs: 5/4 (19E), 17/4 (16E), 22/4 (24E), 25/4 (32 E).
An average Spring.



Arctic Skuas off Birling
146 passed this Spring.

Great Skua
Spring sea-watch: Recorded on 9 dates from 5/4 to 18/5 with a total of 49 E.
Daily maxs: 22/4 (10E), 25/4 (23E).
An average Spring. In 2012 a total of 292 were seen during the Spring, while in 2016 just 5 were seen.

                


Bonxie's past Birling Gap 

Mediterranean Gull
Spring sea-watch: Recorded on 30 dates from 12/2 to 17/5 with a total of 890 E.
Daily maxs: 17/4 (190E), 22/4 (152 E), 23/4 (101E), 26/4 (109E).
By far our best Spring to date, our previous best was in 2017 when 475E were logged, so this year we have almost doubled this figure. In 2013, we recorded 134 E during the Spring which then was a record Spring for us and our largest daily total was then 30 birds. Med Gulls have become almost the main feature of the Spring sea-watches. Will we break through the 1,000 barrier next Spring!!

reak



Mediterranean Gulls were the main feature this Spring
with record numbers past Beachy Head.


Little Gull
Spring sea-watches: 25/4 2 juv's E and 7/5 1 ad E.
Very disappointing that we could only pick out 3 little Gulls, which were close in during this Spring. 
In recent years we have found it difficult to pick out Little Gulls and Little Terns due to our aging eye-sight, and Little Gulls are usually a little way out off Birling.

Black-headed Gull
Spring sea-watch: Recorded moving on 24 dates from 24/2 to 1/6 with a total of 933 E and 30 W.
Daily maxs: 7/3 Flock of 80E, 22/4 223E, and 25/4 125E.

Common Gull
During February between 20 and 200 chiefly adults were present in the grassy fields at Birling.
Spring sea-watch: Recorded moving E on 14 dates from 4/4 to 1/6 with a total of 358.
Daily max: 22/4 (68).

Lesser-black-backed Gull
Spring: Just two records were logged: 23/2 2 on Birling beach, but not specifically raced, 15/3 1 of the Scandinavian race intermedius.

Herring Gull
Spring: Recorded throughout the Spring 15/1 c400W along the cliffs, 29/5 c250 following a trawler off Birling, 1/6 c200 feeding off Cow Gap on a shoal of fish.

Greater-Black backed Gull
Spring: 15/1 c300 W along the cliffs and 16/4 30 E along the cliffs.

Kittiwake
Spring: Logged on 20 dates from 7/1 to 26/4, with a total of 2,631, although present throughout the Spring. Daily maxs: 4/4 637E, 15/4 714E, 25/4 c300E, 26/4 c400E.

Black Tern
Spring sea-watch: 25/4 (2E), 30/4 (4E), 7/5 (6E).

Sandwich Tern
Spring sea-watch: Recorded on 30 dates from 30/3 to 4/6 with a total of 1,446E.
Daily maxs: 25/4 289E.
An average Spring passage, although it appeared to finish earlier this year.

Common/Arctic Tern
Spring sea-watch: Recorded on 14 dates from 5/4 to 4/6 with a total of 977E.
Daily maxs: 30/4 287E (15% were I/d as Common Terns), and 7/5 479 E.
Once again, the large movements occurred during the afternoons and early evenings at other sea-watch sites when no observers were present at Beachy Head. We also notice that the majority of Commic Terns seen moving past Beachy are considerably further out to sea now and therefore the chance of picking out a Roseate Tern would now be very difficult.

Little Tern
Spring sea-watch: 17/4 (1E), 22/4 (5E), 25/4 (1E).
Once again our aging eyes find picking out Little Terns and Little Gulls very difficult, and no doubt many are missed.

Auk Sp.
Jan-Feb: Recorded on 15 dates from 5/1 to 23/2 with a total of 6,295.
Daily maxs: 7/1 (740E and 230W), 11/2 (1073W), 12/2 (2,023E, majority which were i/d proved to be Razorbills).
Spring sea-watch: Recorded on 7 dates from 14/4 to 29/5 with a total of 73 E.
Another excellent Jan and Feb movements and our best since 2011.

Guillemot
Spring sea-watch: Large numbers of Auks were seen during Jan-Feb and Guillemots were identified on 6 dates with 50 on the 5/1.

Razorbill
Spring sea-watch: As with Guillemot, large numbers of Auks were seen during Jan-Feb and Razorbills were identified on 10 dates with 40 on the 5/1.

Puffin 
Spring sea-watch; 12/2 1 w/p E leading a small party of Razorbills. (JFC and DRC)
Our earliest record.

Stock Dove 
Spring: 11/5 and 13/5 2 seen feeding on the road ear Birling manor, 22/5 1 flew W over the top fields.
Probably the birds seen near Birling manor are local breeding birds as they have been present in this area for several years.

Woodpigeon
Spring: Between 10-20 present in the Belle Tout wood area throughout the Spring.

Collared Dove
Spring: Recorded on 18/3 (1 Hodcombe), 16/4 (1 Birling) and 17/4 (2 Birling).

Cuckoo
Spring: Sadly our third year running with no reports during the Spring.

Tawny Owl
Spring: Pair heard calling several times during April but they proved12/2
very elusive, and were not seen, but on the 23/5 2 young were seen.

Short-eared Owl
Spring: 12/2 (1 near the Hotel Garden seen during the evening), 17/4 2 (1 Hotel Garden and 1 Belle Tout area), 24/4 (1 on the Headland).

Swift
Spring: 12/5 2E, 16/5 1E, 17/5 1E, 27/5 Moderate W passage, 7/6 c40 E.

Bee-eater
Spring: 18/5 1 N over Hodcombe mid-afternoon, (RHC and MEC).
23/5 Heard only, calling over Headland mid-morning. (LP)

Green Woodpecker
Spring: Singles recorded throughout the Spring at Belle Tout wood and Whitbread Hollow. On the 13/4 2 were seen at Belle Tout and on the 26/4 3 were present in the area.

Great-spotted Woodpecker
Spring: No reports.

