Monday, 31 March 2014

31 March 2014 Beachy Head Light overcast with light drizzle at times,mild. E-SE1

With the settled weather and light variable E winds, sea-watching was again the order of the day. Met up with RDME and we sea-watched from 06.50-10.50, we were also joined by RHC for a good hour. Another good passage of Brents and Scoters with a selection of other ducks etc. The passage was still ongoing when I had to leave at 11.00.
Also saw both PN and RB who were covering most of the birding sites on the Head, but just the odd Chiffchaffs seen. RDME also visited Whitbread Hollow and Cow Gap.

Red-throated Diver 50 E
Gannet 4 E
Little Egret 1
Canada Goose 2 W
Brent Goose 890 E
Gadwall 5 E
Teal 15 E
Mallard 1 E
Pintail 8 E
Shoveler 20 E
Eider 19 E
Common Scoter 902 E
Red-breasted Merganser 41 E
Peregrine 1
Curlew 1 E
Mediterranean Gull 7 E
Little Gull 11 E
Black-headed Gull 153 E
Kittiwake 15 E
Sandwich Tern 12 E
Auk Sp 1 E
Collared Dove 1 over Birling
Blackcap 1
Chiffchaff 7
Linnet 10

Another movement of Brent Geese

One for ARK - Shoveler moving with Brents,
sorry Alan I didn't time it.!!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

30 March 2014 Beachy Head Fine with light cloud mild ESE 1 to SE 1

We sea-watched with RDME from BST 06.55-13.00 and RHC joined us for around an hour. We also met up with Pete and Mim and Roger and Bob who were covering some of the sites on the Headland. We also visited Belle Tout wood and walked the Cornish Farm track.
Another very enjoyable sea-watch which included 2 male Goosanders which flew inland. Very few night migrants were seen but a Red Kite over the Cornish Farm area was the highlight.

Red-throated Diver 168 E
Great-crested Grebe 1 on the sea
Gannet 14 E
Brent Goose 620 E
Pale-breasted Brent Goose 1 E @ 10.37
Teal 23 E
Shoveler 14 E
Common Scoter 1,042 E
Red-breasted Merganser 27 E
Goosander 2 drakes flew in off the sea and headed inland.
Red Kite over Cornish Farm fields.
Common Buzzard 1
Peregrine 1
Curlew 33 E
Arctic Skua 1 E
Mediterranean Gull 20 E
Little Gull 26 E
Black-headed Gull 181 E
Kittiwake 151 E
Sandwich Tern 104 E
Auk Sp. 3 E
Guillemot 1 on the sea
Alba Wagtail 3 over
Black Redstart 1 below B/T lighthouse
Chiffchaff 4
Carrion Crow 4 in off the sea
Raven 1
Corn Bunting 4

Harbour Porpoise 2

(both taken by DC)
2 drake Goosanders which flew inland over Birling

(taken by DC)
Flock of Curlews moving East.


Pale-breasted Brent passing Birling

Nearly 200 Black-headed Gulls moved E past Birling.

Chiffchaff just arrived at the sea-watch site.

(taken by DC)
It quickly found a more suitable habitat.

A distant Red Kite over Cornish Farm

Saturday, 29 March 2014

29 March 2014 Beachy Head Fine but cool breeze and mist out to sea.Variable E 4

We joined RDME and sea-watched from 06.05-11.35. RHC joined us for about an hour. Met up with PN who was covering the Birling/BT area and we also covered Birling Lane, Belle Tout wood and Shooters Bottom. An enjoyable sea-watch but the Headland was very quiet for night migrants.

Red-throated Diver 21 E 1 W and 4 on the sea
Black-necked Grebe 8 in partial s/p on the sea ( Our maximum daily number is 9 on the 2/4/2011)
Black-necked/Slavonian Grebe 5 on the sea just too far away to i/d.
Gannet 85 E
Canada Goose 2 W
Barnacle Goose 1 E with Brents, (just our 5th record since 1960).
Brent Goose 190 E
Shelduck 10 E and 1 W
Gadwall 2 E
Teal 2 E
Pintail 4 E
Shoveler 36 E
Eider 2 E
Common Scoter 604 E
Red-breasted Merganser 38 E
Curlew 3 W and 3 E
Redshank 4 E
Arctic Skua 3 E
Mediterranean Gull 2 E
Little Gull 9 E
Black-headed Gull 18 E
Common Gull 50 off Birling
Kittiwake 135 E
Sandwich Tern 18 E
Auk Sp. 2 E
Meadow Pipit 6 in off the sea
Alba Wagtail 1 in off the sea
Black Redstart 1 Birling
Stonechat 4
Chiffchaff 3
Carrion Crow 1 in off the sea.
Linnet 20 (10 in off the sea)

Harbour Porpoise 1 off Birling
Small Tortoiseshell 4

RHC had a Willow Warbler and Black Redstart (his 10th this Spring) in Hodcombe on the 28th.



