Monday, 30 July 2012

30th July 2012 Beachy

RDME made an evening visit to Whitbread Hollow and found a Frog near a willow in the main mistnet rides

Sunday, 29 July 2012

29th July 2012 Beachy W4 partly overcast

Calm and overcast conditions at dawn unfortunately failed to deliver the hoped-for fall of Willow Warblers and migrants were virtually non-existant despite RDME and RK both covering sites on top of the Head and Cow Gap and Whitbread Hollow being walked. A brisk westerly wind enticed a sea-watch from 6.45am to 8.00am.

Manx Shearwater 1E at 6.54am
Gannet 30W
Scoter 10E, 4W
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1
Bonxie 1E
Mediterannean Gull 1 juv.
Auk sp. 1E
Curlew 2W
Whimbrel 1W
Collared Dove 1
Swift 16 S
Swallow 4
Chiffchaff 2
Whitethroat 10
Corn Bunting 1 singing

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull at East Dean Cricket Pitch

Dusky Sallow Moth courtesy of Bob Edgar at Birling Gap

Dark Green Fritillary in Whitbread Hollow

Cargo ship passing Beachy sharing the same initials as an ex-County birder with one of the most impressive national self-found lists of all time that includes a first for Britain

Saturday, 28 July 2012

28th July 2012 Beachy Head W2

Whilst RDME/BHRG we were putting up the mistnet poles today they saw 70+ Chalk Hill Blues in the Hollow (also 2 Small Copper, 2 Comma) and heard a Bullfinch.

RDME also popped down to the Hollow yesterday and heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker and at the beginning of the week while ringing heard 2 Bullfinches.

Friday, 27 July 2012

27 July 2012 Beachy Head Early shower overcast,murky Wind 0-1

Overcast conditions with an early morning shower gave some hope of grounded migrants. Some Swifts and Sand Martins moved through but warblers were virtually absent. Highlight were 2 Cuckoos the first a juvenile by the old lighthouse and the second an adult on the edge of Belle Tout wood:

Kestrel 1
Peregrine 2 (adult and juvenile)
Cuckoo 2 (adult & juvenile)
Swift 110 (100 high W)
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Sand Martin 52 E
Common Whitethroat 9
Raven 4

Chalk Hill Blue Approx. 300 between Birling & Belle Tout
Small Copper 1
Dark Green Fritillary 1
Marbled White 6

Weasle 1

Map showing where the  3rdYr. Herring Gull was ringed on the 11/2/12
 which was seen on the beach at Birling Gap on the 21/7/12

Juvenile Cuckoo at the Old Lighthouse, 1 of 2 seen today.

Two of the 4 Ravens over Icky Ridge.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

25 July 2012 Hot and Sunny Wind 0-1

Very hot and still today with fewer birds showing, although a Spotted Flycatcher at Birling was a surprise.
Covered most of the Headland sites and briefly met up with RK & RKH:

Kestrel 1
Wheatear 1
Common Whitethroat 12
Willow Warbler 2
Spotted Flycatcher 1 at Birling

Butterflies: Usual selection with large numbers of Gatekeepers.

Kestrel - Unfortunately none seem to have bred this year in the area.

Common Whitethroat - Only small numbers are present at the moment.

Head on view of a Dark Green Fritillary - still fair numbers are on the wing.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

24 July 2012 Beachy Head Sunny & hot S 0-1

Another hot & sunny morning and similar to the week-end with a few more Willow Warblers and the first Sedge Warbler of the Autumn. A family party of 5 Ravens flew over "cronking".
We covered the Headland from Birling lane to Icky ridge.

Cormorant 11 W
Sparrowhawk 1 male
Swift 6
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Swallow 7
Wheatear 1
Sedge Warbler 1 (First for the Autumn)
Common Whitethroat 17
Blackcap 2
Willow Warbler 6
Raven Family party of 5
Corn Bunting 1

The ringed Herring Gull (ring no. AX1T) which was present on the beach at Birling on the 21/7, was ringed at Rainham, Essex on the 11/2/12 and has not been recorded at any other sites.

Nice selection of the common butterflies including 4 Dark Green Fritillaries, 4 Red Admirals also 1 Common Darter Dragonfly. 


Male Sparrowhawk near Shooters Bottom

Willow Warbler at Birling


Wheatear at Belle Tout

Party of 11 Cormorants off Birling

Common Darter at Belle Tout wood.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

22 July 2012 Beachy Head Fine sunny & warm E-SE 1

One or two returning new migrants seen today, including 1 Nightingale, 2 Wheatears, a juv.type Common Redstart,  2 Reed Warblers, and a Green Sandpiper was heard calling near Belle Tout. We covered virtually all the sites on the Head with the exception of the Cliff Path and rough field, and RDME birded and ringed in Whitbread Hollow. Figures in brackets relate to birds trapped.

Green Sandpiper 1 heard calling near Belle Tout.
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1
Peregrine 2
Sandwich Tern 3
Collared Dove 1 at Birling
Great Spotted Woodpecker 2 
Sand Martin 8+
Common Redstart 1 juv.
Nightingale 1 in Whitbread Hollow 
Wheatear 2
Reed Warbler 2 (2 adults)
Common Whitethroat 18
Blackcap 8 (4 including 1 re-trap from last year)
Willow Warbler 1
Chiffchaff 3 (1)
Corn Bunting 2

Similar species of butterflies as seen yesterday with one addition:
Painted Lady 1

 Willow Warbler at Birling

Collard Doves are only seen on odd occasions during the year on the Headland


Wheatears are back, it must be Autumn.

Good numbers of Small Skippers are present at the moment.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

21 July 2012 Beachy Head Fine & sunny, NE 1-3

 We covered from Birling Lane to the Hotel Garden. Just the odd returning migrants but butterflies were showing in fair numbers:

Kestrel 1 Juv.
Peregrine 3-4
Oystercatcher 10 on beach
Curlew 1 on beach
Herring Gull 1 3rdcy. with red ring with black lettering on left leg - AX1T on beach.
Swift 3
Stonechat 6
Common Whitethroat 14
Blackcap 1 juv. type at Birling
Willow Warbler 2
Tree Creeper 1 B/T wood
Corn Bunting 1 singing

Chalk Hill Blue 12
Small Heath 3
Small Copper 2
Small Skipper 6
Dark Green Fritillary 9
Comma 1
Red Admiral 1
Meadow Brown 15
Gatekeeper 20
Marbled White 15

Juvenile Blackcap at Birling

Ringed Herring Gull on beach at Birling

Curlew on beach at Birling



Adult Peregrine starting moult.

Juvenile Peregrine

Juv. Kestrel

Round-headed Rampion

Marbled White

Male Chalk Hill Blue

Underwing of the male Chalk Hill Blue


Dark Green Fritillary

Huge Puffball around a foot wide.

Volucella bombylans mimicing a White-tailed Bumblebee

Sunday, 15 July 2012

15 July 2012 Beachy Head Overcast mild WNW 1-2

Spent 3 hours this morning covering the Birling & Belle Tout walk also Shooters Bottom & The Old Trapping Area:

Peregrine 3 (2 ads & 1 Juv)
Swift 170 W
Sand Martin 3
Swallow 5
Rock Pipit 1 B/T lighthouse
Common Whitethroat Just 5 seen in the areas covered.
Goldfinch 10
Linnet 60
Crossbill 3 E
Corn Bunting 1 singing


Marbled White just 2 seen today.

Adult Peregrine sat on top of the cliff at Belle Tout.