Tuesday, 22 September 2020

22nd September, 2020 Beachy Head Sunny periods warm, SW 2

 SL arrived at the Old Trapping Area @ 08.00 and then covered the birding sites to Birling, returning for a raptor watch @ 11.30. A number of other observers were also present on the Headland. No repeat of the Chiffchaff numbers seen yesterday and just small numbers of common migrants recorded. Again little in the way of diurnal migration took place, although 4 Grey Plovers and a Knot flew over Shooters Bottom and out to sea at 11.00am.

Sparrowhawk 1, Common Buzzard 2, Kestrel 1, Grey Plovers 4 and Knot 1 flew S over Shooters Bottom and out to sea at 11.00, Swallow 50, House Martin 100+, Yellow Wagtail 1, Pied Wagtail 1E, Wheatear 1 Common Whitethroat 3, Blackcap 6+, Chiffchaff 11+, Goldcrest 1, Siskin 5, Corn Bunting c10.

Seven species of Butterflies were recorded including 4 Wall Butterflies and 1 Clouded Yellow.

The following photographs were taken by Simon Linington

Four Grey Plovers and one Knot over Shooters Bottom.

Corn Bunting at Birling

Female Common Blue

Wall Butterfly

Monday, 21 September 2020

21st September, 2020 Beachy Head, Early mist becoming fine sunny and warm. NE to E 2-3

 A cool misty early morning, becoming sunny and hot. We covered Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, radio mast bushes, Hotel Garden, Belle Tout wood. KH, RKH and RES were also covering most of the sites on the Headland as was AR. who also covered Birling lane and Went Hill. An excellent fall of Chiffchaffs during the early morning with much activity, with many birds seen leaving the sites during the early morning and by mid morning most birds had departed from the Headland, which included 80+ moving up Birling lane and Went Hill (per AR.) A latish Willow Warbler was present in Shooters Bottom, and a Short-eared Owl also in Shooters Bottom, but diurnal migration was very quiet may be due to the misty early morning weather. 

Combined totals:

Sparrowhawk 2, Common Buzzard 1, Kestrel 1, Short-eared Owl 1 (Shooters Bottom) (AR), Swallow 30 E, House Martin 100 on short grass below B/T, Meadow Pipit 15 (10E), Robin 10, Common Redstart 1 female Hotel Garden, Wheatear 5, Blackbird 7 (mostly males), Song Thrush 1, (Shooters Bottom), Reed Warbler 1 (Icky Ridge), Common Whitethroat 3 (Shooters Bottom), Blackcap 11, Chiffchaff 225+, majority moved off E by mid-morning, with 80+ at Birling lane and Went Hill, our largest fall so far this year. Willow Warbler 1 (Shooters Bottom), Spotted Flycatcher 3 (B/T wood), Goldfinch 50, Siskin 1 E, with others heard calling.

Clouded Yellow 6 

Female Blackcap amongst the berries in  Shooters Bottom 

Chiffchaffs in Shooters Bottom 

Sparrowhawk  over Belle Tout


Friday, 18 September 2020

17th and 18th September, 2020 Beachy Head

ME visited the Headland on both the 17th and 18th September. The 17th he only recorded a few common migrants but did see 1 Merlin, 1 Hobby and 1 Red Kite between the Hotel Garden and Birling. On the 18th Matt covered the same route and recorded a small arrival of migrants as follows:

Merlin 1 (Belle Tout area), Skylark 4 E, Swallow 50 E, House Martin 100 E, Meadow Pipit 150 E, Yellow Wagtail 5 E, Grey Wagtail 1 E, Pied Wagtail 5 E, Wheatear 1, Ring Ouzel 1 (between the Old Trapping Area and Shooters Bottom), Common Whitethroat 1, Blackcap 3, Chiffchaff 15 , Firecrest 1 (Birling), Siskin 25 E, 

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

15th September, 2020 Beachy Head Hot and sunny

Another hot and sunny morning. We covered the Old Trapping Area, Shooters Bottom, radio mast bushes, and then did a raptor watch for 2 hours. Both RAB and LP were doing sites on the Headland and joined us for some of the raptor watch. RJF and FL covered the Hotel Garden area, the Rides, Whitbread Hollow, Cow Gap, Francis Bottom.
A much quieter morning with a general clear-out of the common migrants. Reasonable numbers of Swallows and House Martins were moving E and our Sparrow Hawk total for the area was from 6-8 birds. Highlight was a Marsh Harrier moving E.
Combined totals:

Marsh Harrier 1 high E @ 11.05 (RAB, JFC, RJF, FL).
Sparrowhawk 6-8 (3 Hollow, 3-5 Headland)
Common Buzzard 4 Headland
Kestrel 3 Headland
Green Woodpecker 2 (1 Hollow, 1 Headland)
Swift 1
Sand Martin 3 E
Swallow c700 E
House Martin c1,000 E
Tree Pipit 1 E
Meadow Pipit 90
Yellow Wagtail 9 (2E)
Grey Wagtail 1 E
Common Redstart 1
Wheatear 3 Headland
Song Thrush 1 Headland
Lesser Whitethroat 2 (1 Shooters Bottom, 1 Old Trapping Area)
Common Whitethroat 5 Headland
Blackcap 20
Chiffchaff 16
Starling 100 radio mast
Goldfinch 70 Headland

Clouded Yellow 5 Headland

Starlings on the radio mast

Common Buzzard over the Headland.

