Monday, 19 December 2011

Beachy Head 2011 Summary No.5

I will now cover the more interesting Ducks from the Beachy perspective.

2011: Spring Sea-watches: Just recorded on two dates : 17/4 6 E (including 2 drakes), & 18/4 a pair E. An average year Per B.H.Log

 2011: Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 15 dates from 12 Mar (5 E)  to 5/5 (2E). In total 152 moved East with daily maximum of 66 E on the 2/4. Per B.H.Log
 (A slightly above average Spring although doesn't compete with 2004 when a total of 430 were logged including 275 E on the 1st March).

2/4 2 E Per B.H.Log
(Pochard are a fairly unusual sight on the Spring sea-watches.and this is just our nineteenth sighting since 1960 with the majority in the Spring, although 10 were tracked moving East past Worthing, Brighton and Beachy Head on the early date of the 22/2/03).

2011: 13/3 3W close in off Birling. Per B.H.Log
(Another scarce duck which is rarely seen on our Spring sea-watches. This is now our 16th record since 1960, with 4 of these records were in November and never more than 3 on a day have been logged).

2011: Spring Sea-watches: Recorded on 8 dates between 25/3 (7 E) and 22/4 (9 E). In total 86 birds moved E with a daily maximum of 27 E on the 22/4 & 21 E on the 19/4. Per B.H.Log
(An excellent year and one of our best to date although in 1984 a total of 172 moved East with a daily maximum of 64 on the 1st May).

2011: Jan-Feb: Just odd birds recorded on 6 dates. Spring sea-watches: Recorded from 7/3 to 18/6. (No records from the end of Apr to mid May due to holidays)
In total 7,094 moved East with daily maximums of 1,695 on the 2/4, & 1,516 on the 19/4. Our best Spring since 2005. Autumn: Recorded on 20 dates between 2/7 (4 E) and 30/12 (with 15 on the sea. Since the 8/11 up to 20 have been logged on the sea off Beachy and there may be a small winter flock now off Birling). Autumn daily maximum was of a single flock of 50 W on the 13/8. Per B.H.Log
(Although a good year, these numbers are comparatively small when compared with the 1960's & 70's for example in 1979 a total of 19,319 moved E with a daily maximum of 13,293 East on the 8/4. We must have had larger note-books in those days!!).

2011: Spring sea-watches: Recorded on 5 dates from 8/3 (4 drakes E) to 24/4 (8 on the sea). In total 43 birds recorded mostly moving E with daily maximums of 14 E on the 2/4 & 11 E on the 17/4. Per B.H.Log
(Variable numbers of Eiders are seen on the Spring sea-watches, although generally speaking in recent years numbers have been smaller than in our earlier years of sea-watching off Beachy, for example in 1982, a total of 202 moved East during the Spring with a daily maximum of 65 on the 5/5).

2011: Jan-Feb – 3 E on the 3/1 & the 8/2. Spring Sea-watches: Recorded on 15 dates from 12/3 (4 E) to the 28/5 (1 W). In total 90 moved E with the daily maximum of 27 E on the 2/4. On the 9/10 11 moved W., with 1 W on the 23/12 & 30/12. Per B.H.Log
(Like many of our sea-ducks, smaller numbers are now recorded moving East on our sea-watches compared to numbers seen in our earlier years. The intense sea-watching carried out in our earlier years by MJR et al may be an influence although a lot of the sea-ducks move during April when during these early years most of the sea-watching was carried out towards the end of April into May. In 1971, a total of 560 were logged moving East during the Spring).

2011: 1/1 3 redheads ( 2 W and then back E with 1W), 8/2 1 redhead landed on a tidal pool on the beach for 5 minutes before departing E. 10/10 1 redhead W very close in almost over the Beach, is our earliest Autumn record to date, although not the earliest for Sussex. Per B.H.Log
(We have now recorded 12 sightings since 1960, our the first sighting was in 1970, and we have now recorded 9 during the Spring and 3 during the Autumn).