Skylark
Spring: 5/1 and 18/1 100+ set-aside field, 2/2 80+ set-aside field, 11/3 50 set-aside field. 19/3 1 E over the cliffs, 29/3 2 in off the sea, and 22/5 2 in off the sea.

Sand Martin
Spring: Recorded on 6 dates from 23/3 to 23/4 with a total of 15. Daily max: 20/4 6 in off the sea.

Swallow
Spring: Recorded on 32 dates from 31/3 to 24/5. A total of 60 were seen to come in off the sea.
Daily max: 20/4 when 20 came in off the sea.
Four pairs breeding at Hodcombe, and these were the only known breeding this year.

House Martin
Spring: 17/4 (1), 20/4 (8 in off the sea), and 19/5 (1).

Crag Martin
Spring: 22/5 (One around Hodcombe from 13.00hrs for a short period  before departing N. (RHC and MEC).
Our third record, the previous two were in 1988 and 1995.

Tree Pipit
Spring: 17/4 (1), 20/4 (4), 2/5 (1), 13/5 (2).

Meadow Pipit
Jan-Feb: 12/2 (party of 9 along the road), 17/2 (2 in off the sea).,
Spring: 18/3 and 20/3 (20), 21/3 (75, of which 40 in off the sea and 35 at Crapham Bottom, 22/3 ( 50 moving overhead), 2/4 (56 of which 40 arrived in off the sea).

Rock Pipit
Spring: Just logged on five dates at Birling from 12/2 to 18/5 but never more than 2 on a day. 7/5 1 was displaying at Birling.

Yellow Wagtail
Spring: Recorded on 7 dates from 7/4 to 24/4 with a total of 13 with a daily max: 20/4 (5). Virtually all were fly-overs apart for 1 in the sheep field on the 18/4, and (1) in off the sea on the 22/4.

Grey Wagtail
Spring: 5/1 (1 feeding along the road near Birling manor), 13/3 ( 1 Birling water works), and 24/3 (1E). Our first Spring records since 2011.

Pied Wagtail
24/2 (2 came in off the sea).
Spring: Recorded in small numbers throughout with odd alba types seen coming in or flying over.
Daily max: 21/3 (10 Crapham Bottom) and 28/3 (15 in newly ploughed field).
At least 2 pairs breeding with 1 pair at Hodcombe and 1 pair at Birling.

White Wagtail
Spring: Recorded on 7 dates from 18/3 to 20/4 with a total of 13 with a daily max: 29/3 with 5 or 6 in a newly ploughed field.

White Wagtail on the short grass near Belle Tout lighthouse

Wren
Spring: Reasonable numbers were seen throughout the Spring, but no estimate logged.

Hedge Sparrow
Spring: Good numbers were present at most sites. On the 21/3 30 were estimate in Shooters Bottom.

Robin
Spring: No influx recorded during the Spring , up to 20 on the 8/4.

Nightingale
Spring: One singing in Whitbread Hollow from 23/4 to at least the 9/6. 2 were present on the 30/4.

Black Redstart
Spring: Recorded on 15 dates from 19/3 to 28/4 with a total of 25 bird-days, and a daily max: 8/4 (4).
Probably 24 different individuals involved.

Common Redstart
Spring: Recorded on just 5 dates with a total of 8 bird-days and a daily max: 4/4 (4, all males).
Another poor Spring with only low numbers of migrants and poor observer coverage. 24 bird-days were logged in 2017.  

Whinchat
Spring: Recorded on 6 dates from 19/4 to 20/5 with a total of 10 bird-days and a daily max: 20/4 (5).
Whinchat has never been common during the Spring passage and this year proved to be one of our best this century.

Stonechat
Jan-Feb: Up to 3 present in the Birling area.
Spring: Recorded throughout, daily maxs: 4/3 (9), 20/3 (11).
Probably 12 breeding pairs in the area, 20/5 First brood seen with young.
Rubicola male types: 20/3, 21/3 and 30/4 (1) in Shooters Bottom, 9/6 (1 Hodcombe).

A bright male Stonechat probably of the continental
race Rubicola in Shooters Bottom

Wheatear
Spring: Recorded on 20 dates from 13/3 to 1/6 with a total of 63 bird-days. Daily maxs: 20/3 (9), 20/4 (10), 29/4 (8 of which 3 were considered to belong to the Greenland race leucoroha). 
For comparison in Spring, 1977, a total of 326 bird-days with a daily max of 120 on the 26/4/1977 (Approx. 500% more were recorded than in recent Springs).


A stunning male Wheatear on the newly ploughed field


Always look forward to seeing the first male Wheatears


Ring Ouzel19/4 (1).
Spring: 8/4 (3 Near the Hotel Garden).

Blackbird
Spring: Present throughout the Spring, with no real influx noted. Daily max: 11/5 c18 mostly males in Shooters Bottom.

Fieldfare
Spring: 28/3 (1), 8/4 (4), and 19/4 (1).
After 5 years of no Spring sightings from Beachy, pleasing to report some this Spring.

Redwing
Spring: Recorded on 7 dates from 18/3 to 8/4 with a total of 43 with daily max: 20/3 (15).
On the 18/3 a very dark individual with a dark brown back was present in the Hotel Garden and was considered to be of the Icelandic race coburni, while on the 20/3, the 15 seen in Shooters Bottom all appeared to be typical Iliacus.

Redwing in Shooters Bottom of the usual
Iliacus race

Mistle Thrush
Spring: No sightings.

Song Thrush
Jan-Feb: Just odd birds seen with no cold weather influx noted.
Spring: Small numbers recorded throughout on the 20/5 5 chiefly singing, and on the 8/4 6 present in Shooters Bottom of which 5 departed high to the N.
Probably 5-6 breeding pairs in the whole area.

Grasshopper Warbler
Spring: 1 singing (photo) in the scrub below Belle Tout lighthouse on 2/4 (LP).
Our joint earliest record with the previous on the 2/4/2002.

Sedge Warbler
Spring: Singles recorded on four dates from 2/4 to 29/4.
2/4 is our earliest Spring record, our previous earliest was on the 6/4/2009. 

Reed Warbler
Spring: Singles recorded on 5 dates from 10/5 to 27/5.

