Saturday, 28 January 2012

Beachy Head 2011 Summary No.24

2011: After the recent severe winters it was only recorded on 5 dates during the Spring from 25/3 (2) to 3/4 (1) with a daily maximum of 13 on the 27/3.
Autumn: Recorded on 47 dates from 30/8 (1) to 10/12 (1). Daily maximums: 27/9 (13), 16/10 (12), 23/10 (16), 28/10 (20), & 1/11 (14). One was still present on the 30/12. Per B.H.Log
(Pleasing to report that after no Spring sightings last year, a recovery was seen this year although it will probably take a few mild winters before the numbers recover completely).

2011: Spring: Recorded on 8 dates from 9/2 (1 at Holywell) to 15/4 (1). In total 15 bird days with probably 10 different individuals seen, with a maximum of 4 on the 12/3 and 13/3.
Autumn: Recorded on 21 dates from 24/9 (1)  to the  10/11 (1). In total 68 bird-days with probably 44 different individuals seen. Daily maximums: 23/10 (4), 25/10 (7),27/10 (8), 29/10(12), 31/10 (4). Per B.H.Log.
(Another good year and an improvement on last Autumn, when I estimated probably 23 different birds were recorded. Our last good Autumn influxs was on the 10/9/06 when 26 different birds were logged, and on the 18/9/96, 32 different birds were present on the Headland.
 An interesting ringing recovery was in 1988 when on the 15/10 one was ringed on Beachy Head and was controlled just 11 days later on Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel. It is probable that this bird was a newly arrived continental migrant when it was ringed and that its westward movement is typical, as central southern and south-west England is where most winter sightings occur).

A Spring Firecrest in Belle Tout Wood in March.
(Another good year at Beachy for this lovely migrant).

2011: Not recorded in the Spring.
Autumn: Recorded on just 7 dates from 10/8 (1) to 23/9 (1) with just 14 birds logged with a daily maximum of 3 on the 14/8 & 4 on the 23/9. Per B.H.Log
(A very bleak year for this declining summer visitor and has to be our worst year ever. Back in the 1960's, 2-3 pairs regularly bred in Belle Tout wood and this year is probably our first year it was not logged during the Spring migration period. Even as recently as 2007, our last good Spring, when on the 22/5, 22 different birds were seen. Autumn numbers in 2011 were also very low, for comparison in 1970, it was logged on 31 dates with a total of 206 bird-days with daily maximums of 20 on the 29/8, a good influx on the 30/8 with 50 birds and 20 on the 16/9). 

2011: Spring: 1stS. male showed well and was photographed in the Old Trapping Area on the 11/4.
Autumn: Just recorded on two dates 27/8 (2) & 29/8 (1). Per B.H.Log
(This species has always fluctuated from year to year, and is not always recorded every Spring. I remember many years ago in 1961, arriving with Tony Quinn during the afternoon of the 2/9, to commence a weeks bird ringing in the Old Trapping Area, and just in the afternoon in the Old Trapping Area seeing 35 Pied Flycatchers and 40 Whinchats. Those were the days!!).

1st S. male Pied Flycatcher in the Old Trapping Area on the 11th April, 2011.
(Lets hope for some more in 2012)