Monday, 14 September 2020

14th September, 2020, Beachy Head Fine, sunny and warm, SE 1 -2

We covered Shooters Bottom, Cliff top bushes above the Old Trapping Area, Radio mast bushes, Old Trapping Area where we did a raptor watch for 2.25 hours. Good numbers of other birders present mostly covering the Headland including KH, RKH, RES, LP, SL GJ, RB and RAB  who also covered  the Bridle path and Rides area, Cliff Path, Icky Ridge, Hotel Garden and Radio mast bushes.
A reasonable fall of Chiffchaffs chiefly in Shooters Bottom, and 6 Spotted Flycatchers in the area. Diurnal migration was disappointing although a further 75 Siskins were logged. Hirundines with just small numbers of Sand Martins and Swallows moving E although good numbers of House Martins were present around the old B/T lighthouse. 2 Ospreys moved S over the cliffs and out to sea, and 2 Hobbies were also recorded in the B/T area. Saturday's Wryneck showed nicely above the Old Trapping area and a Grasshopper Warbler was present in Shooters Bottom.
Combined totals where possible:

Common Buzzard 3 Headland
Osprey 2 South over the cliffs and out to sea (1@11.25 SL, & 1 @ 12.55 LP, SL, JFC,DRC et al)
Kestrel 1
Hobby 2 B/T area (LP)
Peregrine 2
Great-spotted Woodpecker 3 (singles in the Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Cliff Path)
Wryneck 1 showed very well in the cliff top bushes near the Old Trapping Area (JFC, DRC et al)
Sand Martin c30 E
Swallow c200 E
House Martin c2,500 around the B/T old lighthouse
Meadow Pipit 25 E
Yellow Wagtail 2 E
Wheatear 2
Grasshopper Warbler 1 Shooters Bottom (JFC, DRC)
Lesser Whitethroat 2 Shooters Bottom
Common Whitethroat 20 Headland
Blackcap 7 Headland
Chiffchaff c50  (chiefly in Shooters Bottom feeding on the grass)
Spotted Flycatcher 6 (2 B/T wood, 4 Bridal track)
Jay 1
Raven 2 Shooters Bottom
Goldfinch 50 Headland (many juveniles)
Siskin 75 many going E

Clouded Yellow 7 (including 1 of the helice form SL)

Chiffchaff in Shooters Bottom


Wryneck taken in dark shade


 Wryneck in the cliff top bushes. 

taken by Simon Linington
Clouded Yellow of the form helice

Saturday, 12 September 2020

12th September, 2020 Beachy Head Sunny with a strong W breeze

ASC covered several sites around the Hotel Garden and the Old Trapping Area and SL spent several hours from 07.45-12.30 and covered Went Hill, Michel Dene, Birling area, Belle Tout area, Shooters Bottom and the Old Trapping Area.
There appeared to be a large clear out of migrants although the strong westerly breeze made birding difficult. The highlight was a Wryneck near the Hotel Garden, and very little in the way of diurnal migration was recorded.

Sparrow Hawk 1
Wryneck 1 near the Hotel Garden (ASC) - our first this Autumn.
Swallow just 7 seen
House Martin 80
Yellow Wagtail 4 Went Hill
Pied/White Wagtail 8
Whinchat 1
Whitethroat 3
Blackcap 2
Chiffchaff 8
Siskin several heard calling
Corn Bunting 4

Good numbers of common butterflies present including 1 Brown Argus and 3 Clouded Yellows.

Following pictures taken by Simon Linington


Clouded Yellow

Male Common Blue

Friday, 11 September 2020

11th September, 2020 Beachy Head Overcast becoming sunny W 2

LP covered a number of sites on the Headland. ME also covered a number of birding sites.
Small arrival of Chiffchaffs and out first Firecrest and Redpoll of the Autumn. Good diurnal passage of Siskins W and large numbers of hirundines on the move along the cliff edge.
Combined totals:

Swift 2
Tree Pipit 4 W
Grey Wagtail 5W
Pied Wagtail 3W
Yellow Wagtail 10
Meadow Pipit 30 W
House Martin c2,500++
Swallow 500
Sand Martin 10
Whinchat 2
Common Redstart 1
Wheatear 3
Common Whitethroat 30
Chiffchaff 40
Willow Warbler 2
Firecrest 1
Spotted Flycatcher 2
Common Redpoll 1
Siskin 180W

White Stork 2 over Headland (1 N and 1 W)  (one with the odd wing feathers missing) (ME,LP)

taken by Matt Eade
White Stork over the Headland 
(no doubt an introduced bird from the Knepp Estate)