Subalpine Warbler sp.
Spring 26/4 1 singing and briefly seen before flying and disappearing in Shooters Bottom but not identified as to specific species of Subalpine Warbler. (LP)
Our 12th record since 1960, although one of the sightings in 1992, the observer did not submit the record to BBRC.

Lesser Whitethroat
Spring: Recorded on 16 dates from 18/4 to 29/5 with a total of 25 bird-days and a daily max: 29/4 (4).
A singing male was present along the cliff path from 18/4 to at least the 29/5 and appeared to be holding territory, but no female was seen.

Common Whitethroat
Spring: Recorded on 20 dates from 9/4 to 29/5 with a total of 290 bird-days and a daily max: 2/4 (30 on the Headland).  
A slight improvement from last Spring.

Garden Warbler
Spring: Recorded on 5 dates from 3/5 to 24/5 with a total of 9 birds. Daily max: 10/5 (4).
Another poor showing this Spring.

Blackcap
Spring: Recorded on 30 dates from 23/3 to 9/6 with a total of 132 bird-days with daily maxs: 8/4 (16) and 17/4 (17).
A better showing this Spring from last Spring when only 49 bird-days were logged. Fewer singing Blackcaps this Spring with just odd birds along the cliff path which is one of the main breeding sites and none stayed in Belle Tout wood, which is another breeding site.

Blackcap in Shooters Bottom

Wood Warbler
Spring: 3/5 (1 Belle Tout wood) (NP et al).

Chiffchaff
Spring: Recorded on 47 dates from 14/3 to 1/6 with a total of 260 bird-days . The only real fall of Chiffchaff migrants was on the 20/3 when 50+ were recorded.
An improvement this Spring compared to last Spring when only 143 bird-days were logged. Fewer singing Chiffchaffs along the cliff path this Spring, which is one of our main breeding sites.
Chiffchaff along the Cliff Path

 Willow Warbler
Spring: Recorded on 27 dates from 31/3 to 24/5 with a total of 263 bird-days. Two falls of migrants
occurred: 8/4 (80) and 17/4 (c80). On the 12/5 a northern race type acredula was found in the Old Trapping Area and photographed.
After our poor Spring last year when only 94 bird-days were logged and was considered to be our worst Spring to date, an improvement this Spring, although in 2017 we logged 483 bird-days.


Willow Warbler probably belonging to the northern race
acredula in the Old Trapping Area, it sang like a normal
type Willow Warbler.


Goldcrest
Jan: 11/1 2 in Belle Tout wood.
Spring: Recorded on 12 dates from 20/3 to 8/4 with a total of 48 bird-days with daily maxs: 23/3 (13) and 24/3 (14). On the 23/3 (1) came in off the sea.
Our best Spring this century.

Goldcrest in the pines at Birling
                                                     
Firecrest
Spring: Recorded on 15 dates from 4/3 to 27/5 with a total of 31 bird-days, which probably involved 23 different individuals. Daily max: 18/3 (6).
An average Spring.


Firecrest in Belle Tout wood.


Spotted Flycatcher
Spring: Recorded on 5 dates from 10/5 to 27/5 with a total of 15 bird-days with daily maxs: 10/5 (4), and 21/5 (4).
A small improvement from the last two Springs.

Spotted Flycatcher near Belle Tout wood.

Pied Flycatcher
Spring: Sadly none recorded this Spring.

Long-Tailed Tit.
Feb: 15/2 4 present in the scrub below Belle Tout lighthouse.
Spring: Pairs recorded in Shooters Bottom and along the cliff path/ Whitbread Hollow area. In Shooters Bottom an adult was watched collecting food and visiting the same bush and along the cliff path on the 22/5 a family party of 9 were seen.

Pair of Long-tailed Tits in Shooters Bottom.

Juvenile Long-tailed Tit along the Cliff Path
Two pairs bred in the area this year.

Blue Tit
Spring: Just small numbers recorded throughout the Spring and no influx noted.

Great Tit
Spring: Present in reasonable numbers throughout the Spring.in Shooters Bottom

Tree Creeper
Just a single record in Belle Tout wood of 1 on the 11/1.
Probably is the same bird which was seen in last December.

Jay
17/4 2 in the radio mast bushes, 26/4 1 in Whitbread Hollow and 16/5 1 in the top bushes behind
the cliff path.

Magpie
Spring: Good numbers present throughout the Spring.

Jackdaw
5/1 (300 feeding in the set-aside field).

Rook
5/1 (200 feeding in the set-aside field).

Carrion Crow
Spring: 28/3 Party of 12 in Cow Gap.
From 13/4 to 11/5 a total of 13 came in off the sea with a daily max: 19/4 (5)

Raven
At least 2 pairs bred on the cliffs and both were successful raising around 7 young.

Starling
Spring: Just small numbers present with no influx logged.

House Sparrow
Spring: Up to 20 present at Birling and also present at Hodcombe.

Chaffinch
Spring: Good numbers present on the Headland with around 15 pairs in Shooters Bottom, but no passage recorded.

Brambling
Spring: 8/4 (1).

Serin
Spring: 24/5 1 male at Hodcombe (RHC).

Greenfinch
Spring: Recorded on 6 dates from 17/2 to 9/6. Chiefly single birds but on the 9/6 an adult and a juvenile were in Whitbread Hollow.

Goldfinch
Feb: 19/2 (12)
Spring: Small numbers recorded throughout with a daily max: 17/4 (30). On the 2/4 2 came in off the sea.

Siskin
20/3 1 calling over Shooters Bottom.

Linnet
Jan-Feb: Up to 30 present in and around the set-aside field.
Spring: 2/4 flock of 60 in the set-aside field which had increased to 100 on the 8/4. During April and May up to 35 were present in the Headland bushes, which probably was the breeding population.

Redpoll
11/3 1 along the cliff path.

Yellowhammer
Spring: Sadly, none were recorded.

Reed Bunting
13/2 1 at Birling.

Corn Bunting
Feb: Up to 25 present in the set-aside field.
Spring: 25/3 30 in the set-aside field.
April and May: Up to 10 around the set-aside field, probably being the breeding population.

