Monday, 29 April 2013

29 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Cloudy becoming sunny cool W4 to NW 4

We joined RDME at Birling and sea-watched from 06.15-08.00 but again very disappointing. We then covered Birling lane and Belle Tout wood and RDME visited Whitbread Hollow, Cow Gap and the Gully, PN was also birding the Headland. Although we had some rain during the night, still very low numbers of migrants logged.

Red-throated Diver 2 E
Great Crested Grebe 1 W
Gannet 32 E & 3 W
Grey Heron 1 off Birling
Brent Goose 45 E
Shelduck 2 E
Common Scoter 112 E
Bonxie 3 E
Sandwich Tern 13 E & 13 W
Auk Sp 6 E
Guillemot 2 on the sea
Tawny Owl 2
Swallow 1
Rock Pipit 1 displaying
Common Whitethroat 10
Blackcap 4
Chiffchaff 2
Willow Warbler 2
Corn Bunting 1




Grey phase Tawny Owl showing well


Male Wheatear near Belle Tout taken on the 28th by Roger Haggar.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

28 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Early frost, sunny & clear becoming warm. N1 to WSW 1

After the early frost it become a warm sunny day. Very clear visibility with a N wind so little expectations of a sea-watch and looking for land migrants. We tried two sea-watches from 07.05-07.35 & again from 10.30 to 11.30. We also did the Birling lane and Birling /Belle Tout loop and were joined by PN. RDME, RKH and RES were also birding the Headland sites.

Red-throated Diver 1E
Great Crested Grebe 1 on the sea
Common Scoter 27 E
Sandwich Tern 6 E
Commic Tern 24 E
Stock Dove 2 E
Swallow 10
Yellow Wagtail 3
Black Redstart 1 female type Birling
Whinchat 1
Stonechat 7
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Common Whitethroat 9
Blackcap 1
Chiffchaff 3
Willow Warbler 1
Carrion Crow 2 in off the sea
Corn Bunting 1

Late news for yesterday: 2 Hobbies flew past Hodcombe late morning.

Gorse in full flower at Birling

Pete contemplating if Arsenal can beat Man. United this afternoon
 and therefore maintain their hope for next seasons Champion 
League. Pity he missed the Subalpine warbler singing in the open,
 just to the right of his head!!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

27 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Sunny and clear but cold. N 3

Back to winter this morning with yet another cold north wind blowing. No point sea-watching and we first checked Shooters Bottom but were unable to locate the Long-eared Owl. We decided to visit Whitbread Hollow, Cow Gap and the Gully which was nicely sheltered from the wind and we found a Grasshopper Warbler by the first flight of steps otherwise just small numbers of migrants seen. Met up with RJF and JK who had been covering the Headland.

Little Egret 2 E off Cow Gap
Tawny Owl 2
Swift 2
Swallow 10
Tree Pipit 1
Yellow Wagtail 3
Wheatear 5
Grasshopper Warbler 1
Lesser Whitethroat 4
Common Whitethroat 15
Blackcap 2
Chiffchaff 1
Willow Warbler 1
Long-tailed Tit 2
Linnet 40 in field
Corn Bunting 6

Male Sparrowhawk feeding on a Goldfinch in the Old Trapping Area
on the 26 April. (taken by Roger Haggar).

Female type Black Redstart at Birling on the 26 April.
(taken by Roger Haggar).

Friday, 26 April 2013

26 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Heavy rain during morning clearing late morning N 1-2

Heavy rain during the early morning with the wind switching back to the north, we had a late start waiting for the rain to ease. Small arrival of migrants with Wheatears totaling 14 and our first Whinchats for the year. The Long-eared Owl was still showing in Shooters Bottom.

Common Buzzard 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 3
Long-eared Owl 1
Swallow 3
Whinchat 3
Wheatear 14
Common Whitethroat 12
Blackcap 1
Chiffchaff 1
Willow Warbler 7
Raven 1
Linnet 40

Red Admiral 1

Chiffchaff at Birling

 Wheatears at Birling

Raven over Shooters Bottom

Three more pictures of the Long-eared Owl taken by D.Cooper yesterday.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

25 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Sunny and warm with mist at sea SW 1

With a Long-eared Owl present in Shooters Bottom today, we decided to visit the Head this afternoon and had nice views and also did a sea-watch 17.20-18.25. Pete & Mim visited a number of sites this morning and RK also kindly sent me some pictures.

