Thursday, 4 January 2018

2017 Summary of records taken from the Beachy Head log Part 3

Part 3

Sand Martin
2017: Spring: None Recorded
Autumn: Recorded on 22 dates from 27/6 (3E) to 26/10 (1 over Shooters Bottom) with a total of just 428 bird-days logged. Daily max on the 27/8 with 150 chiefly moving East.
A very poor Autumn after a very early start to the Autumn migration at the end of June.
Per B.H.Log.

2017 Spring: Recorded from 27/3 (4). Very poor numbers recorded throughout the Spring with 70 in off the sea on the 16/4, 9/5 31 chiefly N and 29/5 20.
4 pairs again breeding in Hodcombe but only 2 other pairs breeding on the Headland.
Autumn: (JFC and LP were both away from mid-Sept to mid-Oct and therefore our records are incomplete for comparison with previous years).
July to Aug: Smallish numbers seen on all our visits until 14/8 when 150 were logged, 25/8 570, and 27/8 1,500 chiefly moving E.
Sept: Main movements: 2/9 400 feeding over the top fields, 17/9 500, 24/9 950.

Oct: 26/10 20 and last seen 2 W on the 29/10. Per B.H.Log.
Swallow at Birling

House Martin
2017: Spring: Recorded on just 3 dates from 16/4 (1 in off the sea)  to 9/5 (2). On the 8/5 40 were present in Whitbread Hollow.
Autumn: ( Both JFC and LP were away from mid-Sept to mid-Oct and therefore our records lack full details during the main period of migration for comparison with past years). Movement commenced on the early date of 5/8 when 2 were seen. No further records until the 22/8 when 25 moved E. then with a max of 400 feeding around the cliffs on the 30/8. The main movements in Sept were on the 17/9 2,000, and on the 25/9 500+ E in 5 minutes around mid-day. Last seen on the 14/10 with 22 seen. Per B.H.Log. and SIOS web-site.

Tree Pipit
2017: Spring: Just one record on the 3/4 1 flushed from Shooters Bottom.
Autumn: Recorded on 14 dates from 11/8(4) to 17/9(2). A total of 80 bird-days with daily maxs: 24/8 (19), 25/8 (15), 26/8 (7), 27/8 (15).
One ringing recovery which was ringed in Whitbread Hollow on the 16/8/17 and was controlled just two days later on the 18/7/17 at Icklesham
Our best Autumn this century, but numbers are still low compared with the 1960’s and 70’s as a comparison in 1969 we recorded a total of 478 bird-days during the Autumn with a daily max. of 50.  Per B.H.Log.

Tree Pipit at Birling

Meadow Pipit
2017: Feb: 4 seen on two dates.
Spring: 10/3 Flock of 25 grounded by fog in a grass field at Birling, 11/3 30 (Party of 20 in off the sea in foggy weather), 13/3 14 (mostly in off the sea), 27/3 30 (15 in off the sea), otherwise just small numbers seen.
Breeding: Just small numbers noted probably no more than 15 breeding pairs in the area.
Autumn (JFC was away from mid Sept to mid Oct which is the main passage period for Meadow Pipits). Small numbers with a number of young birds seen were present during July and Aug. with a daily max of 40 on the 25/8. Main passage commenced on the 10/9 with 80W. On the 24/9 145 was logged. On the 18/10, 280 E in an hour between 07.40-08.40 and 300 were recorded on the 20/10. Only small numbers were recorded after this date, with 3 on the 20/12.  Per B.H.Log

Rock Pipit
2017: Spring: Recorded on 9 dates chiefly odd birds around the Birling area with 3 at Michael Dean on the 16/4.
No breeding census made but odd birds present on the beach at Birling during the breeding season.
Autumn: 10/7 1 collecting food in the Belle Tout gully, 29/10 8 (4 in Birling car park and 4 in the Belle Tout gully). 5 were present in the Birling car park on the 31/10. On the 17/11 9 (including a party of 8) were recorded in the Cow Gap area. Occasionally, odd birds are seen sat on the roofs of the properties along Birling Gap lane. Per B.H.Log.

Yellow Wagtail
2017: Spring: Recorded on 7 dates from 16/4 (1) to 17/5 (1) with a total of 25. On the 17/4 16 seen moving N.
Autumn: Recorded on 21 dates from 11/8 (3 juv’s.) to 24/9 (2). A total of 423 bird-days with daily maxs: 24/8 (81) and 28/8 (49 E at dusk, which may be birds moving to a local roost). Per B.H.Log.

