Friday, 31 October 2014

31 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Very warm, wind S 3/4 cloud variable from 7/8 to 3/8 with bright sun

RDME again went ringing in Whitbread Hollow and also birded Belle Tout wood area. Again generally quiet with just a small passage of Woodpigeons west and another Firecrest was trapped in the Hollow.

Birds ringed are shown in brackets:

Sparrowhawk – 1 over Wood
Woodpigeon 400 W
Tawny Owl 2
Ring Ouzel 2
Blackcap 1 (1)
Chiffchaff 5
Goldcrest 14 (2)
Firecrest 1 (1)
Long-tailed Tit 5 (3)
Bullfinch 3
Wren 8

Red Admiral 2
Clouded Yellow 1

Thursday, 30 October 2014

30 Oct 2014 Beachy Head very warm, cloud cover 7/8 to 1/8 Wind S/SW 3/4

RDME was ringing in Whitbread Hollow and also visited Belle Tout wood. Generally very quiet with the highlight being a Firecrest ringed in Whitbread Hollow. Nick Paul had 3 Black Redstarts at Birling (per SOS web-site).

Birds ringed are shown in brackets:

Brent Geese 30 W over top of the Hollow.
Tawny Owl 1
Black Redstart 3
Song Thrush 1
Blackcap 1
Chiffchaff 6 (4)
Goldcrest 2 (1)
Firecrest 1 (1)
Jay 3
Bullfinch 2
Corn Buntings 18 near Belle Tout wood.

Red Admiral 1

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

28 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Fine and sunny cool at first S 4-5

RDME covered The Old Trapping Area, Shooters Bottom, Belle Tout Wood and Cornish Farm track, meeting up with SL who covered Birling Lane area, then Belle Tout wood to The Old Trapping Area via Shooters Bottom .LP also covered several sites on the Headland.  Generally very few migrants were seen but the Red-breasted Flycatcher was still performing and and ME had a Little Bunting briefly at 11.15 and then departed W calling.

Common Buzzard 2
Sparrowhawk 2
Peregrine 1
Tawny Owl 1
Golden Plover 20
Woodpigeon 100
Stock Dove 20
Swallow 2
Black Redstart 1
Red-breasted Flycatcher ad. male. 
Dartford Warbler 2
Goldcrest 2
Linnet 100 (in fields up Cornish track)
Goldfinch 150 E
Little Bunting 1 briefly in the Old Trapping Area before departing W. calling. (Just our second record).
Corn Bunting 1

(taken by Laurence Pitcher)
Dartford Warbler in Shooters Bottom

(Photo by Bob Edgar and Sarah McKenzie
Ring Ouzel trapped in Whitbread Hollow on the 26th Oct.

(taken by Bob Edgar/Sarah McKenzie)
Willow Warbler of the northern race - acredula 
trapped Whitbread Hollow on the 26th Oct.

Monday, 27 October 2014

27 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Fine sunny and warm Light winds

ARK visited the Headland and birded most of the usual sites. Just a few migrants seen including a Black Redstart at Birling, the long staying adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher again stole the show and still around 1,000 Stock Doves present in the Cornish Farm area. John Marchant was also birding the Headland including above Cow Gap and has kindly provided details of his sightings which are included in the combined totals:

Common Buzzard 2
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 2
Peregrine 2
Stock Dove c1,000 still north of Cornish Farm.
Swallow 9
Black Redstart 2
Ring Ouzel 2
Chiffchaff 1
Red-breasted Flycatcher still present in the Old Trapping Area.

Painted Lady 1
Clouded Yellow 1

(taken by Alan Kitson)
Red-breasted Flycatcher twitch

(taken by Alan Kitson)
Part of the flock of 1,000 Stock Doves Cornish Farm area.

(taken by Alan Kitson)
Black Redstart at Birling.

(taken by Alan Kitson)
Weasel looking our of a burrow at Birling

(taken by Alan Kitson)
Painted Lady at the Old Trapping Area.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

26th October 2014 Beachy Head W4 Overcast

A windy morning that had a wintry feel. Virtually no diurnal migration and very little in the area although perhaps surprisingly the male Red-breasted Flycatcher had remained in the Old Trapping Area. Bob, Sarah and Paul were again ringing in Whitbread Hollow and although not to many birds were trapped and an interesting selection including late Whinchat and Willow Warbler of the acredula race.
Combined totals with birds ringed in brackets.

Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 3
Merlin 1
Peregrine 3
Stock Dove 1,000+  heading NE behind Cornish Farm with c200 dropping into stubble.
Swallow 11
House Martin 40
alba Wagtail 6
Whinchat 1
Stonechat 12 (4)
Ring Ouzel 3 (1 )
Mistle Thrush 3
Blackcap 1 (1)
Willow Warbler 1 (1 – acredula race trapped)
Chiffchaff 16 (12)
Firecrest 1
Goldcrest 5 (1)
Red-breasted Flycatcher 1 male
Jay 3
Linnet 80
Goldfinch 100
Redpoll 10

Red Admiral 2
Adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher at the Old Trapping Area

Saturday, 25 October 2014

25th October 2014 Beachy Head W1 Overcast

We met up with RJF & JWK at Birling and covered the lane, the Belle Tout loop and the Old Trapping Area where we saw ASC and GB who had covered the Hotel Garden and Shooters Bottom. RDME was ringing in Whitbread Hollow. RJF visited Crowlink in the afternoon. A good diurnal passage was dominated by Goldfinches  and a fair number of Skylarks, Bramblings and Reed Buntings moving west with a single calling Woodlark seen flying north over Belle Tout wood early in the afternoon. A total of four Dartford Warblers was a good count and Chiffchaff numbers chiefly in Whitbread Hollow remain strong for late October. The male Red-breasted Flycatcher remained performing well in the Old Trapping Area attracting twitchers from afar. Combined totals including birds trapped in brackets.
Common Buzzard 1
Merlin 2
Kestrel 2
Tawny Owl 3
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Wood Pigeon 330 S (including a leucistic individual)
Stock Dove 150 S
Swallow 26
House Martin 1
Skylark 65 W
Woodlark 1 N over Belle Tout at 2.15pm
Song Thrush 2
Blackbird 15
Ring Ouzel 2
Meadow Pipit 70 W
alba Wagtail 13 W
Black Redstart 1 Crowlink
Starling 20 W
Dartford Warbler 4
Blackcap 6 (2)
Chiffchaff 42 (20)
Goldcrest 12 (2)
Firecrest 1
Red-breasted Flycatcher 1 adult male
Wren 20 (4)
Robin 25
Raven 2
Jay 14 (including 12 W)
Siskin 10
Goldfinch 1,170 W
Greenfinch 6
Brambling 33
Bullfinch 3
Reed Bunting 25 chiefly W
Corn Bunting 2 singing
Red Admiral 6
Old Trapping Area twitch

Dartford Warbler at Belle Tout

Adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Old Trapping Area

Jay moving over Belle Tout



Adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher performing well.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

23rd October 2014 Beachy Head Overcast mild W3 to W/NW 3/4 occasionally 5

I covered the top of the headland where the Red-breasted Flycatcher was still performing to its admirers albeit proving more elusive today in the windier conditions. There was a light westerly overhead passage that most notably included 20 Greenfinches following on from a number of lean autumns for them. KG added to the Ring Ouzel tally and saw a dozen Bramblings. RDME was ringing in Whitbread Hollow where double-figure numbers of both Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were trapped (numbers trapped appear in brackets below).
Brent Goose 1 W
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 2
Tawny Owl 3
Skylark 40 (including 4 W)
Swallow 40 and 2 E
House Martin 10
Meadow Pipit 75 W
alba Wag 1 W
Robins c.15 - an increase in the Hollow
Ring Ouzel 15
Blackbird 6
Song Thrush 2 (2 – 1 continental)
Blackcap 25 (11)
Chiffchaff 45 (36)
Goldcrest 10
Firecrest 1 (1)
Red-breasted Flycatcher 1 adult male
Long-tailed Tit 7 (2)
Jay 3
Raven 3
Brambling 12
Chaffinch 10
Greenfinch 20 W
Goldfinch 180 W
Bullfinch 2
Wrens 6+ (3) - an increase in the Hollow
Red Admiral 1

 Adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Old Trapping Area

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

22nd October 2014 Beachy Head NW4-5 cold at first

A good number of observers were on the headland today looking for the Yellow-browed Warbler that wasn't in evidence. There was a movement of Wood Pigeons and another good count of Stock Doves, a light overhead passage of Finches and an assortment of other migrants but these were eclipsed by the discovery of an adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Old Trapping Area by ASC. Fortunately it remained faithful to the small clump of hawthorns much to the delight of its ever-increasing crowd of admirers.

