Saturday, 22 September 2018

22nd September, 2018 Beachy Head Overcast cool with rain from mid-morning NW 2-3 increasing to 4.

At long last a fairly calm morning although rain started mid-morning. We covered Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, Toilet block bushes, Hotel Garden, Icky Ridge, and Belle Tout wood.
As expected, not to many night migrants on the Headland after the recent strong winds, although the highlight was a Turtle Dove (my first for two years), which flew through Shooters Bottom and then returned flying west. Meadow Pipits and hirundines were moving into the wind. RE and MB were ringing in Whitbread Hollow and had their busiest day of the Autumn, with large numbers of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs seen and ringed.
Combined totals:

Sparrowhawk 1 Hollow
Kestrel 4-5 Headland
Peregrine 1
Tawny Owl 2 Hollow
Green Woodpecker 1 Hollow
Turtle Dove 1 Shooters Bottom departed W.
Sand Martin 22
Swallow 150 W
House Martin 160 (60 W and 100 in Hollow)
Meadow Pipit 250 (200 W, 40 in set-a-side field and 10 in Hollow)
Robin 10 Hollow
Whinchat 1 Set-a-side field
Stonechat 10
Blackbird 15
Song Thrush 2
Grasshopper Warbler 1 Hollow
Sedge Warbler 1 Hollow
Common Whitethroat 3 (2 Headland and 1 Hollow)
Blackcap 403 (400 Hollow and 3 Headland)
Chiffchaff 518 (500 Hollow and 18 Headland)
Willow Warbler 3
Firecrest 1 Hollow
Goldfinch 50

Monday, 17 September 2018

17th September, 2018 Beachy Head Fine and sunny SW 2

RE was ringing and watching in Whitbread Hollow this morning. SL walked from the Old Trapping Area to Shooters Bottom and back and then carried out a raptor watch with GG and was then joined by several other observers. Another quiet morning with fair numbers of Chiffchaffs although Blackcap numbers for mid-September were fairly poor. The highlight was a superb Honey Buzzard picked out by LP at 13.33 when it flew S out to sea.

Sparrowhawk 1 Headland
Honey Buzzard 1 juv. S out to sea at 13.33
Common Buzzard 4 Headland
Tawny Owl 2 Hollow
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1 Hollow
c1,000 hirundines present on the Headland
5 Sand Martins
Song Thrush 1 Hollow
Blackcap 60 Hollow
Chiffchaff 70 Hollow with a few on the Headland
Long-tailed Tit 1 Hollow
Jay 2 Hollow
Raven 1
Picture taken by Simon Linington
Juvenile Honey Buzzard going S out to sea.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

16th September, 2018 Beachy Head Light overcast with sunny periods S-SW 3-4

A disappointing morning. We covered Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge and the Toilet Block bushes and then called it a day. SL walked from Birling to Went Hill and onto Sardine Valley, Belle Tout wood and bushes to the East, Shooters Bottom and the Old Trapping Area. 
Very few night migrants present in the bushes and diurnal migration consisted of small numbers of hirundines flying into the SW wind.

Sparrowhawk 2
Common Buzzard 2
Kestrel 1
Peregrine 2
Sand Martin 3
Swallow 150 SW
House Martin 50 SW
Reed Warbler 1
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Common Whitethroat 1
Blackcap 3
Chiffchaff 10
Raven 3
Corn Bunting 25

Adonis Blue 1
Comma 1
Clouded Yellow 1
Meadow Brown a few
Common Blue a few
Small Heath many

Saturday, 15 September 2018

15th September, 2018 Beachy Head Fine and sunny SW

RE was ringing and watching in Whitbread Hollow but had a slow morning for birds. He did have a visit from Mike and Margret Nolan, Mike was one of the original members of the BHRG when it was formed way back in 1960.

Sparrowhawk 1
Tawny Owl 2
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
House Martin 100
Blackcap 75
Chiffchaff 50
Willow Warbler 1
Greenfinch 1

Small Copper 1

Friday, 14 September 2018

14th September, 2018 Beachy Head Overcast and humid. NW to SW 0 increasing to 3.

