Thursday, 2 February 2012

Beachy Head 2011 Summary No.27

I will now complete the 2011 summaries:

2011: Recorded on 9 dates from 4/6 (7) to 5/11 (heard only) as follows:4/6 – 7 North and then West, after landing briefly in Belle Tout wood, 19/6 3 W., 24/7 1 calling over Whitbread Hollow, 5/8 11 W over Whitbread Hollow @ 06.10, 7/8 1 W over Belle Tout wood, 13/10 12, 16/10 1 E over the Hoetl Garden, 23/10 5 W over the Hotel Garden, 5/11 heard calling over Birling. Per B.H. Log.
(An excellent Autumn and our best since 1997).

2011: Upto 15 recorded during Februay and 20 logged on the 2/4. No breeding estimate made but probably didn’t exceed 10-15 pairs in the whole area. Autumn movements: Between 8/10 & 6/11 on 4 dates a total of 170 birds were logged moving West, including 50 West on the 6/11. On the 13/11 17  E with 20 E on the 19/11.  Per B.H.Log.
(An average Autumn with no large movements logged. Our largest movement to date was on the 14/10/71 when a total of 4,000 were recorded coming in and moving NNW in two hours from Birling).

2011: Unusually scarce this Autumn with just 4 records : 20/10 (1), 28/10 (3), 5/11 (2), & 6/11 ( 1 heard). Per B.H.Log.
(Not every Autumn are reasonable numbers logged and our largest movement recorded was on the 5/11/2005 when 1,206 moved West, which to date is the largest movement recorded on a single day for the County).

2011: Just two sightings: 26/3 1 male in the scrub under Belle Tout lighthouse, & 1 seen moving W on the 6/11. Per B.H. Log.
(Another disaster year for this species on the Headland. In 1972 a breeding census was made on the 11/5 when an estimate of 120 breeding pairs for the whole area. In past Autumns some large flocks were recorded, on the 27/9/1970 150 were seen mainly around the Cattle Field, and in 1971 a flock of 120 were seen on the 11/9).

2011: Feb: 18/2  2 up Long Down. 20/2, 1 in song Long Down, & 27/2 2 in the field opposite Belle Tout wood.
Spring: Recorded on 22 dates between 6/3 (9) & 22/4 (1) with daily maximums of 9 on the 6/3, 5 on the 13/3 and the 2/4. Most occurred in the field opposite Belle Tout wood.
Summer: 2-3 pairs present.
Autumn: Recorded on 18 dates from early August to 17/10. Most records came from or near the vicinity of the rough field opposite Belle Tout wood with daily maximums: 10/9 (18), 14/9 (10), 22/9 (9). 15/10 (10). On the 8/10 16 with 10 moving W. & 6 in the field, with a further 2 W on the 9/10. Our last record was on the 17/10 with 2 in the field. Per B.H. Log.
(On the 23/3/1970, 25 singing males were located between Beachy Head Hotel and Belle Tout wood with good numbers also breeding in the Birling Gap Area this compares to just 2-3 pairs now present. Although this year has been our best Autumn this century, in past years very good numbers were recorded with daily counts of 200 were not unusual and our daily maximum was on the 17/9/1967 when 350 were logged).

2011: 23/4 A female at Birling first found feeding just beyond the scrub at the top of the lane departed N. (D. & J.F.Cooper, R.D.M.Edgar & B.Kay). Per B.H. Log.
(This is our 42nd record, since 1960, with the majority being seen in the Autumn, with this being our 5th Spring record).

Female Ortolan Bunting at Birling.

2011: Recorded on 9 dates from 20/2 (1 at Long Down), to 13/11 2 E. In total 36 birds seen with a daily maximum of 21 W on the 8/10. Per B.H. Log.
(Our maximum daily count was of 40 on the 10/10/1971)

2011: Spring: After last Autumn’s influx, two singles were recorded both in the rough field opposite Belle Tout wood on the 6/3 (D.Cooper), & 27/3 (D. & J.F.Cooper & B.Kay).
Autumn: Just one record of 2 calling as they flew E low over the cliffs leading upto Belle Tout lighthouse.(D. & J.F.Cooper, P.Netherway & J.W.King). Per B.H. Log.
(Winter & Spring records are very scarce from Beachy Head, since 1960, with a female in summer plumage on the 15/4/1968 & 1 in Hodcombe on the 1/1/1991. No repeat of last Autumn's irruption, although the previous record logged during the Autumn, was in 1998 although in the 1960's it was almost recorded annually).

2011: 6/11 3 W over Birling @ 07.15 (D. & J.F. Cooper, J.W.King & B.Kay) & 13/11 1 male flushed in the rough field opposite Belle Tout wood (D. & J.F.Cooper & B.Kay). Per B.H. Log.
(Our first sightings since 2007 when 4 were seen in Cow Gap on the 30/10. Again in the 1960's it occurred almost annually with 1967 being an exceptional year with a daily maximum of 24 on the 19/11).

2011: Upto 15 were again present during the Spring at Birling Gap but by the Autumn numbers had decreased to just 8 in September, 5 in October and only 4 by December.
On the 11/3 1 was seen along the Cliff Path & a pair was reported during the breeding season in Hodcombe, the first time for several years. Per B.H.Log.
(The House Sparrow at Beachy is still in decline and is now just holding on to its former stronghold at Birling).