Yellow Wagtail at Birling

Grey Wagtail
2017: Autumn: Recorded on 8 dates from 22/8 (2) to 24/9 (1) with a total of 12 birds and a daily max of 4 on the 10/9.
Similar passage to the previous two years. Per B.H.Log

Pied Wagtail
2017: Spring: 17/3 8 were seen with White Wagtails feeding in a new ploughed field. Otherwise just small numbers seen throughout the Spring with 3 breeding pairs present. A number of alba Wagtails were seen passing over the Headland with a total of 18 from 13/3 to the 23/4. On the 13/3 3 in off the sea, and 14/3 4 in off the sea.
4/7 An adult female was collecting food near the Belle Tout lighthouse.
Autumn: Only odd birds were seen around Birling during the early autumn. (JFC was away during mid-Sept to mid Oct the main passage period for this species) on the 18/10 60 E between 07.40-08.40). Per B.H.Log.

White Wagtail
2017: Spring: Recorded on 10 dates from 17/3 (2) to 23/4 (1), but never more than 2 on a day. A single bird was present near Belle Tout lighthouse for around a week in April. Per B.H.Log.

White Wagtail on the downlands, above the cliff path.

2017 Spring: Up to 6 seen during February, present throughout but no noticeable arrival and breeding pairs of around 8 pairs similar to last year.
Autumn: Present in small numbers and on the 3/11 10 were recorded from the Headland.
Per B.H.Log

Hedge Sparrow
2017: Good numbers present throughout and good numbers of breeding birds present, and many fledged young seen throughout the area. A check on the Headland on the 15/11 when 20 birds were logged. PerB.H.Log.

2017: Spring: Good numbers present throughout the period. On the 17/3 20 were recorded on the Headland. Again an estimate of 15 breeding pairs and a good number of fledged young were seen.
Autumn: Reasonable numbers seen throughout the autumn, with a daily max of 25 on the Headland on the 15/11, but by the 25/11 covering the same sites only one was seen.  Per B.H.Log.

2017: Spring: 22/4 1 opposite the  Old Trapping Area, and 3 /5 1 in the B/T area.
Autumn: Recorded on 11 dates from 5/8 (1 in Cow Gap gully) to 22/8 (1 re-trapped in Whitbread Hollow). Chiefly singles but with 2 on 7/8, 11/8, and 16/8. Most records came from Whitbread Hollow (a former breeding site), but also recorded from Cow Gap gully, the Old Trapping Area, but only 1 was heard calling in Shooters Bottom which is often a favourite site during the early Autumn. Probably a total of 10 different individuals involved of which 6 birds were ringed in Whitbread Hollow, which was considered to be a good total during recent years.

Per B.H.Log.

Black Redstart
2017: Spring: Recorded on 12 dates from 6/3 ( 1 female type Birling) to 10/5 (1 ad male in the Hotel Gdn). A total of 13 bird-days with probably 11 different individuals involved. All singles apart for a pair at Birling on the 8/5.
Autumn: 26/8 (1 juv. Michael Dene), 27/10 (3 along Birling lane), 3/11 1 at B/T lighthouse. RHC also mentioned that he has seen several Black Redstarts during the autumn in Hodcombe.
A very poor Autumn generally although one of the main sites Birling car park has had extensive disturbance with the construction of new steps leading to the beach.
Per B.H.log and S.O.S. web-site.

Adult male Black Redstart on the Headland.

Common Redstart
2017: Spring: Recorded on 16 dates from 4/4 (1 male Shooters Bottom) to 9/5 (1 female in the Old Trapping Area). A total of 24 bird-days were logged with daily maxs: 4 on the 16/4 and 22/4. An almost copy-cat of last years Spring.
Autumn: Recorded on 18 dates from 15/7 (1 ad. male in the Hotel Gdn.) to 10/9 (5).
A total of 83 bird-days with daily maxs: 24/8 (12), 26/8 (13), 27/8 (14).
Another good year. Per B.H.Log.

                                                 An early male Redstart in Shooters Bottom

2017: Spring: Just three sightings: 21/4 1 Birling, 22/4 3 (Crowlink, Hodcombe and Frost Hill Valley), 10/5 1 Birling.
Autumn: Recorded on 21 dates from 5/8 (5) to 24/9 (1) with a total of 77 bird-days.
Daily maxs: 26/8 (8), 27/8  20 early morning but quickly departed inland, and 29/8 (10)
An average year. PerB.H.Log.