Red-throated Diver 1 on sea
Arctic Skua 1 E
Sandwich Tern 12 E
Little Tern 2 E
Tawny Owl 2 B/T wood
Long-eared Owl 1 Shooters Bottom
Swallow 1
Common Whitethroat 7
Willow Warbler 1
Raven 1

Harbour Porpoise 5

Long-eared Owl Shooters Bottom taken by Ron Knight


Long-eared Owl Shooters Bottom taken by JFC

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

23 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Early thick mist NW 1-2

Bob and Pete covered most of the sites on the Headland after the mist had improved and they also covered Whitbread Hollow. Small numbers of night migrants and a Red Kite being mobbed by 2 Ravens over the Top fields.

Red Kite 1 over the Top Fields @ 10.50 being mobbed by 2 Ravens.
Swallow 2
Wheatear 3
Song Thrush 1
Common Whitethroat 11
Blackcap 6
Chiffchaff 1
Willow Warbler 8
Raven 2

Monday, 22 April 2013

22 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Overcast and mild W 3

Joined RDME for a sea-watch between 06.10-08.10 and an improvement after the last three mornings. We then covered majority of the sites on the Head including B/T field but very few migrants were recorded from the area.

Red-throated Diver 5 E
Gannet 25 E
Brent Goose 184 E
Tufted Duck 2 E
Common Scoter 203 E
Red-breasted Merganser 10 E
Peregrine 1
Bar-tailed Godwit 60 E
Whimbrel 1 E
Arctic Skua 2 E
Bonxie 3 E
Sandwich Tern 39 E
Auk Sp. 1 E
Stonechat 2
Common Whitethroat 7
Chiffchaff 1
Willow Warbler 1
Linnet 50
Corn Bunting 2

Sunday, 21 April 2013

21 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Early frost sunny becoming warm ENE 1

We joined RKH & RES and sea-watched from 06.15-07.30. Although still virtually no real movement, an Arctic Tern gave good views feeding and 2 fine summer plumage Black-necked Grebes were the highlights.
We then covered the Birling and Birling/Belle Tout loop meeting up with PN & RK. We then covered Shooters Bottom, The Old Trapping Area and the Hotel Garden. A small influx of Blackcaps and Whitethroats several of which were feeding out in the open on the grass.

Red-throated Diver 4 E & 1 on the sea
Great Crested Grebe 1 on the sea
Black-necked Grebe 2 in s/p on the sea
Gannet 5 E & 2 W
Canada Goose 2 E
Brent Goose 5 E
Shelduck 2 E
Common Scoter 25 E
Red-breasted Merganser 2 E
Peregrine 1
Lapwing 1 W
Whimbrel 1 E
Greenshank 1 calling over Birling
Sandwich Tern 8 E
Arctic Tern 1 feeding off Birling
Swallow 9
Robin 8
Black Redstart 1 Birling
Stonechat 4
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Common Whitethroat 20
Blackcap 5
Willow Warbler 1
Firecrest 2
Carrion Crow 1 in off the sea
Raven 2
Corn Bunting 2

Small Tortoiseshell 1 (Our first butterfly for the year)

Arctic Tern feeding off Birling

Black-necked Grebes off Birling

Some of today's Common Whitehroats feeding on the grass.

Male Stonechat up the lane at Birling was probably of continental orgin.


Female Blackcap at Birling

Lesser Whitethroat in the Old Trapping Area taken by Ron Knight.

Lapwing moving W over Belle Tout

Saturday, 20 April 2013

20 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Early frost sunny but cool E1-2

We joined RKH and RDME at the sea-watch and watched from 06.00-08.00. Another pathetic sea-watch with again virtually no movement. Covered the headland sites but with the bright sunny weather after a late frost it all seemed a waste of time with only the odd migrants recorded. RKH & RES had a brief view of a male Pied Fly in the Old Trapping area but this soon moved on.

Red-throated Diver 8 E & 2 on the sea.
Great Crested Grebe 1 on the sea
Gannet 6 E & 3 W
Canada Goose 2 off Birling
Shelduck 1 E
Mallard 3
Common Scoter 6 E
Red Kite past Hodcome at 13.45
Common Buzzard 2
Whimbrel 3 E
Bar-tailed Godwit 3 E
Arctic Skua 2 E
Sandwich Tern 8 E
Commic Tern 1 E & 2 W
Firecrest 1 Old Trapping Area
Pied Flycatcher 1 male Old Trapping Area
Carrion Crow 1 in off the sea
Raven 2
Linnet 75 again in the field
Corn Bunting 1 singing

Adder 1 female below Belle Tout lighthouse.

