Thursday, 8 August 2013

8 August 2013 Beachy Head Fine sunny becoming hot NE 1 backing SW 1-2

We arrived  at Birling at 06.15 and good numbers of Willow Warblers were seen up the lane with a nice selection of other night migrants. As we moved over the Headland, numbers dropped away with only a few migrants being seen in The Old Trapping Area and Hotel Garden and by 9.30 there were just a few stragglers left in the area. We covered virtually all the sites on the Head and RDME was trapping in Whitbread Hollow. We also met up with RB & PN & MN.
An interesting grey looking Reed Warbler showed well in Shooters Bottom and a photograph appears below.
Birds ringed are shown in brackets.
Good numbers of butterflies were also present.

Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1
Yellow-legged Gull 2 Juvs coasted W off Birling
Great-spotted Woodpecker 4
Sand Martin 15 E
Swallow 40
Nightingale 1
Common Redstart 1
Grasshopper Warbler 2 (2)
Sedge Warbler 11 (1)
Reed Warbler 12 (7)
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Common Whitethroat 50
Garden Warbler 2 (1)
Blackcap 3
Chiffchaff 1 (1)
Willow Warbler 81 (12)
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Jay 2
Greenfinch 3
Bullfinch 2 (1 Juv )

Peacock 4
Small Tortoiseshell 4
Brimstone 1
Clouded Yellow 3
Brown Argus 2
Adonis Blue 1 very fresh male
Chalk Hill Blue 100+
Marbled White 1
Silver-spotted Skipper 6
Dark Green Fritillary 1
Painted Lady 3
Silver Y Moth 60+
Emperor Dragonfly 1 male

Record shot of today's Spotted Flycatcher at Birling

Another decent fall of Willow Warblers, but most had moved on by 8.30 am.

Normal looking Reed Warbler at Birling

Reed Warbler in Shooters Bottom - Almost grey enough for a Blyth's.

Two more pictures of the grey looking Reed Warbler in Shooters Bottom.

Although it appeared very grey, structurally it did not stand out and as different to a Reed 
Warbler. On referring to Advanced Bird ID Handbook by Duivendijk, which states that
Blyth's shows a faint dark shadow on  the tip of the lower  mandible, which this bird clearly
 doesn't. We have seen grey Reed Warblers in the past at Beachy and I also found one on 
the Shetlands. On this occasion,  I contacted two experienced observers, one of which was 
member of the BBRC, and both watched this grey acro. with myself. We all considered it 
may be a Blyth's and decided to trap it. In the hand the measurements clearly identified
it to be a Reed Warbler.

Another Reed Warbler - Our best day this Autumn for Reed Warblers

Clouded Yellow - 3 were seen on the Head today