Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Beachy Head 2011 Summary No.23


2011: Spring: Recorded from 24/3 (1 at Birling). Daily maximums: 7/4 50 with (1 of the Northern race acredula seen in the Old Trapping Area). 8/4 22, 11/4 20-25.
Autumn: Recorded from 23/7 (3 all 1stY birds), Daily maximums : these include the BHRG numbers from Whitbread Hollow. 25/7 22 (4 ringed), 6/8 95 (26 ringed) 10/8 142 (27 ringed), 14/8 113 (25 ringed), 17/8 87 (31 ringed).  Last recorded: 29/10 to 1/11 with one present in Belle Tout wood. Per B.H.Log
This November record represents our latest date.
(The numbers of Willow Warblers now seen during the Spring migration period is far less than it was back in our earlier years, and the last good Spring fall occurred on the 10/4/2007 when 150+ were logged, although much larger Spring falls were recorded in our earlier years.On the 15/4/1970 a fall of some 800 phylloscopus warblers with the majority being Willows, were logged in the area.
Back in the 1960's 20-40 breeding pairs were estimated from the Headland, and in 1970 up to 30 pairs were breeding mainly along the Cliff Path. During the last few years, just the odd bird has been logged during the breeding season and it probably no longer breeds on the Head.
Numbers of migrants seen during the Autumn do tend to fluctuate from year to year mainly due to the weather conditions at the end of July to mid August. A warm settled spell will tend to attract good falls of mainly 1st yr. birds. with some very large falls logged right up to the 1990's for example in 1997 600 were logged for the 9/8 with 800 on the 10/8 and it was estimated that the August total was around 2,600).

2011: Spring: Recorded from 22/3 (1). Generally only small numbers noted with the daily maximums of 11 on the 24/3 & 23 on the 26/3.
Breeding: A number of singing males were holding terriority in the whole area, although chiefly in the Whitbread Hollow area although the breeding population is probably less than 10 pairs. On the 25/7 11 juveniles were ringed in Whitbread Hollow and an adult was re-trapped which had been ringed there on the 28/7/2010. Further birds were ringed here in late July/early August which were probably local breeding birds and odd moulting adult birds were also seen on the Headland at the end of July which suggests local breeding birds.
Autumn: Migration commenced towards the end of August and BHRG numbers are included in these totals. Daily maximums:  On the 31/8 15 (9 ringed), 14/9 60, 15/9 316 (65 ringed), 16/9 70 (15 ringed), 19/9 280 (54 ringed), 22/9 160 (48 ringed), 23/9 550 (73 ringed), 27/9 230 (37 ringed), 3/10 60 (19 ringed). By the early November just odd birds were being seen although on the 12th a small influx of 10 occurred with 3 being ringed and one seen and photographed at Birling probably belonged to an Eastern race fulvescens or tristis. On the 10/12 1 was photographed at Birling. Per B.H.Log.
(Numbers of both migrant and breeding Chiffchaffs from the Headland during the last 50 years are fairly stable with some good years but also some poor years).

2011: Just a single record on 1 in Hodcombe on the 30/7. Per B.H.Log.
(During the last 20 years, the Wood Warbler has sadly been in decline. During the 1970's, 12 were logged during 1977, and 8 in 1978).

 2011: A single bird was found by Nigel Taylor, a visiting birder, at the top of the lane at Birling Gap on the 25/10 and stayed to at least the 28/10, when on this date it seemed to have picked up an eye infection and had become very elusive. It was well photographed by Mick Davies. Per B.H.Log.
(This is now our 73rd record since regular watching commenced in 1960).

2011: 23/10 1 found by Chris Ball in Holywell, with a second bird in Belle Tout wood on the 27/10. J.F.Cooper, R.D.M. Edgar, P.Netherway, R.E.Smith, R.K.Haggar et al. Per B.H.Log.
(We have now recorded 45 Pallas’s Leaf Warblers since the first for Sussex trapped in Whitbread Hollow by Barry Cooper in 1968, up to 2010, a total of 80 Pallas's have been seen in Sussex).