Saturday, 31 March 2012

31st March, 2012 Beachy Head Light cloud misty at sea cool NE 0-2

Sea-watched from 07.10-08.10. Met up with PN and we covered the whole of the Headland including the field and Cliff Path. Briefly met up with RHC at Birling:

Red Throated Diver 3 E
Gannet 13 E
Grey-lag Goose 6 flew E over the Head and then veered off N. 
Brent Goose 20 E
Shelduck 4 E
Common Scoter 10 E
Red Breasted Merganser 1 W
Sparrowhawk 3 
Kestrel 1 W out to sea
Peregrine 1
Whimbrel 1 E (our first for the year)
Curlew 4 E
Arctic Skua 1 adult d/p E
Sandwich Tern 6 lingering off Birling
Auk Sp. 21 E & 3 W
Stonechat 6
Blackcap 1
Chiffchaff 8
Willow Warbler 4 (our first for the year)
Raven 2
Lesser Redpoll 1

Bottle Nosed Dolphin 2 off Birling

On the 29th March RHC had the following:
4 Red Kites (3 high over Hodcombe & 1 over Whitbread Hollow).
Black Redstart 1 female type in Hodcombe
Blackcap 2 in Hodcombe
Chiffchaff 15 in Hodcombe

Our first Willow Warbler for this year

Ringed Singing Chiffchaff along the Cliff Path

Female Sparrowhawk at Icky Ridge, one of three being seen today.

Six Grey-lags moving NE over the old Belle Tout lighthouse

Friday, 30 March 2012

30th March, 2012 Beachy Head Sunny, cool sea-haze.NE 2-3

We sea-watched from 07.20 - 08.20 and were joined by RDME. All the Headland sites were covered including the Cliff Path and RDME also covered the Hollow, Cow Gap and the Gully. With the cool NE wind  
both the sea and the area were very quiet:

Red Throated Diver 3 (1 E & 2 on the sea)
Gannet 26 E
Brent Goose 84 E
Peregrine 1
Oystercatcher 10 W some way out to sea and were probably moving
Black Headed Gull 50 E
Sandwich Tern 2 E
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Stonechat 3
Chiffchaff 6
Long Tailed Tit 1
Linnet 60
Lesser Redpoll 1 W

Small Tortoiseshell 1

Small Tortoiseshell along the Cliff Path

Thursday, 29 March 2012

29th March, 2012 Beachy Head Fine & Sunny N 0 increasing to 3-4

RDME visited Birling lane, to Belle Tout lighthouse and back through the wood, Shooters Bottom and Whitbread Hollow RHC in Hodcombe: PN and MN also covered a number of sites around Birling.

Great Crested Grebe 1
Red Kite 4 (3 over Hodcombe & 1 over Whitbread Hollow)
Tawny Owl 2 heard calling
Sand Martin 1 in off the sea (our first for the year).
Black Redstart 1 female type Hodcombe
Wheatear 1
Stonechat 2
Blackcap 4
Chiffchaff 23 (15 in Hodcombe)
Lesser Redpoll 1

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

28th March, 2012 Beachy Head Sunny, clear becoming hot N 1-2

We sea-watched from 06.40-08.10 and we then covered virtually all the sites on the Headland including the field & Cliff Path:

Red Throated Diver 1 E
Gannet 17 E
Grey-lag Goose 2 in off the sea
Brent Goose 147 E
Shelduck 1 E
Teal 5 E
Common Scoter 18 E
Red Breasted Merganser 7 E
Kestrel 2
Curlew 7 E
Black Headed Gull 37 E
Sandwich Tern 1 E
Black Redstart 2 female types
Wheatear 2
Stonechat 10
Tree Creeper 2 B/T wood
Linnet 62
Corn Bunting 1

Beachy Head Lighthouse with the Peregrine Stack

Just 2 Wheatears seen today

Increase in Linnet numbers seen today

Pair of Tree Creepers still in Belle Tout wood

Sunday, 25 March 2012

25th March, 2012 Beachy Head Sunny cool with sea Haze NE 3-4

Sea-watched from 07.50-10.20 and then covered the more sheltered areas on the Headland:

Red Throated Diver 8 E
Great Crested Grebe 2 on the sea
Gannet 9 E
Brent Goose 33 E
Shelduck 3 E
Goldeneye 1 drake E @ 08.10 (Our 17th record since 1960)
Common Scoter 66 E
Red Breasted Merganser 8 E
Avocet 3 E
Med. Gull 2 E
Sandwich Tern 42 E
Commic Tern 3 E (ties with our previous earliest record on the 25 March, 1972)
Auk Sp. 8 E & 7 on the sea
Chiffchaff 2
Raven 1
Goldfinch 7
Linnet 12


One of three Avocets seen moving past Birling today.