                                                                An autumn Whinchat
2017: Jan-Feb: Up to a pair present near the sewage plant at Birling throughout this period.
Spring: Present throughout this period with a maximum on the 13/3 of 12. On the 12/5 1 very bright male (rubicola) was photographed at Birling. Probably a small decrease in the numbers breeding from last year but no survey undertaken. First young seen out of the nest was on the 12/5. On the 2/8 10 juveniles were seen in one group.
Autumn: Present throughout, with daily maxs: 20/8 c20 on the headland, and 24/9 17. On the 6/12 a pair along the road by the sewage farm at Birling. PerB.H.Log.

                                                         Female Stonechat with caterpillar

                                                         Continental type Stonechat (rubicola)                                                                                  
2017: Spring: Recorded on 22 dates from 9/3 (1) to 8/5 (1). A total of  111 bird-days with daily maxs: 10/4 (10), 28/4 (20) and 29/4 (11). A number of the Greenland race (leucorhoa) were identified: 21/4 (1), 22/4 (3), 28/4 (c15+), and 4/5 (6).
June: An adult male was present at Hodcombe.
Autumn: (JFC and LP were away from mid Sept to mid-Oct). Recorded on 24 days from 24/7 (1) to 27/10 (1 on Cow Gap beach) with a total of 121 bird-days with daily maxs: 26/8 (20), and 2/9 (22).
A better Spring than last year, with good numbers of the Greenland race being identified.
Per B.H.Log.

One of the first signs of Spring a male Wheatear in early March.

The richly coloured Greenland Wheatear of the race
leucorhoa, taken in April. 

Blue Rock Thrush
2017: 6/ 4 1 male B/T lighthouse and scrub, photos (Al Redman plus many observers)
It stayed the whole day and was still present at dusk, but gone by the morning. It was considered to be the same individual which wintered at Stow-on-the Wold, Gloucestershire, as both birds were moulting their central tail feathers as well as other plumage similarities, and the Stow bird had disappeared  a day or two before our bird was found. First for Sussex. PerB.H.Log.


                                              Blue Rock Thrush, Belle Tout, First for Sussex.

Ring Ouzel
2017: Spring: 13/4 1 male Birling, 15/4 1 female Hollow, 22/4 1 male Cliff Path,
3/5 1 near Old Trapping Area.
Autumn (JFC and LP were again away from mid Sept to mid Oct and therefore birds were probably missed). Logged on 14 dates from 20/9 (1) to 12/11 (1) with a total of 49 bird-days with daily maxs: 24/10 (7), and 27/10 (13). Per B.H.Log.

Female Ring Ouzel in Shooters Bottom

2017: Present throughout the year in small numbers.
Spring: No influxes logged and numbers were fairly stable and again estimated up to 10 breeding pairs.
Autumn: Just a small influx occurred in mid Oct to early Nov chiefly in Shooters Bottom with 25 present on the 25/10 and in Whitbread Hollow with 25 on the 9/11. PerB.H.Log.

2017: Spring: 14/3 4 Shooters Botttom, 16/3 1 Shooters Bottom and 17/3 2 B/T wood.
Autumn: Recorded on 8 dates from 30/10 (6) to 17/11 (1) . A total of just 20 bird-days.  PerB.H.Log.

Mistle Thrush
2017: Just a single bird seen on the 20/10 in Shooters Bottom.
Amazing how the fortunes of this thrush has changed over the years. Back in 1961, we had 6-7 breeding pairs in our area and it was recorded virtually daily during both migration periods, with up to 25 on a day during the Autumn period. This year, we just recorded a single bird.
Per B.H.Log.

2017: None recorded all year and now our 4th Spring running with no Spring records. Per B.H.Log.

Song Thrush

2017: Spring: Noticeable increase although no cold weather influxes recorded, birds were present during first 6 months of the year. A noticeable increase in the breeding population with a number of different birds singing throughout the Spring. A total of around 10-12 pairs breeding in the whole area.
Autumn: Present in small numbers throughout the autumn mainly in Shooters Bottom and Whitbread Hollow. On the 15/11, 10 were present in Shooters Bottom and a single continental race was trapped in Whitbread Hollow on the 10/9 with 2 more on the 2/11.
Pleasing that Song Thrushes generally were more in evidence although without any notable falls in late autumn. Also a good increase in the breeding population in our area.  PerB.H.Log.