Tuesday, 29 October 2013

29 October 2013 Beachy Head Fine, sunny W 3

 Just a short visit this morning, and concentrated in the Birling to Belle Tout area. Met up with a number of regular birders. Bob also covered Whitbread Hollow.
Good numbers of diurnal migrants logged with 420 Stock Doves with 270 over the Headland and 150 over the Hollow, otherwise just a few other migrants recorded.

Stock Dove 420 (in flock sizes from 17 to 100) (Our best year was in 2010 when 750 moved E on the 10/10).
Wood Pigeon 80 E
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Skylark 11 W
Swallow 9 W
Meadow Pipit 50 W
Alba Wagtail 3 W
Stonechat 1
Wheatear 1
Ring Ouzel 1
Blackbird 20
Song Thrush 2
Blackcap 2
Chiffchaff 10
Goldcrest 2
Firecrest 2
Chaffinch 20 W
Brambling 3 (2 W)
Greenfinch 43 W (Our best total this year)
Goldfinch 400 (300 W)
Siskin 8 W
Linnet 200 W
Lesser Redpoll 22 W
Reed Bunting 5 W

Good numbers of Stock Doves moving today.

Maybe our last Wheatear for this year.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

27 October 2013 Beachy Head Early morning rain, sunny periods later gale force SW winds gusting up to force 9.

Matt found a Shore Lark above Belle Tout wood and John King and myself quickly made our way there, in gale force winds gusting up to force 9. Difficult to hold the camera still, but luckily the sun came out allowing some fast shutter speeds. This Shore Lark was our 7th record involving 15 individuals since 1960. 
Also present on the Head were 2 Wheatears, and 3 Firecrests. No definite sighting of the Pallas's, but obviously the gale force winds made looking in the wood very difficult.

We left at 1.00 pm and at 2.40 pm a pager report of a Common or Pallid Swift flew over the Headland heading NE. You just can't win them all!! 




Shore Lark above Belle Tout wood.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

26 October 2013 Beachy Head Overcast with showers SW 7

A number of birders present today including RJF and RDME. chiefly in the Belle Tout area  looking for yesterday's Pallas's. which proved very elusive in the windy conditions, but did occasionally show in the wood. Also the Snow Bunting was again present between the wood and the gully, also 1 Firecrest, a few Goldcrests, 15 Chiffchaffs, 1 Wheatear and 2 Siskins.
RJF had a Woodlark going E.

Yesterday there were 3 Firecrests in the area.

Friday, 25 October 2013

25 October 2013 Beachy Head Early morning rain becoming brighter later S-SW 4-5

News of a Pallas's Leaf Warbler at Belle Tout. I made a late afternoon visit but by that time it had disappeared into the wood. Didn't respond to tape play-back but did call on a couple of occasions and we were able to obtain some very brief views as it moved through right at the top of the trees in the lower portion of the wood. I only had one brief view of its underparts and several views of it moving through the canopy. All very disappointing. Also present odd Chiffchaffs, 1 Firecrest and 2 Goldcrests.

Bob has kindly sent me four pictures of the Common (Mealy) Redpoll which he trapped yesterday with 4 Lesser Redpolls.

Two pictures of the Mealy Redpoll with comparison of a Lesser Redpoll
taken in Whitbread Hollow

Rump of Mealy Redpoll

Mealy Redpoll side on.
All four pictures taken by Bob Edgar.

Some more pictures of yesterday's Snow Bunting.



Male Snow Bunting above Belle Tout wood on the 24th.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

24 October 2013 Beachy Head Fine sunny and warm SW 1 to 2

After the recent unsettled weather, it was very pleasant to be birding in fine warm sunny weather. A number of birders were present on the Headland and most of the sites were covered. Bob was ringing in Whitbread Hollow. An interesting morning with reasonable numbers of finches moving overhead, and some quality in night migrants with a male Snow Bunting showing well, 2 Dartford Warblers and a Mealy Redpoll trapped in the Hollow.
Birds ringed in brackets:

Mute Swan 2 E off the Hollow
Sparrowhawk 2
Peregrine 3-4
Stock Dove 6 E
Woodpigeon 150 E
Tawny Owl 1
Skylark 30 W
Swallow 30
House Martin 30
Alba Wagtail 2 E
Black Redstart 1
Stonechat 3
Wheatear 1
Ring Ouzel 1
Blackbird 20
Song Thrush 7 (2 Continental birds ringed)
Mistle Thrush 1
Redwing 1
Dartford Warbler 2 x 1st yr birds
Blackcap 12 (8)
Chiffchaff 18 (4)
Goldcrest 4 (3)
Raven 1
Brambling 3
Greenfinch 5
Goldfinch 400 (250 E)
Siskin 17
Linnet 150 E
Lesser Redpoll 40 (4)
Common (Mealy) Redpoll 1 (1)
Reed Bunting 3
Snow Bunting 1 male

Clouded Yellow 2
Red Admiral 5


Male Snow Bunting above Belle Tout wood.

Friday, 18 October 2013

18 October 2013 Beachy Head. Early morning fog clearing to a warm sunny day. SE 1-2

We arrived after the fog had cleared and walked the lane at Birling. Doreen picked out a Yellow-browed Warbler at the top of the lane which I briefly saw before it disappeared. After a further 20 minutes searching we were joined by Pete and Mim who joined in the search and the Yellow-browed then showed well for just 2 minutes before disappearing again. After a short time we left to check the usual sites on the Headland. Very few migrants present and just a small overhead passage.
We decided after we had covered the area to have another search for the Yellow-browed with the hope of trying to photograph it and we were joined by JK. It was then heard calling and it came out and showed out in the open very briefly before disappearing again. Unfortunately, no pics. and no further sightings.
Bob was again ringing in Whitbread Hollow with the birds ringed shown in brackets.