Sparrowhawk 1
Peregrine 2
Kestrel 2
Wood Pigeon 3,600+
Stock Dove 400
Short-eared Owl 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Swallow 5
House Martin 2 W
Skylark 3 W
Ring Ouzel 4
Mistle Thrush 2
Redwing 1 W
Whitethroat 1
Blackcap 1
Chiffchaff 4
Goldcrest 4
Red-breasted Flycatcher 1 adult male
House Sparrow 2 in Whitbread Hollow
Bullfinch 4
Chaffinch 30 W
Brambling 3 W
Siskin 6 W
Goldfinch 400+ W
Linnet 50
Reed Bunting 1 W
Jay 1

Adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Old Trapping Area
the 22nd Red-breasted Flycatcher to have been seen at Beachy

(taken by Roger Haggar)
Short-eared Owl over the Old Trapping Area.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

21 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Stormy conditions and very windy NW

Just a brief entry as NT visited several sites on the Headland although the windy conditions made birding very difficult he was able to locate one of the Yellow-browed Warblers in Belle Tout wood which he first heard calling and after a while he found it in a beech tree where it showed well for several minutes.

Monday, 20 October 2014

20th October 2014 Beachy Head 7/8 at dawn quickly clearing to sunny and warm, wind W4

RDME made a fairly brief visit covering Shooters Bottom, Whitbread Hollow, Cow Gap and Belle Tout Wood. LP covered Shooters Bottom and Belle Tout Wood. SL arrived at Birling at 10.10 and covered Belle Tout and shooters leaving at 15.30 meeting both GG and DB. A very good count of overflying Stock Doves were recorded with a decent variety of other diurnal migrants noted but the obvious highlight were 2 Yellow-browed Warblers being present in Belle Tout Wood although they became more elusive as the day went on.

Common Buzzard 2
Sparrowhawk 2
Peregrine 2 including one dashing into a Wood Pigeon flock without success
Kestrel 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Stock Dove 500 W
Woodpigeon 400 + W
Swallow 8 W
Skylark 20 SE
alba wag 2
Mistle Thrush 1 W
Ring Ouzel 21
Blackbird 30
Song Thrush 2
Dartford Warbler 1 juvenile
Blackcap 2
Chiffchaff 8
Yellow-browed Warbler 2
Goldcrest 8
Brambling 1 W
Goldfinch 300 mainly W
Linnet 50 W
Yellowhammer 1
Corn Bunting 4
Reed Bunting 2+ (1 W)
Raven 1
Red Admiral 1
Yellow-browed Warbler in Belle Tout Wood (Laurence Pitcher)
Stock Doves moving west over Beachy Head (Laurence Pitcher)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

18 October 2014 Beachy Head Fine warm but breezy S 5

We met up with RJF and JK at Birling and covered all the main sites on the Headland meeting up with RKH, RES and RK during the morning. RJF also visited Crowlink  Still good numbers of Ring Ouzels present with a late Hobby seen at Crowlink.
NT visited Belle Tout area late in the afternoon and had a Firecrest and 2 Ring Ouzels in the scrub by the western side of Belle Tout wood.

Kestrel 3
Merlin 1
Hobby 1 Crowlink
Peregrine 1
Great Black-backed Gull 800 at Crowlink (Our largest number recorded on a day-previous largest day record was on the 8/10/2000 when 600 were logged).
Skylark 30
Swallow 75
House Martin 1
Alba Wagtail 12 E
Wheatear 1
Ring Ouzel 30+
Blackbird 8
Song Thrush 1
Chiffchaff 5
Firecrest 1
Jay 4
Goldfinch 150
Linnet 400 in the top fields

Clouded Yellow 1

Friday, 17 October 2014

17 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Overcast mild SW 4

Our first visit for almost 3 weeks, great to be out birding again. We covered all the main sites on the Headland including Icky Ridge and the Cliff Path. We also met up with SL who birded the Birling to Shooters bottom area and also walked towards Crowlink. Diurnal migration was poor but still a number of migrants present on the Head with the highlights being 25 Ring Ouzels, 2 Dartford Warblers, juv.Merlin  and a Short-eared Owl.

Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1
Merlin 1 juv.
Peregrine 3
Curlew 2
Collared Dove 1
Short-eared Owl 1 (over fields near Shooters Bottom)
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Swallow 14
Meadow Pipit 50 W
Wheatear 4
Ring Ouzel 25 (5 Shooters Bottom, 8 Old Trapping Area, 4 Cow Gap, 8 B/T scrub)
Blackbird 6
Song Thrush 2
Dartford Warbler 2 Shooters Bottom
Blackcap 1
Chiffchaff 11
Jay 5 (1 E and party of 4 B/T area)
Raven 2 +
Goldfinch 200 (100 W)
Linnet 50
Yellowhammer 2
Corn Bunting 5

Clouded Yellow 2
Wall Brown 2
Migrant Hawker 5

Late news from yesterday (per the SOS web-site) was 26 Ring Ouzels and 2 Dartford Warblers.

Autumnal colours showing in Belle Tout wood

Short-eared Owl over Shooters Bottom

Some of today's Ring Ouzels in Shooters Bottom.

Confiding Dartford Warbler in Shooters Bottom.

The 2nd Dartford Warbler was not quite so confiding.

A late Wall Brown along the Cliff Path

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

15 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Cloud 6/8 rapidly clearing but then becoming 7/8 Wind N2 to 1 then S 3 to 4 later

RDME was ringing in Whitbread Hollow and also briefly visited Belle Tout wood. SL covered Crowlink, Birling to Belle Tout loop, Belle Tout wood and Shooters Bottom. RKH, RES and KH covered the usual birding sites on the Headland. Small numbers of night migrants which included 16 Ring Ouzels and 1 Dartford Warbler. Reasonable easterly diurnal passage with 1,000 Goldfinches, 200 Linnets with 5 Jays west.

Following are the combined totals with birds ringed are shown in brackets:

Sparrowhawk 2
Common Buzzard 1
Kestrel 1
Peregrine 2-4
Tawny Owl 3
Swallow 200
House Martin 170
Alba Wagtail 4
Robin 10+ (5)
Wheatear 1
Ring Ouzel  16 spread all over the Head including Crowlink and the Hollow
Mistle Thrush 3
Song Thrush 5 (2 trapped of which 1 was a continental race).
Dartford Warbler 1
Blackcap 7+ (5)
Chiffchaff 43 (21)
Goldcrest 5 (2)
Jay 5 W
Brambling 5
Goldfinch c1,000 E
Linnet 200 E
Reed Bunting 4
Corn Bunting 11

Red Admiral 3

Monday, 13 October 2014

12 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Cloud mainly 7/8, NE 3

Bob and Sarah went ringing in Whitbread Hollow and had reasonable fall of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. RJF and JK visited the main sites on the Headland and later RJF also visited Crowlink. Reasonable numbers of night migrants seen including 2 Ring Ouzels, with a decent Eastern diurnal movement logged mainly Goldfinches with our first movement of Stock Doves for the Autumn.
Combined totals with birds ringed are shown in brackets:

Sparrowhawk 2
Golden Plover 2
Woodpigeon 60 (numbers beginning to build up)
Stock Dove 53
Tawny Owl 1
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Skylark 39
Swallow 90
House Martin 28
Pied Wagtail 21
Stonechat 17
Wheatear 1
Ring Ouzel 2 (Shooters Bottom and Hotel Garden)
Blackcap 53 (22)
Chiffchaff 120 (45) (See picture below of Eastern type Chiff ringed)
Goldcrest 10 (2)
Long-tailed tit 5 (2)
Raven 6
Jay 4
Linnet 110
Goldfinch 900
Reed Bunting 7
Yellowhammer 3

Late news for yesterday from Roger and Liz saw in Hodcombe where a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen briefly and a Dartford Warbler showed well.