Corn Bunting in the set-aside field.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Summary of Autumn, 2018 at Beachy Head.


This Autumn 2018 summary was extracted out of the Beachy Head log and includes bird records of a few local observers and includes details from Robert Edgar who runs the Beachy Head Ringing Group (BHRG) which operates from Whitbread Hollow. Unfortunately virtually no sea-watching was carried out this Autumn other than casual looking out whilst birding around the various sites.

Red-throated  Diver
Autumn: 31/10 1 on the sea and 3/11 1 on the sea. 

Fulmar
Autumn: Recorded up to 31/10.

Gannet
Autumn: (Very little sea-watching carried out during this Autumn) Max numbers logged: 
30/7 124 (41 E and 83 W), 12/8 60 E and 18/10 40 feeding off Birling. 

Cormorant
Autumn: Parties of 14 W and 5 E on the 18/7 and 8 E on the 4/8. 

Little Egret
Autumn: Recorded on 8 dates from 8/8 to 31/10, chiefly singles on Birling beach, with 3 flying over the Downs behind Whitbread Hollow on the 17/8. 

Grey Heron
Autumn: Just a single bird E out to sea off Birling on the 29/9. 

Common Scoter
Autumn: (virtually no sea-watching carried out during the Autumn) 30/7 6E and 31/10 1E.

White-fronted Goose
2018 2 adults E out to sea on the 17/11. Photos (LP) 
Our earliest Autumn date.

Mute Swan 
Autumn: 30/8 5 on the sea off Cow Gap, 9/10 1 juv on the beach at Birling and 17/10 1 flew over the Headland. 

A strange sighting was of this juvenile Mute Swan paddling on Birling beach.

Common Buzzard
Autumn: Recorded on 44 dates from 3/7 to 23/11. Daily maxs: 28/8 (15), 29/8 (10), 1/9 (15 including 11 in a kettle over the top fields), 29/9 (11 including 10 over Crowlink).

Common Buzzard over the Headland.

Sparrowhawk 
Autumn: Recorded on 50 dates with a total of 83 bird-days and a daily maximum of 5 on the 1/9 (3 on the Headland and 2 in the Hollow). Two were also seen at Crowlink on the 29/9. 


Sparrowhawk taken at dawn along the Birling road.

Red Kite
Autumn: 4/8, 3 soaring over Belle Tout wood, and 7/8 1 E over Shooters Bottom.

Honey Buzzard
Autumn: One went S out to sea at 13.33 hrs. photos (LP, SL, GG) .

Marsh Harrier
2018: Autumn: Singles recorded on 8 dates from 4/8 to 29/9., one of which moved E out to sea off Birling. It was difficult to be sure how many different individuals were involved. 



Two of the Marsh Harriers seen on the Headland this Autumn.

Osprey
Autumn: 29/9 1 SE over Shooters Bottom at 12.45. (RB).

Hobby
Autumn: Singles recorded on 9 dates from 19/7 to 30/9. 

Hobby over Shooters Bottom.

Peregrine
Autumn: Recorded throughout the Autumn but never more than 3 on a day. Several juveniles were seen.

A quick fly past of an adult Peregrine with prey at Birling Gap.

Merlin
Autumn: Singles recorded on 6 dates from 2/9 to 25/10 all from the Headland sites.

Kestrel
Autumn: Recorded throughout on 51 dates with 6 on the 7/9 (5 on the Headland and 1 in the Hollow). 

Kestrel sat opposite Shooters Bottom.

Red-legged Partridge
Autumn: Recorded on 8 dates from 18/7 to 9/10 with up to 8 on a day chiefly in the Birling area although 5 were also seen in Cow Gap on the 2/8. 

Red-legged Partridge in the set-aside field.

Pheasant
Autumn: Just recorded on 3 dates. On the 18/8 3 full grown young were standing on the road near Belle Tout wood. 

Oystercatcher
Autumn: up to 10 present on Birling beach. 

Lapwing
Autumn: 29/10 5 flew over the Headland and 17/11 c80 E out to sea. 

Ringed Plover 
Autumn: 17/8 1 over the Headland and 17/11 1 over the Headland

Golden Plover
Autumn: Recorded on 6 dates from 22/8 to 27/11 with a daily max: 17/11 (6 over Headland). 

Woodcock
Autumn: 6/11 2 (1 taken by a Peregrine on the Headland and 1 Long Down) and 11/11 1 Long Down.

Whimbrel
Autumn: 13/7 1 in off the sea and 4/8 1 E.

Curlew
Autumn: 30/7 5W, 7/8 1 flew over the top fields, 1/9 4W over the top fields and then flew out to sea.

Great Skua
Autumn: 30/7 (1). 

Mediterranean Gull
Autumn: 4/8 1 ad. E off Birling.

Little Gull

Autumn: 3/11 1 juv. E off Birling Gap @ 08.05

Caspian Gull
Autumn: 8/9 1 cy. In fields at Birling (J.Partridge).
Our 2nd record

Yellow-legged Gul
Autumn: 1 juv. above the cliffs at the Old Trapping Area.

Sandwich Tern
Autumn (No sea-watching was carried out this Autumn). 13/9 1 off Birling.

Auk Sp. 
Autumn: 31/10 12 E and 3 W.

Stock Dove

Autumn: Recorded on 7 dates from 5/9 (2) to 17/11. Daily maxs: 20/10 10 E with Wood Pigeons, 29/10 11 on the Headland and 17/11 50 over the Headland. 

Wood Pigeon

Autumn: Recorded throughpout the Autumn with upto 50 present in Whitbread Hollow and similar numbers on the Headland. Movements recorded from late October with daily maxs: 20/10 (150W and 80 E), 21/10 (400), 24/10 (250 over Whitbread Hollow, 29/10 (300 over Birling and 17/11 (200 over the Headland). 

Turtle Dove

Autumn: 26/8 ( 1 Old Trapping Area), 13/9 (1 on the Headland) and 22/9 (1 Shooters Bottom departed W). 

Collared Dove

Autumn: Just recorded on 5 dates from 31/7 to 22/10 with only 5 birds seen.

