Tuesday, 20 November 2012

18 Nov 2012 Beachy Head Fine sunny but cool. Wind very light

DC and BK visited the Headland and covered virtually all the usual sites including B/T field. Unfortunately they were unable to park at Holywell and therefore could not have a look for the Siberian Chiffchaff.
Generally very little in the area and no sign of any diurnal migration:

Sparrowhawk 2
Goldcrest 5
Firecrest 1 (Hotel Garden)
Corn Bunting 1

If anyone is interested I have added a trip report on our recent trip for Eastern migrants to Hegura-jima, Japan on the following blog site:

Friday, 16 November 2012

16 Nov 2012 Beachy Head Overcast mild and misty with fog mid-morning ESE 2

Covered Birling, Belle Tout wood and Holywell before the fog came down. Little of interest seen other than 1 Black Redstart and no sign of any Chiffchaffs at Holywell.

Peregrine 1
Tawny Owl 2
Black Redstart 1
Song Thrush 3
Goldcrest 8

Thursday, 15 November 2012

15 Nov 2012 Beachy Head Overcast but mild NE 1

With Pallas's at both Dungeness and Portland yesterday, we decided to visit this morning to check out a number of the Headland sites including Holywell. We met up with RES at the Old Trapping Area.
Very little seen apart for a Siberian/Eastern type Chiffchaff in Holywell feeding with a normal Chiffchaff. Compared with the normal Chiffchaff, it lacked any yellow in the plumage as far as I could tell and appeared overall with a cold greyish cast . Also appeared no yellow in the supercillium. Unfortunately, most of the time I was looking up at it against the sky and after several minutes both Chiffchaffs moved across Holywell and out of sight.

Sparrowhawk 3
Kestrel 1
Tawny Owl 2 in B/T wood. (both were greyish morphs)
Fieldfare 2
Redwing 1
Song Thrush 4
Chiffchaff 1
Siberian/Eastern Chiffchaff 1 Holywell
Goldcrest 10
Raven 2

Tawny Owl in Belle Tout wood

Siberian/Eastern type Chiffchaff at Holywell

Monday, 12 November 2012

12 Nov 2012 Beachy Head Overcast and mild but rain late morning W-SW 0-2

A calm mild morning and we covered most of the sites on the Headland including the Cliff Path. Virtually no diurnal migration and although we were hoping for a few late summer migrants in the calm conditions, none were seen.

Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1
Tawny Owl 2 showing in Belle Tout wood.
Robin 15
Stonechat 1
Song Thrush 7
Goldcrest 4
Raven 2
Goldfinch 40 mainly E
Corn Bunting 1

Kestrel posing for the camera at Belle Tout.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

6 Nov 2012 Beachy Head Fine sunny with a frost NNE light

Bob, Pete and Ron were all on the Headland this morning and covered a number of the sites. Little diurnal migration seen apart for some Woodpigeons.

Marsh Harrier 1
Common Buzzard 5
Kestrel 1
Merlin 1
Peregrine 1
Woodpigeon c600
Collared Dove 2
Tawny Owl 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Black Redstart 2
Stonechat 2
Song Thrush 2
Chiffchaff 1
Goldcrest 4

Monday, 5 November 2012

5 Nov 2012 Beachy Head Misty cool becoming fine sunny and warm N 1-2

We started off at Birling and walked the lane and then checked the gorse area behind Belle Tout wood for Dartfords and then Belle Tout gully and over to the wood. No sign of the Hume's Leaf Warbler during our stay and we met up with PN, RB RHC and a few other birders. We then went to Hodcombe and covered the garden. Small passage of Woodpigeons also Ring Ouzel and a female type Marsh Harrier.

Met Office view
Low pressure is centred to the southwest of Wales, with an associated occlusion indicating banding of showers. Various troughs around the UK indicate areas of enhanced shower activity. A number of weather fronts across Mediterranean Europe indicate unsettled conditions.

Marsh Harrier 1 female type
Kestrel 1
Peregrine 1
Stock Dove 20
Woodpigeon 1,300 S
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Swallow 12
Black Redstart 1 Birling
Ring Ouzel 1 male
Blackbird 15
Song Thrush 3
Blackcap 1
Chiffchaff 1
Goldcrest 3
Raven 2
Starling 480 (80 W)
Brambling 1
Corn Bunting 2

Raven on the cliff edge in Belle Tout gully


Female type Marsh Harrier drifting high E over Belle Tout.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

3 Nov 2012 Beachy Head Early heavy showers becoing sunny. W 2-4

We met up with Richard and John at Birling and covered most of the sites on the Headland but concentrated in Belle Tout wood where the Hume's Yellow-browed was showing well although still very active. RDME was in Whitbread Hollow. Good numbers of other birders present wit the attraction of the Hume's. Only a few other migrants were seen although another c3,000 Woodpigeons moved out to sea.

 Met Office view
A complex area of low pressure, with three separate centres, lies to the north of the UK, with an assortment of fronts associated with it. Further west, an elongated area of high pressure lies over Greenland. Tightly packed isobars between the two indicate northerly strong winds over and around Iceland.

Little Egret 1
Common Scoter 10 on the sea
Sparrowhawk 1
Merlin 1
Peregrine 1
Stock Dove 15
Woodpigeon c3,000 S out to sea
Swallow 20
Redwing 6
Blackcap 1
Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler 1
Goldcrest 6
Jay 2
Raven 2
Goldfinch 35

Channel ferry in a rainbow off Birling

 My efforts with the Hume's

David's effort with the Hume's
Sound-recording of the Hume's
Sonogram of the Beachy Hume's

Sonogram of a Hume's in Sweden October 2011

Friday, 2 November 2012

2 Nov 2012 Beachy Head Sunny periods with heavy showers W 2-3 to 5 when raining

Fairly blustery conditions with some very heavy showers allowed  for only limited coverage. We birded the lane and then spent the rest of our time in Belle Tout wood looking for the Hume's Leaf Warbler. After a couple of very brief sightings by other birders we finally connected with excellent views from 5 yards feeding in the centre of the wood just below the pathway for several minutes. It was only approx. 2 feet above the ground but it was very active but never remained long in one place.
Also 1 Merlin over the field and 1 Brambling in the bushes at the top of the lane.

Met Office view
Low pressure is situated over and to the north of the UK, with a number of fronts associated with it. Those over the UK indicate areas of more frequent showers. Closely- packed isobars around Iceland, on the northwest flank of the low, indicate strong winds here. High pressure prevails further west in the Atlantic and over Greenland.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

1 Nov 2012 Beachy Head Sunny periods but heavy showers

The Hume's Leaf Warbler was again present on the Western side of Belle Tout wood.

John Stanton has kindly sent me the following pictures taken on Beachy Head during October.

Hume's Leaf Warbler taken on the 31st Oct in Belle Tout wood

Yellow-browed Warbler taken on the 10th Oct in The Old Trapping Area

Firecrest taken on the 10th Oct

Siberian Stonechat taken on the 22 Oct near Birling Gap
All pictures taken by John Stanton