Sparrowhawk 1
Peregrine 2
Golden Plover 6 E over the top fields
Tawny Owl 2
Swallow 20
House Martin 6
Alba Wagtail 8 E
Song Thrush 2
Blackcap 6 (3)
Yellow-browed Warbler 1 (Our 5th for this Autumn)
Chiffchaff 37 (19)
Goldcrest 1
Long-tailed Tit 3+ (1)
Jay 1
Goldfinch 100 (60 E)
Siskin 1
Linnet 200 E

Clouded Yellow 1
Red Admiral 1
Common Darter 1

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

15 October 2013 Beachy Head Cool at first becoming fine and sunny. NW 2-3

We met up with RB, GG, PN and MN and between us all the usual sites on the Headland were covered. RDME was again ringing in Whitbread Hollow. With an early morning nip in the air and clear conditions it was disappointing that only a small diurnal passage was recorded. Still reasonable numbers of Chiffchaffs present with 1 Firecrest and 6 Ring Quzels.
Birds ringed in brackets:

Little Egret 1 E over the top fields.
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 3 ( 2 W along the cliffs)
Tawny Owl 1
Skylark 7 W
Swallow 70
House Martin 60
Alba Wagtail 10
Ring Ouzel 6
Blackbird 15
Song Thrush 6 (1 continental trapped)
Blackcap 14 (2)
Chiffchaff 57 (11)
Firecrest 1
Long-tailed Tit 7 (4)
Greenfinch 4
Goldfinch 130 (30 W)
Siskin 2 W
Linnet 50 W
Bullfinch 2
Reed Bunting 3

Clouded Yellow 1
Common Darter 1
Migrant Hawker 1

Chiffchaff in the Old Trapping Area

Little Egret departing over the Top Fields.

Goldfinches are beginning to flock

Common Darter at Belle Tout

Monday, 14 October 2013

14 October 2013 Beachy Head Overcast cool W 1-2

Visited most of the sites on the Headland and met up with a number of other birders. Bob was ringing in Whitbread Hollow. Small fall of Chiffchaffs with a small selection of other migrants but no diurnal migration of note recorded. Birds ringed in brackets:

Sparrowhawk 3
Common Buzzard 1
Kestrel 1
Peregrine 2
Tawny Owl 2
Swallow 30
Black Redstart 1
Ring Ouzel 4
Blackbird 16
Song Thrush 13
Reed Warbler 1 (1)
Common Whitethroat 1
Blackcap 20 (8)
Chiffchaff 54 (15)
Goldcrest 1 (1)
Firecrest 2
Long-tailed Tit 1
Raven 2
Greenfinch 6
Goldfinch 50
Bullfinch 2
Reed Bunting 1

Sunday, 13 October 2013

13 October 2013 Beachy Head

An evening visit to Beachy Head on the 12 October 2013:

Kris Gillam http://krisgillam.blogspot.co.uk/ visited Cow Gap and the top of the headland yesterday evening when in addition to 30 he saw in the hollow he then brilliantly describes the following when i reached the top i could hear soft calls overhead, looking up there was a flock of 34 circling high, nice. then more calls from another direction....a flock of 60. they joined together and more were added, in all about 120 in one group, circling and gaining height! looking to the west another flock of 60 had risen up from chat vale. the sun was setting and the wind had dropped and the ouzels were all on their way, magic stuff.’
This recalls several such ‘evening flights’ of Ring Ouzels which we witnessed back at Beachy in the 1960’s when we also considered they were making a ‘dusk departure’ setting off on the next stage of their migration. 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

12 October 2013 Beachy Head Early morning rain then overcast cool E 3

We met up with RJF and JK at Birling and then we covered most of the sites on the Headland including the Cliff Path and Crowlink. RDME also covered sites on the Headland as well as Whitbread Hollow, Cow Gap and the Gully. Several other birders were also present.
A superb arrival of around 400 Ring Ouzels mainly from Birling to the Hotel Garden but just odd birds seen in the Hollow and Cliff Path. Also 2 large flocks in Crowlink, one of 49 birds and the other of 114 individuals. A good hundred was present in Shooters Bottom with 50 in the Birling/Belle Tout area and up to 60 in both the Old Trapping Area and Hotel Garden. There may have been some double counting although majority of the birds departed inland.
Other than small numbers of other Thrushes, very few other migrants were present.

Grey Heron 1
Brent Goose 49 (12 E and 37 W)
Sparrowhawk 4
Common Buzzard 3
Kestrel 2
Peregrine 1
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Sand Martin 1
Swallow 12
Stonechat (Pair of Continental types present in Shooters Bottom)
Ring Ouzel c400 (Our largest day count, our previous best was 200 in 1966, which I also saw).
Blackbird 15
Fieldfare 2
Redwing 2
Song Thrush 20
Mistle Thrush 5 
Common Whitethroat 1
Blackcap 3
Chiffchaff 11
Long-tailed Tit 4
Raven 2
Starling 200
Goldfinch 50

Part of one of the flocks of Ring Ouzels on the Head.

Male Ring Ouzel with Blackbird


Tossing an elderberry



Male Ring Ouzel with strange white markings on its head.





Some of the 400 Ring Ouzels present in the Beachy Head area today
including flocks in excess of 100 counted

Male Continental type Stonechat  showing a good white rump in 
Shooters Bottom, a pair was present.

Common Buzzard over Cow Gap

Perhaps my only tick for this year at Beachy