Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Beachy Head 2011 Summary No.20

2011: Spring: Recorded on 23 dates from 14/3 (2) to 25/4 (10). (After this date JFC & DC were away on holiday, and no additional numbers have been logged). In total 110 bird-days with daily maximums of 27/3 (16), 14/4 (11), 24/4 (10). The Greenland race leucorhoa were recorded as follows: 2 on the 11/4, & 1 on the 15/4. On the 26/3 1 was seen to arrive in of the sea.
Autumn: Recorded on 43 dates from 27/7(1) to 13/11 (1). In total 392 bird-days with daily maximums of 3/9 (40), 10/9 (40), 15/9 approx 100 was estimated although most had moved on very quickly. A number of Autumn birds were considered to belong to the Greenland race leucorhoa but were not identified for certain. Per B.H.Log.
(An average sort of year)

2011 A 1stW. was discovered by M.E.& R.H.Charlwood with G. & A.Swash on Crowlink on the downs just to the E. of Crowlink hamlet. It stayed for the rest of the day and was enjoyed by a good number of birders including JFC, DC, RKH, RES & RDME and was well photographed and pictures were published in Birding World. Unfortunately, it was not seen the following morning. First record for Sussex. Per B.H.Log.        

(An excellent find, and up to 2010 there has been 28 accepted records in the UK and with the Crowlink bird there were 3 records during 2011).

2011: Recorded from the 12/2 to 20/11. Spring: No real influx noted and probably only around 5 breeding pairs. On the 30/5 11 birds logged including 5 juvs.
Autumn Maximums: 2/9 14 & 24/9 17 also a small influx noted on the 6/11 with 11 logged. A pair were seen in the often used wintering site near the Birling Sewage Farm on the 10/12, and 3 were in the rough field at Birling on the 17/12.
A pair belonging to the Continental race rubicola took up terriority in the small gully running along the cliff edge above Belle Tout wood. We managed to photograph these and they bred raising 3 young.Per B.H.Log
(This would appear to be the first proven breeding in the UK of this particular race, although they have probably bred before and not reported and we have had similar birds breeding at Beachy in past years. In 2009 probably the same pair bred in this Gully, and in 2010 a male with a large white rump was photographed and appeared to be holding territory in Shooters Bottom. In 2007, what was considered to be a rubicola, was found breeding in the Gully below Cow Gap and raised 3 young. I also remember seeing brightly coloured males with good white rumps on a number of occasions going right back to the 1960's chiefly in the Shooters Bottom area).

2011: None recorded during the Spring. Autumn: Recorded on 24 dates from 14/8 (4) to 16/10 (1). In total 64 bird-days with daily maximums of 21/8 (5), 10/9(8), 19/9 (5),
& 24/9 (5). Most surprising that there was not a single sighting from Whitbread Hollow all Autumn. Per B.H.Log.
(Another poor year and the last year it was recorded in the Spring was in 2007. During the 1960's & 70's far higher numbers were being recorded in both the Spring and especially in the Autumns. 100 in a day was not to unusual and during the night of the 20/9/1980 with SE winds between 500-1,000 Whinchats were estimated in our area on the 21/9 but they soon moved on).

 2011: Spring: Recorded only on the 18/4 with a female in Hodcombe.
Autumn: Recorded on 21 dates chiefly singles from 25/7 (1) to 29/10 (1 in Hodcombe). In total 43 bird-days with daily maximums of 15/8 (5), 17/8(7), & 21/8 (4). Per B.H.Log.
(Another species which is in decline. In the 1960's the Spring daily maximum was 33 on the 22/5/1965, and in 1970 it was recorded on 20 dates during the Spring with a daily maximum 20 on the 18/4 with 100 bird-days. A similar story is for the Autumn passage with daily maximums often in the region of 20 in a day and during our first eleven years of ringing a total of 394 Redstarts were ringed averaging some 35 birds per year).

2011: Winter: An adult male seen at Birling on the 9/2 & 12/2.
Spring: Recorded on 8 dates from the 12/3 ( 1 in the Hotel Garden) to 8/4 (1). Probably 13 different birds were involved allowing for overlaps, with daily maximums of 8 on the 26/3, & 4 on the 27/3.
Autumn: Recorded on 13 dates from 17/10 (1) to 22/11 (2). After allowing for duplications probably 10 different inviduals involved with the daily maximum of 4 on the 29/10. Per B.H.Log.
(An average Spring and Autumn. An interesting ringing recovery was of a juvenile ringed in Hodcombe on the 17/10/85 was found dead just 8 days later on St. Mary's, Isles of Scillies, some 475km to the SW).

2011: Just recorded on 4 dates during the year: 11/4 1 in Whitbread Hollow, 27/7 1 trapped, 31/7 1 croaking in Shooters Bottom, 12/8 1 in Whitbread Hollow.  Per B.H.Log.
(Back in the 1960's & into the 70's, 3 pairs bred in Whitbread Hollow with additional pairs probably at Long Down. During the first eleven years of ringing a total of 54 birds were ringed and a pair ringed in Whitbread Hollow in April, 1962 were re-trapped there in May, 1965. I can also remember ringing in the Old Trapping Area probably in 1961 and found 3 Nightingales in the mist-net together).

2011: Autumn Maximums logged : 17/8 25, 29/10 25, 12//11 26 (4 ringed), although not all totals from the BHRG have been logged. Per B.H.Log.
(A poor year, with daily maximums during past Autumns have been in the region of 50 to 100 on a day. On the 30/10/2004, 100 were estimated in Whitbread Hollow with a further 50 estimated from the Headland. In 1998, 200 were logged from Whitbread Hollow on the 9/10 and during this Autumn 185 were ringed in Whitbread Hollow which was the best total since 1977).