Thursday, 31 July 2014

31 July 2014 Beachy Head Sunny and hot W 3

LP visited Shooters Bottom early morning and recorded the following:

Nightingale 1
Reed Warbler 3
Sedge Warbler 1
Willow Warbler 20
Chiffchaff 5

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

30 July 2014 Beachy Head Fine and sunny, Wind N4 decreasing to NW 2

Went up with TEC and covered all the usual sites on the Headland including Icky Ridge. Bob and Paul were ringing in Whitbread Hollow.
Even with a strong N breeze on the go, a reasonable fall of night migrants with our largest fall of Willow Warblers etc so far this Autumn were logged, and several parties of Swifts were moving through chiefly in a westerly direction.
Birds ringed are shown in brackets:

Little Egret 1
Common Buzzard 1 N over the Hollow
Kestrel 1
Hobby 1 Birling
Peregrine 1
Red-legged Partridge 3
Cuckoo 1 Birling
Swift 120 chiefly W
Sand Martin 15
Swallow c100
House Martin 4 W
Wheatear 2
Sedge Warbler 3 (3)
Reed Warbler 10 (7)
Lesser Whitethroat 1 (1)
Common Whitethroat 27 (5)
Garden Warbler 30 (15)
Blackcap 30 (15)
Chiffchaff 15 (9)
Willow Warbler 67 (26)
Tree Creeper Another juv was trapped.
Jay 1
Raven 5
Corn Bunting 8

Still good numbers of the common downland butterflies which included the following:
Small Tortoiseshell 20
Clouded Yellow 3
Wall Brown 10
Painted Lady 1
Silver-spotted Skipper 2


Cuckoo at Birling

Wheatear near Belle Tout

Willow Warbler - fall of 67 seen today.

Fungi in Belle Tout wood

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

29 July 2014 Beachy Head Early cloud becoming sunny and warm W 2-3

RB covered Birling and Belle Tout areas and Shooters Bottom and reported just small numbers of night migrants and recorded the following:

Sand Martin 10 E
Meadow Pipit c20
Wheatear 2
Sedge Warbler 1
Chiffchaff 5
Willow Warbler 11

Monday, 28 July 2014

28 July 2014 Beachy Head Thunder and lightening from dawn with light drizzle and then heavy rain. N light

With thunder and lightening out to sea heading our way, we made the most of the first 3 hours covering the Birling area, Shooters Bottom and the Old Trapping area. Surprising, with the stormy conditions no Swifts were moving and just a handful of migrants seen which included good views of a 1stW Nightingale in fresh plumage.

Yellow-legged Gull 1 juv in field at Birling.
Nightingale 1 ( 1st W in fresh plumage)
Song Thrush 1
Sedge Warbler 1
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Common Whitethroat 10
Willow Warbler 10
Chiffchaff 1
Raven 1

Thunder storm heading our way.

Only 10 Willow Warblers seen this morning.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

27 July 2014 Beachy Head Hot and humid with periods of light cloud NW light

Yet another hot and humid morning although at times with some light cloud cover. We covered all the main sites on the Headland and RDME was ringing in Whitbread Hollow.
A scattering of night migrants, including 33 Willow Warblers, and 3 juv. Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding briefly in the fields at Birling. With the cloud cover at times, a passage of Swifts took place with 400 moving South over the cliffs and out to sea. Butterfly numbers were similar to yesterday with our first Clouded Yellow of the year and also 3 Painted Ladies. Migrant Hawkers numbers had increased to an impressive 35 at Belle Tout wood.
Birds ringed are shown in brackets:

Little Egret 1
Common Buzzard 1
Red-legged Partridge 3
Yellow-legged Gull 3 juvs at Birling
Tawny Owl 2 Hollow
Swift 1,400 ( 400 S mid-morning over the cliffs and out to sea, with 1,000 around Hodcombe mid-day).
Great-spotted Woodpecker 2
Sand Martin 1
Swallow 20
Common Redstart 1
Nightingale 1 croaking
Song Thrush 1
Sedge Warbler 3 (2)
Reed Warbler 5 (3)
Lesser Whitethroat 1 (1)
Common Whitethroat 30 (3)
Garden Warbler 8 (6)
Blackcap 3+ (3)
Chiffchaff 3 (1)
Willow Warbler 33 (6)
Tree Creeper 1 juv trapped. Our first for the year.
Yellowhammer 1 male B/T area
Corn Bunting 6

Clouded Yellow 1
Painted Lady 3

Brown Hawker 1
Southern Hawker 1
Migrant Hawker 35

Party of Swifts moving - 400 went south this morning.




Some of today's Swifts


A small fall of 33 Willow Warblers recorded today.


A worn Common Buzzard soaring over the area.

Three Red-legged Partridges at Birling.

Under-wing of a fresh Painted Lady.

Southern Hawker at Belle Tout wood.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

26 July 2104 Beachy Head Hot sunny and humid. NW 3

Another hot and humid day, and we covered all the main sites on the Headland and met up with RB at Shooters Bottom. RDME was ringing in Whitbread Hollow.
With the current stagnated hot weather, just small numbers of migrants seen although large numbers of common downland butterflies of 16 species were flying which included 12 Silver-spotted Skippers which were the best of the batch. Also 10 Migrant Hawkers were recorded.
Birds ringed are shown in brackets.