Chiffchaff in Chat Vale

Saturday, 24 March 2012

24th March, 2012 Beachy Head Fine warm & sunny NE 0-1

Very few migrants present on the Head although the highlights were:

Red Kite 1 E @ 12.00 hrs
Great Grey Shrike 1 in Chat Vale
Brambling 1

Thursday, 22 March 2012

22nd March, 2012 Beachy Head Cloudy cold NE 4

With a cold NE wind blowing hopes of migrants soon faded. We sea-watched from 06.30-08.00 and were joined by RHC. We then covered the lane at Birling with PN and also Belle Tout wood:

Great Crested Grebe 1 E
Gannet 160 E
Common Scoter 1 E
Auk Sp. 30 E & 10 on the sea.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

21st March, 2012 Beachy Head Early mist becoming warm & sunny S 0-1

We sea-watched from 06.35-07.40 and were joined by RHC. We covered around the Birling area and also the field, Belle Tout wood and the Old Trapping Area. Briefly met up with PN & MN:

Red Throated Diver 6 E
Great Crested Grebe 3 E
Gannet 16 E
Common Scoter 5 E
Sparrowhawk 2
Collared Dove 2
Black Redstart 2 males
Stonechat 5
Wheatear 2
Long Tailed Tit 2

Brimstone 1
Small White 1

Late news from yesterday were 2 Spoonbills seen moving W. @ 13.50 from Hodcombe. This now becomes our 7th record since 1960, with the last being in 2009.

Early morning view of the Seven Sisters

Beachy Head Lighthouse in swirling mist

View of Seaford Head


Two Male Black Redstarts near Belle Tout wood

Meadow Pipit

Views before they demolish  part of the Birling Gap Hotel

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

20th March, 2012 Beachy Head Overcast clear mild WSW 0-1

We sea-watched from 06.35-07.05 and then met up with RHC & PN and we then covered most of the sites on the Headland and saw RKH at Shooters Bottom:

Red Throated Diver 2 W
Great Crested Grebe 2 on the sea
Gannet 6 E
Grey-lag Goose 3 W
Common Scoter 6 E
Sparrowhawk 1
Peregrine 1
Alba Wagtail 1 W
Black Redstart 2
Wheatear 4
Corn Bunting 1

Monday, 19 March 2012

19th March, 2012 Beachy Head Fine warm & sunny NW 1-2

PN & MN visited the Birling area covering the lane, then walked along coastal path to B/T. lighthouse, onto the wood and then back to Birling:

Common Buzzard 1 near Hodcombe
Tawny Owl 2 calling
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Meadow Pipit 6
Wheatear 9
Stonechat 2
Black Redstart 4
Chiffchaff 10
Firecrest 3
Tree Creeper 1

Sunday, 18 March 2012

18th March, 2012 Beachy Head Fine sunny & warm WSW 1-2

A summers day in mid-March with migrants to go with it. We sea-watched from 06.55-07.25 and then slowly birded around virtually all the sites on the Headland:

Red Throated Diver 1 on the sea
Eider 2 drakes E.
Common Scoter 2 E & 1 W
Red Kite 1 drifted E @ 13.05
Peregrine 2-3
Mediterranean Gull 4 E & 1 flew inland
Black Headed Gull c300 many moving W.
Herring Gull approx. 400 coasting W many 1st.W's.
Sandwich Tern 3E & 3W
Auk Sp. 2 on the sea
Guillemot 1 on the sea
Tawny Owl 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 drumming B/T wood
Pied Wagtail 2 in the field
Alba Wagtail 3 in off the sea
White Wagtail 1 in the field
Black Redstart 3 (1 superb male near B/T lighthouse & 2 Hodcombe)
Stonechat 8
Wheatear 8
Fieldfare 2
Redwing 2-3
Chiffchaff 1
Blackcap 1 singing B/T wood
Goldcrest 1
Firecrest 4 (1 B/T wood & 1 the Old Trapping Area, 2 Hodcombe)
Long Tailed Tit 2
Tree Creeper 1
Raven 2
Linnet 17 (9W)
Reed Bunting 1 W


Beachy Lighthouse




Male Black Redstart at Belle Tout
They don't get much better than this.


Male Peregrine over Birling


Male Wheatear in the field.


Adult Mediterranean Gull over Birling


Winter Plumage Guillemot off Birling.


Rufous Phase Tawny Owl in the wood.


Firecrest in the Old Trapping Area.


Tree Creeper in Belle Tout wood.


Red Kite drifting East over the Headland.

JFC on a twitch!!