Brent Geese again moving East.


Our 5th Barnacle Goose at the back of a small party of Brents.
A Beachy log pic. tick!!

Party of Shelducks moving East.
Our 2nd Beachy Blog pic tick of the day!!

Friday, 28 March 2014

28 March 2014 Beachy Head Overcast cool with drizzle and then rain at 08.00 E 2-3

RDME sea-watched from 06.10 to 08.00 and was joined by RHC. Again very little movement recorded.

Red-throated Diver 2 E and 2 W
Great-crested Grebe 1 E and 1 W
Gannet 12
Grey Heron 1 in off the sea
Brent Goose 20 E
Shelduck 2 E and 1 W
Shoveler 3 E
Common Scoter 1 E
Red-breasted Merganser 1 E
Peregrine 1
Mediterranean Gull 1 ad E
Kittiwake 52 E
Sandwich Tern 1 E
Alba Wagtail 2 over
Linnet 10 E

The last 3 days various birders have visited the Headland but virtually no sea-bird migration recorded and just the odd Wheatear and Chiffchaff seen on the ground.

Monday, 24 March 2014

24 March 2014 Beachy Head Fine sunny clear cool SSE 1-2

With SE winds forecast, one could hope for a good sea-watch only to be disappointed. Bob sea-watched from 06.30-07.30 and we sea-watched from 09.30-10.35 and was a complete non-event.
Also met up with PN and MN, RB. GG and most of the Headland sites were covered and Bob covered Whitbread Hollow, Cow Gap and the Gully,with just the odd migrants were seen.

Red-throated Diver 3 E and 1 W
Gannet 12 E
Brent Goose 12 E
Scoter 7 E
Common Buzzard 1
Peregrine 2
Red-legged Partridge 1 pair
Kittiwake 35 E
Sandwich Tern 1 E
Stonechat 6
Wheatear 4
Song Thrush 1
Chiffchaff 2
Raven 2 pairs over the Head
Corn Bunting 4

Bottle-nosed Dolphin 5 seen off Cow Gap.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

20 March 2014 Beachy Head Fine sunny warm SSW 2 to 3-4

We sea-watched from 06.30-09.05 and after about 10 days with virtually no sea-movement, it was enjoyable to watch a small movement with our first Arctic Skua for the year, but still no terns. We also covered most of the usual sites and PN and MN were also covering the Birling/Belle Tout area. Small numbers of night migrants were seen with 7 Wheatears and 2 Firecrests.

Red-throated Diver 5 E
Great-crested Grebe 1 E
Gannet 82 E
Brent Goose 223 E
Shoveler 4 E
Eider 1 drake E
Common Scoter 79 E
Red-breasted Merganser 5 E
Peregrine 2 males fighting over Birling
Arctic Skua 1 d/p E
Mediterranean Gull 2 adults E
Black-headed Gull 38 E
Kittiwake 93 E
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Stonechat 6
Wheatear 7 all males
Chiffchaff 2
Firecrest 2 in B/T wood

Stoat 1

Demolishing the end coastguard cottage after the cliff falls.

Demolishing with a view.

Drake Eider moving E off Birling


Small movement of Brents with over 200 moved E.

Black-headed Gulls moving E.


Seven Wheatears seen today


Stoat hunting in the Birling Gully

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

19 March 2014 Beachy Head Overcast cool W 3-4

RDME sea-watched from 06.35-07.05 but as with recent days, virtually no movement was recorded. He then covered Birling lane, Birling to Belle Tout loop and Belle Tout wood. Wheatear numbers had increased to 4 but no Chiffchaffs were seen.

Red-throated Diver 1 W
Gannet 1 E
Peregrine 2
Alba Wagtail 2 flew over
Wheatear 4 males
Song Thrush 2
Corn Bunting 1

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

18 March 2014 Beachy Head Overcast cool W 3-4

Sea-watched from 06.35-07.35 with again very little movement logged although a flock of 33 Pintail E was a surprise. Met up with both PN and RB and although very few migrants were seen RB noted that a small fall of Chiffchaffs occurred mid-morning. Yesterdays 2 Wheatears were still present.

Red-throated Diver 5 E
Gannet 1
Shelduck 2 W
Pintail 33 E
Common Scoter 27 E
Kestrel 1
Peregrine 2
Alba Wagtail 1 W
Wheatear 2 males
Chiffchaff 10 arrived mid-morning

Monday, 17 March 2014

17 March 2014 Beachy Head Fine sunny warm WSW 1-2

We met up with Bob and sea-watched from 06.35-8.05. We then covered all the main areas on the Headland including Hodcombe and Bob covered Whitbread Hollow and Cow Gap as well. We also met up with Richard B. and Roger and Liz in Hodcombe.
Sea-watch again very quiet the main interest was the arrival of 10 Red Kites on the Headland.