Cuckoo
Autumn: Just 3 sigthtings, 3/7 1 juv Shooters Bottom, 4/8 and 9/8 1 Old Trapping Area. 

Barn Owl

1/9 One flushed from the Cattle Field above Whitbread Hollow. (RAB).
Just our 8th record since 1960.

Tawny Owl

Autumn: No further sightings were logged for Belle Tout wood, but up to 3 present in Whitbread Hollow/Holywell area all Autumn. 

Short-eared Owl
Autumn: Recorded on four dates: 25/8 2 (1 Headland and 1 Crowlink), 22/10 1 Shooters Bottom, 29/10 1 out to sea flying past Cow Gap, 22/11 1 sitting on a fence along the road near Shooters Bottom.

Nightjar
One seen feeding around Belle Tout wood @ 20.20 hrs on the 1/9 (LP)
Our 11th record since 1960.

Swift

Autumn: Recorded on 14 dates from 3/7 (c40 E ) to 13/9 (1). Daily maxs: 29/7 60W and 3/8 c550+ (150W during the morning and 400+ feeding over the top fields during the evening). 

Swift on migration over Birling

Green Woodpecker
Autumn: Chiefly singles seen throughout the Autumn on both the Headland and in Whitbread Hollow with just one day when 3 were seen on the 14/8 with 2 on the Headland and 1 in Whitbread Hollow. A single juvenile was seen in the Belle Tout/Birling area during the Autumn.



Sadly Green Woodpeckers are now in decline on the Headland

Great-spotted Woodpecker

Autumn: Recorded on 24 dates from 5/8 to 29/10. Chiefly singles but never more than two on a day with just the odd juvenile bird was seen. Records from both Whitbread Hollow and the Headland and individuals are often seen flying from one site to another.


Juvenile Great-spotted Woodpecker flying between sites on the Headland.

Wryneck
Sadly no sightings recorded this year.

Woodlark
Autumn: 3 moving over the Headland on the 20/10. (ASC). 

Skylark
Autumn: Movements: 5/10 15 E, 14/10 20 E, 20/10 c40 E. Only low numbers found feeding in the set-a-side field as follows: 26/9 (25), 9/10 (30), 22/10 (70) and 4/12 (30). 

Swallow
Autumn: Recorded on 48 dates from 3/7 to 14/11 (2W). July and Aug: Only low numbers recorded with max. of 40 on a day until the 31/8 when 2,000 moved E.
Sept to Nov: Daily maxs: 3/9 c700 chiefly E, 25/9 2,000 chiefly E and 26/9 2,000 E. Numbers then dropped off. Generally a very disappointing Spring and Autumn passage considering observer coverage was good during the Autumn. 

Swallows resting up along Birling lane before their long migration.

House Martin
Autumn: Recorded on thirty dates from 14/8 (1) to 15/10 (6), with daily maxs: 3/9 (500 chiefly E), 10/9 915 (315 W and 600 present in the Hollow), 24/9 (2,000 chiefly W), 25/9 (c6,000 chiefly W, with two counts made showing birds were passing at the rate of 250 per minute on a broad front).  30/9 600 (500+ Whitbread Hollow and 100 on the Headland).

House Martins feeding near the cliff edge at Birling whilst on migration.

Sand Martin

Autumn: Recorded on 25 dates from 29/6 (12) to 26/9 (8). A total of just 267 bird-days logged with a daily max of 40 on the 31/8.
A very poor Autumn and must be one of our poorest to date, after another early start at the end of June.
Sand Martin having a short rest whilst on migration at Birling.

Raven
Autumn: Odd birds recorded throughout, with the following parties: 13/7  5 juvenile types feeding on the beach at Birling, 11/8 6, 24/10 8(3 Hollow and 5 Headland). Probably 2-3 pairs breeding on the cliffs.

Magpie
Good numbers were again present throughout the year. On the 20/10 a party of 16 flew high over the Headland moving W. 

Jay
Autumn: The pair was again present in Whitbread Hollow area during the Autumn, with 3 there on the 3/10. Odd birds were also recorded from the Headland as follows: 14/9 3 (2 Cow Gap and 1 Shooters Bottom which departed E), 26/9 2 (1 Shooters Bottom and 1 Old Trapping Area), 9/10 1 Cattle Field, 16/10 1 Hotel Garden. 

Coal Tit
Autumn: 9/11 One seen briefly in Belle Tout wood but was not identified as to race.

Long-tailed Tit

Autumn: Recorded on 8 dates from 18/8 to 16/10 but never more than 6 on a day, with most records coming from the Whitbread Hollow area.

Nuthatch
Autumn: 31/8  One toured around the Headland and visited the Old Trapping Area, Shooters Bottom and the toilet block bushes.
Our 14th record since 1960. 






Nuthatch near the Hotel Garden-just our 14th record and rarer
on Beachy Head than Pallas's Leaf Warbler.

Tree Creeper
2018: Autumn: What was assumed to be the same bird was present in Belle Tout wood from 9/9 to 4/12. 


Tree Creeper in Belle Tout wood.
Wren
Autumn: Reasonable numbers present, but no specific counts were made, although probably no more than 10 on a day. 
27 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow this Autumn. 
Ringing recovery:
Aged 3 ringed 23/9/17, ring found, Hardwick Hall, Chesterfield, Notts, 18/4/18.


Wren in Belle Tout wood.
Who would have thought that a Wren ringed in Whitbread 
Hollow in September, 2017 would have had its ring 
recovered in April, 2018 in Nottinghamshire.

Mistle Thrush
Autumn: Again just a single bird seen on the 4/11 which flew over Belle Tout.

Fieldfare 
Autumn: Recorded on 5 dates with a total of just 66 bird-days from 22/10 (1E) to 4/12  (60 feeding on berries at Long Down). 



Fieldfare in the pine clump at Birling


Song Thrush
Autumn: Small numbers recorded throughout the Autumn. Daily maxs: 26/9 12 present in the early morning, 20/10 16 present mainly in Shooters Bottom.
17 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow this Autumn including several continental migrants. 

 Song Thrush in Shooters Bottom

Redwing
Autumn: Logged on 8 dates With a total of 121 bird-days from 8/10 (9), to 4/12 (50).

