Monday, 14 August 2017

14th August, 2017 Beachy Head Fine and sunny SE 1

A somewhat strange morning, with light SE breeze very hopeful of a good fall of migrants. We started off at Birling but other than just 4 Willows and 3 Whitethroats the area was quiet. We quickly moved on to the Old Trapping Area and virtually not a bird seen and the Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge were similar. We then stopped off at Shooters Bottom meeting up with LP and Whitethroats were everywhere many hopping around on the ground with a selection of other migrants. RE was again ringing in Whitbread Hollow and found it generally to be fairly quiet. In case there had been a mid-morning fall of migrants I quickly re-checked the Old Trapping Area but still no change from earlier.

Combined totals:

Sparrowhawk 2
Common Buzzard 1
Red-legged Partridge 2 (1 ad with 1 virtually full grown young)
Tawny Owl 1
Green Woodpecker 1
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1 flew E through Shooters Bottom
Sand Martin c35
Swallow c150
Swift c180 in Shooters Bottom during the evening feeding on ant swarm.
Tree Pipit 3
Yellow Wagtail 2 overhead
Nightingale 1 heard Shooters Bottom
Common Redstart 2
Whinchat 1
Wheatear 6
Sedge Warbler 4
Reed Warbler 25 Hollow
Common Whitethroat 90 (50 Headland and 40 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 18 Hollow
Blackcap 20 Hollow
Chiffchaff 2
Willow Warbler 20 (6 Hollow and 14 Headland)

Tree Pipit in Shooters Bottom 

Adult Red-legged Partridge

Sunday, 13 August 2017

13th August, 2017 Beachy Head Part cloud becoming sunny, cool at first becoming warm N2-3 vearing NE 1

We covered Birling lane and scrub, Belle Tout wood and scrub, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge, The Rides and Shooters Bottom. LP also visited the area around the Pub and RE, SM & MB were ringing in Whitbread Hollow. KG also visited the Hollow area.
Reasonable numbers of night migrants with the highlight being a Wood Warbler trapped in the Hollow and a Pied Flycatcher also there. Virtually no diurnal passage was recorded.

Combined totals:

Cormorant party of 7 W
Sparrowhawk 2
Yellow-legged Gull 1 Juv Birling with Herrings
Tawny Owl 1
Tree Pipit 3
Sand Martin 30
Swallow 30
Nightingale 1heard in the Hollow
Common Redstart 3
Wheatear 1
Whinchat 3
Grasshopper Warbler 2 Headland
Sedge Warbler 1
Reed Warbler 20-25 in the Hollow
Common Whitethroat 91 (51 Headland & 40 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 12
Blackcap 16
Wood Warbler 1 trapped and ringed Whitbread Hollow 
Willow Warbler 51(21 Headland & 30 Hollow)
Pied Flycatcher 1 Whitbread Hollow

No butterfly count made today but reasonable numbers on the wing including:
Clouded Yellow 1
Hummingbird Hawk-Moth 3

Record shots of the Whinchat at Birling

(taken by RE)
Wood Warbler trapped in Whitbread Hollow

Three Hummingbird Hawk Moths were seen today

Saturday, 12 August 2017

12th August, 2017 Beachy Head Dull overcast with periods of drizzle. W 4-5

A fairly short visit this morning and decided to depart when a period of drizzle started. We covered Birling lane and scrub, Shooters Bottom and the Old Trapping Area. No repeat of yesterdays fall of migrants although the wind made birding difficult.

Yellow Wagtail 2 in the cow field at Birling
Wheatear 1
Whinchat 1
Common Whitethroat 24
Willow Warbler 9

Wheatear at Birling

Friday, 11 August 2017

11th August, 2017 Beachy Head Fine calm and sunny W calm slowly increasing to 3

A beautiful calm sunny early morning. I visited today with Terry and we covered Birling lane and scrub, Belle Tout wood and scrub, Shooters Bottom, and Old Trapping Area. LP also covered sites on the headland and RE was again ringing in Whitbread Hollow.
Another excellent fall of night migrants chiefly Common Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and over 100 Reed Warblers which were either seen or trapped. Highlight was an elusive Pied Flycatcher at Birling. Virtually no diurnal migration was seen other than a Snipe high W.