Firecrest in the Old Trapping Area.

Friday, 19 April 2013

19 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Overcast cold W4-5 decreasing

We sea-watched from 06.30-07.05 but the sea movement was virtually non-existence. We then covered the Birling/Belle Tout loop and walked the field. Met up with RDME who had covered Whitbread Hollow and also with RKH & RK and covered Shooters Bottom and the Hotel Garden. Just the odd migrants seen including 3 Firecrests and our first Redstart for the year.

Red-throated Diver 1 W
Brent Goose 2 W
Kestrel 2
Peregrine 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 2 drumming Hollow
Swallow 10
Common Redstart 1 male Whitbread Hollow
Stonechat 5
Common Whitethroat 2
Blackcap 1
Chiffchaff 3
Willow Warbler 2
Goldcrest 1
Firecrest 3 (2 Shooters Bottom & 1 Hotel Garden)
Raven 1
Linnet 90 (75 in field and 15 W)
Bullfinch 2 Hollow

Firecrest in the Hotel Garden

Thursday, 18 April 2013

18 Apr 2013 Beachy Head Sunny periods but cold W 6-8

RHC sea-watched from approx. 07.00-07.50 and the highlights were 32 Bonxies and c7 Arctic Skuas.
We spent early morning and evening looking for the Corncrake in Shooters Bottom and finally connected with it at around 19.40 when it showed well along the edge of  one of the paths for some 10 minutes from 20 yards range, much to DC's relief as it was a Sussex tick for him. Since 1960, 29 records although a number were seen by the late Tom Bridger who was the farmer at Cornish Farm and knew Corncrake very well. The 15th April is now our earliest Spring record, our previous earliest was on the 19 April, 1970.
Other migrants seen today included 1 Firecrest, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Common Whitethroat and also 1 Pied Flycatcher was reported from Belle Tout wood.

10 April 2013 to 17 Apr 2013 Beachy Head

We have just returned from a week's birding in Cyprus, but both Ron Knight and Roger Haggar have kindly sent me their sightings and photographs during the week we were away.

10th April, 2013:
RKH sea-watched from 07.10-09.00 and covered some sites on the Head. RK also covered most of the sites on the Head:
Red-throated Diver 11 E
Black-necked Grebe 1 s/p on the sea
Brent Goose 1,316 E
Teal 16 E
Common Scoter 25 E
Merlin 1 sat on a fence post along the road.
Curlew 10 E
Sandwich Tern 5 E
Black Redstart 1 male Hodcombe
Wheatear 1
Ring Ouzel 3
Blackbird Good influx noted
Willow Warbler 2
Goldcrest 14
Firecrest 1

13th April, 2013
RKH sea-watched from 06.35-09.00 and again covered several sites on the Head. RJF and JK both visited the Headland and covered a number of sites.
Red-throated Diver 12 E
Slavonian Grebe 2 s/p on the sea.
Brent Goose 13 E
Common Scoter 102 E
Red-breasted Merganser 5 E
Arctic Skua 1 E
Bonxie 5 E
Mediterranean Gull 30 E
Little Gull 19 E
Sandwich Tern 41 E
Commic Tern 4 E
Auk Sp. 3 E
Tawny Owl 2
Black Redstart 1 female type
Stonechat 4
Wheatear 1
Blackcap 2
Willow Warbler 2
Chiffchaff 2
Goldcrest 1
Firecrest 2

14 April, 2013
RKH sea-watched from 07.15-08.30:
Red-throated Diver 2 E
Manx Shearwater 1 W @ 07.45
Brent Goose 5 E
Cmoon Scoter 50 E
Velvet Scoter 2 E
Sandwich Tern 11 E
Commic Tern 1 E
Wheatear 1

15 April, 2013
RKH covered a number of sites on the Head.
Swallow 1
Common Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler 5
Corncrake 1 found in Shooters Bottom by Richard Butler and was still present on the 17th and seen by many observers.

Corncrake in Shooters Bottom taken on the 17th by Ron Knight.

Adult male Ring Ouzel taken in Shooters Bottom on the 10th 
by Ron Knight.

Common Whitethroat taken in Shooters Bottom on the 15th  by Roger Haggar.

Willow Warbler taken on the 13th by Richard Fairbank