 Ring Ouzel
Autumn: Recorded on 16 dates from 25/9 to 4/12 with a total of 33 bird-days. Daily maxs: 17/10 8 ( 6 Old Trapping Area and 2 Shooters Bottom) and 18/10 (5 along the Cliff Path).
Poorish Autumn. Two previous December records in the 1960’s with our latest being on the 8th December. 

Ring Ouzel in Shooters Bottom

Blackbird
Autumn: Small numbers recorded throughout the Autumn. Influxes as follows: 4/10 25 nearly all males were present in Shooters Bottom, 9/10 25 of which 20 were present in Whitbread Hollow, on the 14/10 and 20/10, 30 were present on the Headland, 16/11 50 of which 15 were in Whitbread Hollow and 35 on the Headland.
19 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow this Autumn.

Wheatear
Autumn: Recorded on 35 dates from 4/8 to 22/10 with a total of 150 bird-days with Daily maxs: 23/8 (14), 26/8 (14) and 5/9 (16).
Another poor showing this Autumn.

Wheatear at Birling Gap

Stonechat
Autumn: Present throughout, although only a few juvenile birds were seen in July and numbers recorded during the Autumn were on the low side. On the 12/8 (14) were logged and on the 12/9 12 were logged. On the 4/12 a pair were present in the set-aside field.

Female Stonechat collecting food in Shooters Bottom.


Whinchat
Autumn: Recorded on 21 dates from 11/7 to 26/9 with a total of 108 bird-days with daily maxs: 4/9 (11), 10/9 (21), and 16/9 (15).
Our best Autumn since 2006 when a total of 144 bird-days were recorded. 


Whinchat at Birling Gap
Common Redstart
Autumn: Recorded on 21 dates from 4/8 to 9/10, with a total of just 51 bird-days with daily maxs: 5 on the 25/8, 26/8 and 30/8. 

Male Redstart in the Hotel Garden


Female Redstart in Shooters Bottom

Black Redstart
Autumn: Recorded on 10 dates from 31/7 to 18/10, with a total of 12 bird-days with daily maxs. of 2 on the 22/9, 5/10 and 18/10. This probably involved 11 different individuals. (RHC only recorded a single bird in Hodcombe during the Autumn although he was away for some of this time).

Of interest, two very juvenile plumage birds were seen one on the 31/7 in The Hotel Garden and 1 on the 4/8 at Birling, which may involved local breeding.



Male Black Redstart at Birling Gap.


Juvenile Black Redstart in the Hotel Garden.

Nightingale
Autumn: Recorded on 11 dates from 6/7 (an early adult migrant was calling a lot and also a short song burst and showed well in Shooters Bottom) to 21/8. A total of 13 bird-days, probably involving 9 different individuals  with a daily max of 3 (2 Shooters Bottom and 1 in Whitbread Hollow).

6 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow this Autumn.


1styr. Nightingale in Shooters Bottom

Robin
Autumn: Recorded throughout with daily maxs: 26/9 20 on the Headland, 5/10 20 present on the whole area, 9/10 18 with 10 in the Hollow and 8 on the Headland, 14/10 20 on the Headland.

58 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow this Autumn.

Cetti's Warbler
One present at Birling lane from 16/11 to 23/11 photo (LP. RDME).
Our latest date 

Grasshopper Warbler
Autumn: Recorded on 21 dates from 23/7 (2) to 22/9 (1). A total of 50 bird-days
With daily maxs: 1/8 (5), 11/8 (5), 26/8 (6) 30/8 (5). Again Whitbread Hollow recorded most of these records with the majority being trapped and ringed by the BHRG. On the 2/9 the gropper field in Cow Gap was visited and 4 birds were seen.
38 were ringed this Autumn in Whitbread Hollow.
Our best Autumn for some time.

Grasshopper Warbler in Shooters Bottom.

Reed Warbler
Autumn: Recorded on 37 dates from 15/7 (2) to 16/10 (1). A total of 271 bird-days with daily maxs: 5/8 44 (9 Headland and 35 Hollow), 11/8 16 (9 Headland, 7 Hollow), 21/8 21 (20 Hollow and 1 Headland), 25/8 22 (20 Hollow, 2 Headland)
1/9 19 (15 Hollow 4 Headland).
98 were ringed this Autumn in Whitbread Hollow.
Three ringing recoveries:
Age 3 ringed 13/8/17 controlled Wilstone Reservoir, near Tring, Herts 1/7/18.
Age 3 ringed 20/9/14 controlled Waterham, Kent 30/6/18 and 19/7/18.
Age 3 ringed 24/7/18 at Titchfield Haven NNR, Hants controlled 5/8/18.

No repeat of last years record year, when 417 bird-days were logged

1stW Reed Warbler at Birling Gap.

1stW Reed Warbler in the Hotel Garden.

Sedge Warbler
Autumn: Recorded on 30 dates from 18/7 (2) to 20/10 (1). A total of 72 bird-days with daily maxs:
2/8 15 (14 Headland and 1 Hollow), 17/8 8 (6 Headland and 1 Hollow).
18 were ringed this Autumn in Whitbread Hollow.
An average Autumn by recent standards, although for comparison in 1976 265 bird-days were logged during the Autumn. Our latest date occurred on the 21/10/2002.

Sedge Warbler in the scrub at Birling

Melodious Warbler
One present in the Toilet block bushes before moving to the Hotel Garden from 20/8 to 25/8.
Spent 6 days and our 38th record since 1960.



Melodious Warbler in the Hotel Garden 

Dartford Warbler
Autumn: Singles reported on 5 dates from 25/10 to 17/11 in the gorse area between Belle Tout and Birling Gap and probably related to a single bird. 