Kestrel 2
Peregrine 1 adult
Snipe 1 high W over Birling
Green Woodpecker 2
Sand Martin 2
Swallow 25
Tree Pipit 4
Yellow Wagtail 3 juv. types
Pied Wagtail 5
Nightingale 2 (1 ad Hollow and 1 OTA)
Common Redstart 2-3
Wheatear 3
Grasshopper Warbler 2 Hollow
Sedge Warbler 1
Reed Warbler  c117 (17 Headland & c100+ Hollow, with 51 trapped and ringed).
Lesser Whitethroat 4
Common Whitethroat 160 (90 Headland & 70 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 7+ Hollow
Blackcap 10
Chiffchaff 4
Willow Warbler 125 (65 Headland & 60 Hollow)
Goldcrest 1
Pied Flycatcher 1 Birling
Bullfinch 2
Corn Bunting 3

Clouded Yellow 1
Painted Lady 2

Herring Gulls feeding on the ground on Birling lane

Juvenile type Yellow Wagtail in with cattle at Birling

Another juvenile type Yellow Wagtail on the flag pole at Birling.

taken by TEC
Pied Flycatcher at Birling

taken by TEC
Adult Peregrine on the hunt over Birling

Reed Warbler in Shooters Bottom.
Probably a record day for Beachy for numbers.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

9th August, 2017 Beachy Head Early morning rain becoming sunny and calm with later rain NW 0-1

After the early morning rain had cleared we covered virtually all the main sites on the Headland excluding the Birling loop. RE was ringing in Whitbread Hollow and AR visited the Cow Gap area.
Again the Headland was very quiet with just small numbers of migrants and no diurnal migration seen. Whitbread Hollow was busier with migrants.

Combined Totals:

Little Egret 1
Sparrowhawk 3 (2 Headland and 1 Hollow)
Common Buzzard 1
Green Woodpecker 1
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Swallow 5
Nightingale 1 ad trapped Hollow (new bird)
Common Redstart 1 Hollow
Grasshopper Warbler 1 Cow Gap
Lesser Whitethroat 6
Common Whitethroat 80 (23 Headland, 27 Cow Gap and 30 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 18 Hollow & Cow Gap
Blackcap 13
Chiffchaff 2
Willow Warbler 62 (10 Headland and 52 Hollow area)
Jay 1

No butterfly count made today with the more interesting sightings
Wall 1 Birling lane 
Brown Argus 1 Belle Tout
Dingy Skipper 1 Belle Tout

Autumn Ladies Tresses reasonable numbers are now showing at Birling (seems to be an early date)

Common Whitethroat at Birling

Autumn Ladies Tresses at Birling

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

8th August, 2017 Burgess Hill and Beachy Head

Doreen suggested that we visit a nearby site which we haven't visited for a couple of years to see if we would have any better luck with Brown Hairstreaks. After some 20 minutes searching the site Doreen suddenly shouted with excitement that she had found a close female on a bramble. I quickly joined her just as it flew. Luckily it landed on a blackthorn bush where it stayed for the next 20 minutes and appeared to start laying some eggs before disappearing into the bush and out of sight.

Suspected egg laying after working its way downwards on
a branch of blackthorn.

Female Brown Hairstreak, from all angles, Burgess Hill.
Unfortunately, the sun was not in the best position
which tended to over expose some of the pictures.
I have been trying to photograph this butterfly, especially
the female, for a number of years, and this site is only
about four miles from my front door.

Beachy Head - LP visited Whitbread Hollow area during the morning and recorded the following:

Nightingale 1
Reed Warbler 1
Garden Warbler 2
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Common Whitethroat c45
Willow Warbler c25

Monday, 7 August 2017

7th August, 2017 Beachy Head, overcast cool SW 2-3

We covered Birling lane and scrub, Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area and Hotel Garden, RE was again ringing in Whitbread Hollow.
Very surprising how different the two areas were today with the headland very quiet and almost birdless, even the Jackdaws were elusive, whereas the Hollow had reasonable numbers of common migrants.

Kestrel 1
Peregrine 1
Swift 10
Green Woodpecker 1
Swallow 10
Nightingale 2 (Hollow-both new birds)
Wheatear 4
Song Thrush 2
Reed Warbler 5 (Hollow)
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Common Whitethroat 54 (24 Headland and 30 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 3
Blackcap 5
Chiffchaff 3
Willow Warbler 76 ( Just 1on Headland and 75 Hollow)
Jay 1
Raven 1
Greenfinch 2
Bullfinch 2 (1 juv)

lifeboat patrolling off Birling this morning

Kestrel patrolling over the top fields.