We covered Birling lane, Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, and met up with ME who had covered Whitbread Hollow and the Cow Gap area, and RAB who have covered the Cattle Field area and track to Long Down, Toilet Block bushes, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge. We then visited Belle Tout wood with RAB who then walked the Cornish Farm track and also the field opposite Shooters Bottom.
Fewer migrants present this morning at most of the sites visited, and again little diurnal migration recorded.
Combined Totals:

Little Egret 1 Birling beach
Sparrowhawk 4 Headland
Common Buzzard 1 Headland
Kestrel 5 Headland
Merlin 1 Cattle Field
Peregrine 1
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1 Headland
Swallow 100 Headland
Tree Pipit 1 over Hollow area
Meadow Pipit 120 Headland
Yellow Wagtail 6 W
Robin 5 Birling
Black Redstart 1 female type Birling
Whinchat 14 (3 Cow Gap and 11 Headland)
Wheatear 6 Headland
Common Whitethroat 9
Blackcap 52 (40 Hollow and 12 Headland)
Chiffchaff 100 (50 Hollow area and 50 Headland)
Firecrest 1 Icky Ridge
Spotted Flycatcher 2 (1 Headland and 1 Hollow area)
Jay 3 (2 Cow Gap and 1 Shooters Bottom which departed E)
Raven 3 Headland
Chaffinch 25 Headland
Linnet 60 set-a-side field
Reed Bunting 1 Cow Gap
Corn Bunting 28 set-a-side field.

Chiffchaffs in the Old Trapping Area.

Now in their typical Autumn olive plumage.

Almost count the emarginations.

Moving off.


Jay in Shooters Bottom (not often do you see them in Shooters Bottom).

Thursday, 13 September 2018

13 September, 2018 Beachy Head Fine and sunny NW 1-2

We covered Shooters Bottom, and field opposite, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge we then joined SL for an hour raptor watch. SL covered Birling Gap area, Shooters Bottom. RE also covered Birling lane, Belle Tout wood and the Cornish Farm Track. Several other birders present on the Headland.
Reasonable numbers of common night migrants on the Headland, including an arrival of Meadow Pipits, and Swallows and Martins over the top fields.

Sparrowhawk 2 over top fields
Common Buzzard 5 Headland
Kestrel 5 Headland
Hobby 1 Headland
Peregrine 1 Headland
Sandwich Tern 1 off Birling
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1 Headland
Sand Martin 30+ Headland
Swallow c350 Headland
House Martin c500 Headland
Tree Pipit 1 near Shooters Bottom
Meadow Pipit 230 Headland (60 in off the sea and then N).
Yellow Wagtail 16 (1W)
Black Redstart 1 Birling
Common Redstart 3 Headland
Whinchat 3 Headland
Wheatear 5
Reed Warbler 8 Headland
Lesser Whitethroat 6 Headland
Common Whitethroat 50 Headland
Blackcap 100 Headland
Chiffchaff 60 Headland
Willow Warbler 4 Headland
Firecrest 1 Headland
Spotted Flycatcher 2 Headland
Jay 1 Birling
Raven 2

Small Heath 15
Small Copper 3
Migrant Hawker 2

Common Whitethroat amongst the hawthorn berries.

Blackcap feeding on the elder berries

Reed Warblers in Shooters Bottom


Spotted Flycatcher

 Still the odd Willow Warbler on the Headland.

Monday, 10 September 2018

10th September, 2018 Beachy Head Overcast mild W 1 increasing to 3-4

We covered Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area where we met up with RAB and then we covered Belle Tout wood area and then met up with GG for a short raptor watch. RAB also covered Cattle field and Long Down path, Toilet block bushes, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge also Birling lane. RE was ringing and watching in Whitbread Hollow.
Small numbers of night migrants present which included a fall of 70 Chiffchaffs, with the highlight being 21 Whinchats on the Headland which is by far our best day total this year, but see below. Diurnal migration was chiefly House Martins with the odd Yellow and 2 Grey Wagtails.

Sparrowhawk 4 (2 Headland and 2 Hollow)
Common Buzzard 2 Headland
Kestrel 5 (4 Headland and 1 Hollow)
Peregrine 2 juvs.
Red-legged Partridge 7
Wood Pigeon 40 Hollow
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1 Hollow
Swallow 50
House Martin 915 (315W and 600 Hollow)
Meadow Pipit 15
Yellow Wagtail 5 W
Grey Wagtail 2 overhead
Common Redstart 2
Whinchat 21 (Our best ever day occurred on the 21/9/1980 when an estimate of 500 to 1,000 birds were present in SE winds, but only 25 were present the following day. They were the good old days ).
Wheatear 1
Reed Warbler 2
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Common Whitethroat 15 (14 Headland and just 1 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 1 Hollow
Blackcap 102(22 Headland and 80 Hollow)
Chiffchaff 70 (20 Headland and 50 Hollow)
Willow Warbler 9 (4 Headland and 5 Hollow)
Raven 1
Goldfinch 100 Headland

Stonechat and Whinchat together

Three Whinchats on a dead tree.

Some of today's Whinchats on the Headland.

Lesser Whitethroat in Shooters Bottom.

It didn't stay long.