Blackcap
Autumn: Recorded on 67 dates from 3/7 (1) to 15/11 (1). A total of 2,696 bird-days with Daily Maxs: 26/8 (150), 4/9 (110), 6/9 (125), 8/9 (111), 22/9 (403), 24/9 (111), 25/9 (370), 27/9 (150).
A total of 874 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow                        
Five ringing recoveries:
Age 3 male ringed 21/8/18 controlled  Sandwich Bay, Kent 2/9/18.
Age 3 juv. male ringed 30/6/18 at Eccles-on-Sea Norfolk controlled 1/9/18 as a female.
Age 3 juv. female ringed 20/8/17 controlled Bondhay Farm, Whitwell, Derby 25/9/18.
Female ringed 7/9/14 controlled Portland Bill, Dorset 13/4/18
Age 3 male ringed 1/9/18 controlled Mickley Sq. Northumberland 8/9/18.
Generally a poorish Spring and this probably reflected on the numbers seen during the Autumn, and as usual most birds were recorded in Whitbread Hollow. 

Male Blackcap feeding on the ground in Belle Tout wood.

Garden Warbler
Autumn: Recorded on 18 dates from 24/7 to 10/9 with a total of just 40 bird-days. Daily Max: 28/8 8 (2 in the Old Trapping Area and 6 Hollow). 
32 were ringed this Autumn in Whitbread Hollow
A very poor showing in both Spring and Autumn with only 40 bird-days this Autumn, and back in the 1960’s and 70’s the average Autumn bird-days toal was in the region of 700, and in 1970 the Autumn total was 1,323 bird-days 

Garden Warbler in Shooters Bottom.

Lesser Whitethroat
Autumn: Recorded on 38 dates from 3/7 to 16/9. A total of 130 bird-days with a daily max of 12 on the 17/8 (9 on the Headland and 3 in the Hollow).
Just 5 were ringed this Autumn in Whitbread Hollow and for comparison a total of 320 were ringed in 1975 in Whitbread Hollow.
A small increase during the Autumn from the last few Autumns of the number of bird-days logged but numbers are still very poor compared with the 1970’s when the number of bird-days could be in excess of 800 p.a. PerB.H.Log


Lesser Whitethroat in the Old Trapping Area.

Common Whitethroat
Autumn: Recorded on 49 dates from 6/7 to 26/9 with a total of 1,407 bird-days. Daily maxs: 17/8 120 (90 Headland and 30 Hollow), 26/8 160 (100 Hollow and 60 Headland), 28/8 110 (80 Headland and 30 Hollow).
91 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow this Autumn.

Willow Warbler
Autumn: Recorded on 43 dates from 18/7 (1) to 24/9 (1). A total of 986 bird-days with daily maxs: 17/8 145 (115 Headland 30 Hollow) and 22/8 c100 Headland.
123 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow this Autumn.

Chiffchaff
Autumn: Recorded on 63 dates from 9/7 (1) to 16/11 (1). A total of 2,980 bird-days with Daily maxs: 14/9 100 (50 Hollow and 50 Headland), 25/9 450 (400 Hollow and 50 Headland), 3/10 200 in the Hollow.
742 were ringed this Autumn in Whitbread Hollow.
Four ringing recoveries:
Age 4 ringed 27/10/17 controlled at Rye Meads, 1/1/18.
Age 3 ringed 3/11/17 controlled Alnwick, Northumberland 13/4/18.
Age 3 ringed 30/9/18 found dead at Villava, Navarra, Spain 10/10/18.
Age 3 juv ringed 18/8/18 at Birtley Sewage Farm, Tyne and Wear, controlled 17/10/18. 
Generally a poor Spring migration as with other migrants, but an excellent Autumn with some large falls of migrants.

Siberian Chiffchaff
Autumn: 4/11 1 Long Down photo (LP)
Our 9th record since 1960. 

Wood Warbler
Autumn: 25/8 1 trapped Whitbread Hollow.

Yellow-browed Warbler
Autumn: 8/10 1 Hodcombe (RHC), 14/10 1 Hodcombe (RHC), 18/10 1 Holywell (AR, KH, RKH, RES, JFC), 22/10 to 24/10 1 Long Down (LP), 29/10 1 calling Birling (LP, JP), 4/11 1 Belle Tout wood (LP), 5/11 1 Old Trapping Area briefly (LP) 
Seven different individuals and now brings our total to 104 birds. 

Pallas's Leaf Warbler
2018:5/11 to 6/11 One in the Old Trapping Area although quite elusive. (LP, RHC, JFC et al). 
Our 52nd record since 1960.

Goldcrest
Autumn: Recorded on 23 dates from 14/8 (1) to 4/12 (2). A total of 543 bird-days. Daily maxs: 21/10 (42), 4/11 (80), 9/11 (155), 11/11 c80. RHC also had good numbers in Hodcombe during this period.
114 were ringed this Autumn in Whitbread Hollow.
Again a terrible Spring with just odd birds seen, but a very good late Autumn and the totals would have been higher as fewer visits by birders are made in November.

Firecrest
Autumn: Recorded on 15 dates from 1/9 (1) to 17/11 (1) and with a total of 20 bird-days. Probably involving 17 different individuals. with a daily max: 5/11 (4). 
3 birds were ringed this Autumn in Whitbread Hollow compared with 16 last year.
An average Spring and Autumn.

Firecrest in Belle Tout wood.

Spotted Flycatcher
Autumn: Recorded on 11 dates from 20/8 to 29/9 with a total of 24 bird-days. Daily maxs: 20/8 7 (6 Headland and 1 Hollow), 22/8 3 Headland and 26/9 3 Belle Tout wood.
Just 1 was ringed this Autumn in Whitbread Hollow.
A poor year, for comparison in the Autumn of 1977, we recorded 242 bird-days with a daily max of 60 on the 8/9/77, and as many as 47 were ringed by the BHRG in Whitbread Hollow. 

Spotted Flycatcher in Belle Tout wood.

Pied Flycatcher
Autumn: Recorded on 16 dates from 3/8 to 22/10. A total of 25 bird-days with daily maxs: 3/8 (3) and 4/8 (5). Probably 19 different individual birds involved.
Just 1 was ringed in Whitbread Hollow this Autumn.
An improvement on last Autumn, but still very poor numbers compared with our earlier years. Our latest date was on the 1/11/68.  
In 1975, between 1/8 to 15/8 up to 8-10 migrants per day were passing through Hodcombe and 40 were ringed at this site during this period, and proved that there is a fast turnover of  migrant Pied Flycatchers and this confirms that birds do not linger long because of the turnover with the number of birds being ringed.
A total of 10 Pied Flycatchers were also ringed in nearby Whitbread Hollow during this same period, and a crude estimate of 150 Pied Flycatchers passed through Beachy Head area during these 15 days which included the 50 which were ringed. Without ringing taking place, this estimate would probably have been a lot lower.


