2011: Spring: Just seen on three dates with 1 E a long way out to sea on the 14/4 and may have been a new migrant, 2E on the 7/5 and 2 W on the 29/5. Summer: Just seen on the 3/7 with 1 W. Autumn: Recorded on 17 dates from 2/9 with 5 E off Birling to the 26/11 with 2, but never more than 5 on a day. Last seen 1 on the beach at Cow Gap on the 10/12. Per B.H.Log.
(Our first record occurred in 1991, but only odd birds were seen during the next few years, and it was not seen annually until 2004. Our best years to date were 2005 & 2006 when double figure counts were made on the beaches off Cow Gap & Birling Gap. Occasionally, as like this year on the 14/4, probable genuine migrants/arrivals, are seen on the sea-watches passing the Head a long way out to sea. With the huge numbers of our song birds/migrants which have decreased since 1960, the Little Egret is without doubt a great addition to our area).
GREAT WHITE EGRET
2011: One West off Birling on the 30/12 (D.Cooper)
This is now our 3rd record for Beachy. Per B.H.Log.
2011: Spring: Recorded on 8 dates from 6/3 (1 moved SE), to the 23/4. Maximum of 3 on the 20/4. Summer: 1 off Birling on the 11/6 & 1 W on the 23/7. Autumn: Recorded on 7 dates from the 25/9 when a party of 12 flew high South out to sea from the Seven Sisters, to the 16/11 with 1 on the beach at Holywell. On the 15/10, a further 4 moved South again out to sea before veering of West. On the 27/10, 4 headed high over the Top Fields with another 1 on the 28/10. Per B.H.Log.
(The flock of 12 which flew South out to sea on the 25/9 was an imprssive sight but not unprecedented, as in 1988 a party of 33 flew in formation West on the 1st October).
2011: On the 31/10. 1 came flying East over the Downs at Belle Tout wood, and then veared South being mobbed by a Raven @ 07.50. JFC, DRC, RDME. Per B.H.Log.
(One had been seen on Horse Eye Levels the previous two days which was probably the same individual. A new species for our Beachy Head list since regular watching commenced in 1960 and still considered a good rarity in Sussex).