Thursday, 9 January 2014

1st, 4th and 8th January, 2014 Beachy Head

David and Brenda went sea-watching on the 1st and 4th and Doreen and myself paid a brief visit mainly to look at the recent cliff falls on the 8th and we covered Birling and Belle Tout wood. The cliff edge in front of the sea-watch site is now only about 3 metres from the hut and the steps leading down onto the beach have now been closed off. The bungalow at the very top of the lane has now been completely demolished.

1st January; Sea-watched from 8.00-10.00, before the onset of rain, S 6.
Brent 179E, 7W
Wigeon 35E, 6W
Scoter 1W
Red-throated Diver 5E
Diver sp. 1E
Great Crested Grebe 3E, 2W
Fulmar c.10
Gannet 10E, 25W
Oystercatcher 5W
Bonxie 1E at 8.23am
Kittiwake 15E
Guillemot 5E
Razorbill 10E
Auk sp. 5E

A significant cliff fall at Birling has halved the land between the 
sea-watch hut and the cliff edge! (taken by DC)

4th January: Sea-watched from 9.00 - 12.00 Wind S 6 :

Brent Geese 488E, 7W
Wigeon 4E
Scoter 1E
Red-throated Diver 4E
Diver sp. 1W
Great Crested Grebe 1E, 2W
Fulmar 10
Gannet 35E
Little Egret 1 on beach then flew west
Bonxie 5E (1 9.36am, 1 9.38, 1 9.39, 2 9.42) - JFC looked up the previous Beachy January daily maximum that was 2 on the 13/1/13
Little Gull 1 adult winter at 10.42am arrived from the west and flew back west - JFC looked up the previous Beachy winter daily maxima that are 5 on the 25/12/89 (Leach's Petrel day) and 3 on the 30/1/09
Kittiwake 20E
Auk sp. 134E
Guillemot 3E
Razorbill 1E
Curlew 3W

Birling Gap
Further significant cliff falls yesterday necessitated the National 
Trust moving the fence back from the cliff edge. The horizontal 
projection just visible from the Safety Boat Association hut are 
the tram tracks!

Birling Gap Safety Boat Association Hut
 Lots of roof slates have been displaced in the last week. The 
Coastguards mentioned the cliff edge is already undercut in this
 area too with almost a cave appearing. Permission exists for the 
hut to be moved back from the cliff edge but will anyone act in time?
(pictures taken by DC)

Brent Geese passing - this passage seems to commence earlier
each year.

Adult winter Little Gull with Black-headed Gulls off Birling
(all taken by DC)

8th January: 
DRC and myself briefly looked out to sea but very little seen. We then walked Birling lane and then Belle Tout wood but the area appeared very quiet with no thrushes logged and just a few resident birds seen. A Bank or Field Vole was disturbed in Belle Tout wood.