Pied Flycatcher in the Hotel Garden

Hedge Sparrow
Autumn and good numbers were present all Autumn but no counts made.
26 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow this Autumn. 


Meadow Pipit
Autumn: Low numbers present until mid-September. Daily maxs: First influx was on the 13/9 when 230 were recorded which included 60 came in off the sea. 22/9 1,050 were logged with 1,000 W with 40 feeding in the set-aside field and just 10 in Whitbread Hollow.  24/9 200 of which 150 moved over the Headland and 50 were feeding in the top fields. Numbers then dropped off with 90 on the 14/10 of which 60 E and 30 on the Headland.

Richards Pipit
Autumn: 25/9 1 in flight Birling area (C.Holt), 14/10 1 E @ 08.20 near Birling with Meadow Pipits (MM), 17/10 1 flew over the Old Trapping Area calling (KH, RKH, RES. NP), 29/10 1 flyover between Birling and Belle Tout @ 07.20 (J.Partridge).
Probably all relates to a single bird. Our 11th record and the first this century.


Tawny Pipit
One near Birling 17/9 (C.Holt)
Our first record since 2002.

Tree Pipit
Autumn: Recorded on 7 dates from 17/8 (2) to 14/9 (1). A total of 17 bird-days with the daily max of 10 on the 13/9. 



Tree Pipit near the |Hotel Garden.
Rock Pipit
Autumn: Just recorded on 6 dates chiefly at Birling with a daily max of 3 on the 20/8. Also 2 were present around a pond at Hodcombe on the 21/10.

Pied Wagtail
Autumn: Recorded in fairly low numbers throughout the Autumn and generally a poor diurnal
passage recorded. Daily maxs: 28/9 (18),  10/10 (54E) and 14/10 (32 E).

White Wagtail
Autumn: 5/10 1 at Birling. (identified from photos) SL and JG.

Grey Wagtail
Autumn: Recorded on 8 dates from 28/8 (2) to 22/10 (1E) with a total of 12 bird-days.

Yellow Wagtail
Autumn: Recorded on 18 dates from 17/8 to 10/10 with a total of 204 bird-days. Daily maxs: 26/8 (22) and 12/9 (54W at dusk).
Fair numbers were also being reported from Cornish Farm area during the Autumn but no actual count made. 

                                                                       
Yellow Wagtail at Birling.

Isabelline Shrike
Autumn: 2/11 One spent around 2-3 hours in scrub on the slope between Birling and Belle Tout and was considered to belong to the Daurian race. photographed (CB et al)
Our first record and the third for Sussex.

Starling
Autumn: August: On the Headland 4/8 80, by the 5/8 1,000 were now present, 7/8 800 by 11/8 just
50, 28/8 120.
September: Headland 1/9 400 otherwise 300 in the top fields for the rest of the month.
16/10 160 W, 20/10 100 W, 1/11 300 present in the set-aside field.
Strange influxes in early August and these birds were out in the top fields but also flew in one
flock into Shooters Bottom. 

Greenfinch
Autumn: Just recorded on 6 dates from 1/8 to 16/10 with a total of 23 birds. Movements: 14/10 9E and 16/10 10 E. 

Goldfinch
Autumn movements: 14/10 230 (160E and 70 on Headland), 16/10 445 (295E and 150 on Headland), 14/11 150W, 17/11 300 E. 

Siskin
Autumn: Recorded on 8 dates from 24/9 (1W) to 4/12 (2), with a total of 57 bird-days. Daily max: 29/10 (25 over Headland).
A slight improvement from our last two Autumns but no repeat of 2015 when we recorded 766 bird-days.

Linnet
Autumn: Up to 60 present daily during July to September. On the 5/10 a flock of 300 present in the set-aside field, but by the 9/10 only 90 left.
Diurnal movements: 10/10 230 E, 14/10 190 E, 16/10 120 E, 31/10 100 E.

Lesser Redpoll
Autumn: Recorded on 8 dates from 5/10 (6) to 17/11 (1E), with a total of just 54 bird-days. Daily maxs: 20/10 (14 Hollow) and 21/10 (15 Hollow). 
28 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow this Autumn and all the birds which were trapped for ringing purposes proved to belong to the British race. 
A poor Autumn.

Bullfinch
Autumn: Recorded on 7 dates in Whitbread Hollow from 11/8 to 2/11 but never more than 2 on a day. A single male was also seen in the Hotel Garden on the 16/10.

Chaffinch
Autumn: Recorded throughout the Autumn with up to 25 on the Headland. Movements: 14/10 18 E,
16/10 8E and 29/10 c200 passing overhead on the Headland. 

Brambling
Autumn: Recorded on 7 dates from 15/10 to 27/11 involving 14 birds with a daily max of 7 on the 29/10.

Yellowhammer
Autumn: Just a single record on the 12/8 of 1 on the Headland.
What used to be one of our commonest birds on Beachy Head with an estimated breeding population of 120 breeding pairs, back in the 1960’s and 70’s, it may be no longer breeding on  Beachy Head. 

Corn Bunting

Autumn: Recorded throughout with 50+ present in the Birling area on the 22/8. Once again reasonable numbers have been present in the set-aside field opposite Belle Tout wood later in the Autumn: 9/10 (50), 22/10 (35), and 8/11 (25).

Corn Bunting at Birling

Ortolan Bunting
Autumn: 24/8 1 flew W calling over Hotel Garden. (L.P.)
Our 43rd record since 1960.  

Reed Bunting

Autumn: Recorded on 6 dates from 14/9 to 17/11 with a total of 11 birds with daily max: 17/11 (4E).

Reed Bunting in the Hotel Garden

House Sparrow
Autumn: 7/8 20+ Birling, 17/8 3 in the Hotel Garden departed high to the N., 1/9 40+ Birling, 20/9 c20 along Cornish Farm track, 5/10 30 Birling.