Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Beachy Head 2011 Summary No.13


2011: Jan-Feb: (See also Auk sp.) 3.264 birds were identified as Razorbills, with daily maximums of 500 Razorbills i/d on the 22/1, 480 i/d on the 23/1, 1/2 600 identified and 9/2 950 were identified. Autumn: Just i/d on 2 dates-24/10 8E, 2/11 1 on the sea,  December: 28/12 5E. and 30/12 2.Per B.H.Log.
(Exceptional numbers were seen during Jan and Feb and by far our best numbers ever. Most of the Auks which were close enough to identify were Razorbills and less than 100 Guillemots were identified during this period. There were large numbers of Auks flying to far out to identify, and it just may be that Guillemots were moving further out than Razorbills, although we will never know).

2011: Jan-Feb: (See also under Auk sp.) Unlike Razorbill, realitvely few of the large numbers passing were specifically identified as Guillemots, although many Auks sp.were moving far out to sea and it may just be that Guillemots were moving further out than Razorbills. In total just 81 were actually i/d as Guillemots with a daily maximum of 40 on the 9/2.
Spring sea-watches: Just 4 birds were actually i/d as Guillemots.
Summer: Identified on 3 dates : 19/6 1 E & 1 on the sea, 8/7 1 W, 23/7 2 on the sea.
Autumn: Just identified on three dates. December: 2E & 1W on the 28/12. Per B.H.Log.

2011: Jan-Feb:  Huge numbers seen off Birling during these two months. Sea-watched on 19 dates during this period and recorded the following: 3,724 were recorded moving East and 3,362 West. Also good numbers were sitting on the sea. Daily maximums: 2/1 435 E & 20 W, 1/2 350 E & 2,205 W (c600 were i/d as Razorbills but only 10 Guillemots i/d). 9/2 2,280 E & 150 W. Majority of the birds were considered to be Razorbills during this period, although of course the Guillemots may have been moving further out than the Razorbills.
Spring sea-watch: Just small numbers recorded on 14 dates with a daily maximum of 55 E on the 4/4. Summer: just odd birds seen on 8 dates. On the 7/8 there was an adult with 1 young on the sea off Birling. Autumn: Recorded on 7 dates with 22/10 61 E & 23/10 80 E. December: 8 E on the 23/12. Per B.H.Log.
(From the Beachy perspective we have never seen Auks moving in such large numbers in previous years, when I realised that large numbers were moving I decided to try to record it to the best of my ability and was able to sea-watch on 19 dates during this period. There were of course huge numbers seen of Pett Level and from Dungeness which suggest local feeding movements. The Auks were moving in very long lines and proved to be a spectacular sight and this movement coincided with exceptional numbers of Red Throated Divers).