Common Buzzard 4
Hobby 1
Peregrine 1
Swift 8
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Sand Martin 18 E
Swallow c100 feeding around Hodcombe
Nightingale 1 juv
Common Redstart 1 male B/T area
Stonechat c20
Song Thrush 3 (1)
Grasshopper Warbler 2 (1 trapped and 1 B/T area)
Sedge Warbler 3
Reed Warbler 3 (2)
Lesser Whitethroat 3 (1) also 1 controlled from elsewhere.
Common Whitethroat c20 (1)
Garden Warbler 7 (4)
Blackcap 20 (14)
Chiffchaff 12 (9)
Willow Warbler 20 (6)
Jay 3 (1)
Raven 4+


Male Silver-spotted Skipper

Female Common Blue

Immature male Migrant Hawker

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

23 July 2014 Beachy Head Sunny and hot but with a brisk NE 4

We met up with RDME and between us covered all the sites on the Headland including the Cliff Path and we also walked into the Hollow and Cow Gap including the field. Also checked the flowering buddleia bushes for butterflies, along Foyles Way and in the Hollow. RB was also birding several sites on the Headland.

Just a few migrants seen although the brisk wind made birding difficult, a male Reed Bunting dropped briefly into Birling before departing N and this would appear to be our earliest Autumn date, with the previous earliest logged, was way back on the 31st July,1973.

Little Egret 2 off Birling
Lesser-black Back Gull 1 juv.
Swift 15
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1 Hollow
Sand Martin 20 E
Swallow 25
House Martin 5
Pied Wagtail 4
Sedge Warbler 1
Common Whitethroat 17
Blackcap 5
Chiffchaff 1
Willow Warbler 3
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Raven 3
Reed Bunting 1 male briefly at Birling departed N
Corn Bunting 3

Meadow Brown 100's
Gatekeeper c60
Peacock 5
Small Tortoiseshell 1
Wall Brown c10
Common Blue 4
Chalk Hill Blue c100
Small Copper 1
Marbled White 15
Speckled Wood 1
Small Skipper c30
Dark Green Fritillary 3
Painted Lady 1
Small White 8
Large White 2
Red Admiral 3

Southern Hawker 3+
Migrant Hawker 1

Sedge Warbler at Birling

White-throated and greyish looking Corn Bunting

Marbled White

Dark-green Fritillary

Monday, 21 July 2014

21 July 2014 Beachy Head Cloud 6/8 to 1/8, humid and hot later. Wind W/NW 4 gusting 5 dec 4 occ 3

BHRG commenced their Autumn ringing season this morning, and Bob also did some birding in the Hollow time permitting. RB covered Shooters Bottom and Belle Tout wood area.
A distinct autumnal feel to the birding this morning with small numbers of  migrants present in both the Hollow and on the Headland. There was also reasonable numbers of Swifts and Swallows moving over the Headland.
The following are the combined totals, with birds ringed shown in brackets.

Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Swifts c20 W
Swallow c20 W
Wren (4) trapped
Nightingale 1 juv. (appeared to be the same bird seen and photographed on the 16th).
Song Thrush 1
Grasshopper Warbler (2) ringed
Sedge Warbler 2 (1)
Reed Warbler 3 (1)
Lesser Whitethroat 1 near B/T wood
Garden Warbler 6 (5)
Blackcap 21+ (20 Trapped including re-trap from 2011)
Chiffchaff 5 (3)
Willow Warbler 1 1stW.
Spotted Flycatcher 1 Shooters Bottom
Bullfinch 1 juv (1)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

20 July 2014 Beachy Head Overcast with sunny periods hot and humid. Wind almost Nil.

 Another hot and humid day, and after a reasonable start, birding became slow and hard going. Virtually no migrants seen although another 2 juv. Yellow-legged Gulls were found. A reasonable selection of butterflies including out first Silver-spotted Skipper of the year, and two Hawker Dragonflies species.

Little Egret 2 off Birling
Kestrel 1
Whimbrel 1 over the Top Fields
Yellow-legged Gull 2 juvs Birling area
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Common Whitethroat 20
Chiffchaff 1 ad.

Silver-spotted Skipper 1
Southern Hawker 1
Migrant Hawker 1


Juv. Yellow-legged Gull feeding with Herring Gulls in a field
near Birling


Lesser Whitethroat in body moult at Birling

Juv. Robin to compare with the juv Nightingale which was taken 
on the 16th July.

Adult Goldfinch-several family parties are present on the Head.

Our second juv. Yellow-legged Gull of the day flying along
the cliffs.


Juvenile Green Woodpecker at Birling

Large Skipper in Shooters Bottom

Southern Hawker at Belle Tout

(taken by David Cooper)
Migrant Hawker in the Old Trapping Area

Saturday, 19 July 2014

19 July 2014 Beachy Head Early thunder storms then overcast humid Wind variable 1 gusting to 3

 After overnight thunder storms, we arrived at Birling in overcast humid conditions. We visited most of the sites on the Headland but after the recent hot weather just the odd migrants were seen and surprisingly very few Swifts moving considering the conditions. Two Nightingales were heard croaking and another juvenile Yellow-legged Gull flew along the cliffs before flying directly over our heads and disappeared inland. Most of the common downland butterflies were seen in small numbers including two Wall Browns.

Little Egret 1 off Birling
Common Scoter 3
Common Buzzard 2
Yellow-legged Gull 1 juv. headed inland.
Swift 9
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1 ad. male near B/T wood
Sand Martin 1
Swallow 3
Nightingale 2 croaking
Sedge Warbler 1
Common Whitethroat 23
Blackcap 2
Chiffchaff 2 adults
Corn Bunting 8 including 2 juveniles

Juv. Yellow-legged Gull taken in early morning light directly
overhead at Birling.


Common Whitethroat at Birling


Adult male Great-spotted Woodpecker near Belle Tout wood


Juvenile Corn Bunting at Birling

Wall Butterfly 2nd brood.