(photo taken by SM/RDME)
Eastern type Chiffchaff (right hand bird) tristis type with normal 
Chiffchaff (left hand bird)  collybita

Friday, 10 October 2014

10 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Overcast mile SW 4/5

RDME visited Birling and Belle Tout wood and lower path and then Whitbread Hollow, meeting up with GG briefly. Just small numbers of night migrants seen which included 2 male Ring Ouzels in Whitbread Hollow. Diurnal migration included small numbers of hirundines (chiefly Swallows) and Goldfinches moving W.

Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Swallow 20
House Martin 4
Alba Wagtail 4 including 1 White Wagtail.
Dunnock small influx including a party of 7 very agitated.
Wheatear 1
Ring Ouzel 2 males Whitbread Hollow.
Blackcap 2
Chiffchaff 15
Goldcrest 1
Jay 1 Birling
Goldfinch 100 chiefly W

During the afternoon, RB visited Belle Tout wood and the Cornish Farm track and recorded the following:
Wheatear 2
Swallow 100 quartering the non mown field
Corn bunting 10
Meadow pipit 30
Goldfinch 6
Skylark 10
Stonechat 15
Peregrine falcon 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1
Chiffchaff 8
Blackcap 2

Sunday, 5 October 2014

5 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Sunny but cold early (44 F at 0630), wind N2/3 declining

BHRG were ringing in Whitbread Hollow but generally a quiet morning for night migrants with small numbers of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps and Alba Wagtails.

Birds ringed are shown in brackets:

Sparrowhawk 1
Tawny Owl 2
Alba Wagtail 28 feeding on the playing field.
Stonechat 7
Blackcap 30 (19)
Chiffchaff 60 (34)
Goldcrest 3 (1)
Jay 2
Bullfinch 1 (1)

Red Admiral 4
Clouded Yellow 2

SL birded the Headland and recorded Short-eared Owl 1 NW at Shooters Bottom, Golden Plover 3E, Woodlark 1 SW at 10.50 and a single Reed Bunting were the highlights.

A report on the pager of a Dartford Warbler and Firecrest on the Headland this morning.

Friday, 3 October 2014

3 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Very variable cloud from 1/8 to 7/8 but frequently sunny. Very warm . Wind NW 1/2

Bob was again ringing in Whitbread Hollow and had another good fall of Chiffchaffs with more variety today which included a Grasshopper Warbler.

Birds ringed are shown in brackets:

Brent Goose 10 W
Buzzard 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1
Tawny Owl 1
Swallow 30
H Martin 300
Alba Wag 10
Whinchat 1
Stonechat 5
Song Thrush 1 (1 continental race)
Grasshopper Warbler 1
Blackcap 100 (37)
Chiffchaff 120 (26)
Goldcrest 3 (1)
LT Tit 2
Jay 2
Bullfinch 2

Red Admiral 4

Late news from Hodcombe for yesterday, where Roger and Liz had a decent fall of Chiffchaffs, also our first Yellow-browed Warbler of the Autumn and 2 Marsh Harriers.
Roger had looked for the Yellow-browed this morning but no sign by mid-morning, although good numbers of Chiffchaffs were again present in Hodcombe.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

2 Oct 2014 Beachy Head Cloud 7/8 wind N 1/2 but nil at times very mild 56 F at dawn and 65 F at 1200.

LP visited the Head this morning and RDME was ringing in Whitbread Hollow. Good fall of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps chiefly in Whitbread Hollow but otherwise few other night migrants logged. Diurnal migration mainly hirundines and Alba Wagtails.

Combined totals with birds ringed shown in brackets:

Kestrel 2
Merlin 1
Tawny Owl 1
Swallow 250 E
House Martin 600
Tree Pipit 1 E
Meadow Pipit 60 E
Yellow Wagtail 1 E
Alba Wagtail 70 E
Song Thrush 1 (1)
Blackcap 100 (37)
Chiffchaff 225 (83)
Goldcrest 1 (1)
Chaffinch 40 E
Reed Bunting 6 E
Corn Bunting 4 E

ARK (per SOS web-site) also visited Birling to Belle Tout area during the morning and recorded the following:
Brent Goose 30 W
Kestrel 4
Sparrowhawk 2
Common Buzzard 3
Red Kite 1
Meadow Pipit 400
Chiffchaff 100
Goldcrest 6
Jay 17 in B/T wood departed NW