Red-throated Diver 5 E
Gannet 15 E
Canada Goose 4 W
Common Scoter 9 E
Red Kite 10 (5 arrived in off the sea and then W and 5 drifted W over Hodcombe)
Common Buzzard 2 over the Top fields
Peregrine 2
Meadow Pipit 15
Alba Wagtail 1 in off the sea
Stonechat 4
Wheatear 2 males
Song Thrush 2
Chiffchaff 8
Jay 2
Goldfinch 11
Corn Bunting 1

Peacock 1
Small Tortoiseshell 5
Brimstone 1

Red Kites over Hodcombe

Saturday, 15 March 2014

15 March 2014 Beachy Head Overcast clear cool W3 increasing to 4+

Spent an hour sea-watching between 06.50-07.50 but virtually no movement recorded. We then covered all the main birding sites on the Headland but other than 30 Meadow Pipits arriving in off the sea no new migrants were seen.

Red-throated Diver 2 E
Great-crested Grebe 1 E
Gannet 2 E
Brent Goose 1 E
Pintail 1 E
Common Scoter 26 E
Sparrowhawk 1
Peregrine 1
Curlew 10 W
Razorbill 1 on sea
Meadow Pipit 30 in off the sea NW
Alba Wagtail 1 over Birling
Stonechat 5
Song Thrush 2
Chiffchaff 1
Raven 3+
Linnet 4 W

 Meadow Pipit near Birling

Raven over the Head

Friday, 14 March 2014

14 March 2014 Beachy Head Foggy but mild NE 0-1

Just managed a 30 minute sea-watch before the fog rolled in but virtually no movement recorded. We then covered all the main birding sites on the Headland in foggy conditions. PN also covered the Birling/BT loop and recorded our first Wheatear of the year.

Gannet 1 E
Grey Heron 1 came in high off the sea and headed high N.
Shelduck 1 E
Stonechat 2
Wheatear 1 female
Blackbird 12
Pied Wagtail 1 male
Chiffchaff 4
Linnet 1

Monday, 10 March 2014

10 March 2014 Beachy Head Fine sunny warm Nil becoming NE 2-3

We sea-watched from 06.40-08.40 and then again from 10.15-10.45. We were joined by RDME who then went and visited Whitbread Hollow, Cow Gap and the Gully. Most of the sites on the Headland were also covered.
Just a trickle on new night migrants but with NE winds the sea-watch was very slow.

Red-throated Diver 17 E
Great-crested Grebe 2 E and 3 on the sea.
Little Egret 1 off Birling
Brent Goose 35 E
Common Scoter 24 E
Common Buzzard 1 over Frances Bottom and Whitbread Hollow.
Curlew 1
Rock Pipit 1 Cow Gap
Black Redstart 1 female type in the B/T gully
Stonechat 2
Chiffchaff 7
Firecrest 1 Old Trapping Area
Linnet 10 (7 in off the sea)

Late news for yesterday was a Swallow at Hodcombe

Not the Crane I was hoping to find at Birling this morning.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

9th March 2014 Beachy Head Sunny, warm murky out to sea. S 1-2

We sea-watched from 06.30-09.45 and was joined by RDME. Also met up with PN and all the usual sites on the Headland were covered as well as Cornish Farm track.
Just the odd night migrants were seen including 2 Black Redstarts and another new Firecrest.

Red-throated Diver 7 E and 2 on the sea
Great-crested Grebe 5 E and 16 on the sea
Gannet 7 E
Little Egret 2 off Birling
Grey Heron 1 over Birling
Canada Goose c20 W
Brent Goose 261 E
Shelduck 2 E
Gadwall 2 E
Teal 25 E
Mallard 2 E
Pintail 4 E
Tufted Duck 3 E
Common Scoter 129 E
Common Buzzard 1 over the Top Fields
Peregrine 1
Curlew 3
Mediterranean Gull 2 E
Black-headed Gull 12 E
Common Gull c100 in fields at Birling.
Auk Sp. 10 E
Meadow Pipit 5
Rock Pipit 2
Alba Wagtail 1 Pied and 4 Albas over Birling
Black Redstart 2 (1 female type and 1 ad. male)
Stonechat 6
Firecrest 1 Old Trapping Area
Linnet 4 in off the sea
Corn Bunting 2

Brimstone 1


Brent Geese again on the move.

(taken by DC)
Gadwall off Birling.
A pic. blog tick.

Little Egret off Birling

(taken by DC)

Firecrest in the Old Trapping Area.