Sunday, 14 September 2014

14 Sept 2014 Beachy Head Overcast and warm E 3

We met up with RJF and JK at Birling and covered all the main sites on the Headland also meeting up with SL, ASC and GB. who were also birding the Headland.
Again just a thin scattering of night migrants although a good passage of Meadow Pipits E with Yellow and Grey Wagtails as well as hirundines with the highlights being a juv. Honey Buzzard and a Short-eared Owl.
The following is the combined totals of the above observers:

Little Egret 1
Honey Buzzard 1 juv. W and then inland.
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 4+
Hobby 1
Peregrine 2
Short-eared Owl 1 Shooters Bottom departed E @ approx.10.30.
Great-spotted Woodpecker 2
Sand Martin 11 E
Swallow c350 E
House Martin c500 E
Tree Pipit 2 W
Meadow Pipit c300 E
Yellow Wagtail 65
Grey Wagtail 9
Pied Wagtail 3 E
Whinchat 4
Wheatear 11
Grasshopper Warbler 1
Common Whitethroat 6
Chiffchaff 9
Willow Warbler 1
Firecrest 1 Shooters Bottom
Raven 2
Corn Bunting 3

(Both images taken by David Cooper)
Juv. Honey Buzzard over Shooters Bottom.
David's comments:
A rather large, full-bodied and broad-winged Honey Buzzard with a rather prominent 'sixth' primary so reminiscent of juvenile Oriental Honey Buzzards seen on Hegura-jima although the oval-shaped dark carpal patches quickly dispel such thoughts! From Common Buzzard the two very narrow dark inner tail bars are diagnostic as are the dark bars traversing the pale inner primaries, the pale greater coverts of its underwings forming a pale wing-band and the aforementioned oval-shaped dark carpal patches. The dark secondaries, extensively black primaries and yellow cere all help to age it as a juvenile.