Saturday, 28 May 2016

26th & 28th May, 2016 Beachy Head Overcast with odd showers cool ENE 4-5

26th May - Covered a number of sites on the Headland including Icky Ridge and the Cliff Path but other than the breeding birds the only new migrant seen was a Blackcap singing up Birling Lane. A pair of Stonechats with 3 flying young were present at the usual site up Birling lane. A short sea-watch just produced a few Gannets drifting E. Both Bob and Laurence were also birding on the Head but like us had little to report.

28th May - After listening to the TV weather forecast last night for the Eastbourne area which forecast light winds and just the odd shower with more unsettled windy weather for the next two days we decided to visit Beachy today. We were therefore surprised to find it windy and listening to that prat "Schafernaker" on the car radio on the drive to Beachy during the early morning when he informed us that it would be fine with just the odd shower when it was actually raining hard with flooding in Sussex including Golden Cross with a cold ENE wind force 4-5.
The wind made birding at Beachy difficult, I just wish Schafernaker would look out of the window rather than his computer screen, it may have saved us a journey.
We covered Birling lane, Belle Tout wood, Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden, Icky Ridge and Cliff Path but other than good numbers of Common Whitethroats, Linnets, Goldfinches, very little seen. Other than a few local Swallows, no new Swallows were seen arriving. A Spotted Flycatcher on the side of the wood and 2 Swifts flew N over the Cliff Path  were probably the only true migrants seen today.

A very large cliff fall along the Severn Sisters, probably the
largest we have had for 20+ years (taken on the 26th)

Song Thrush in full song in Shooters Bottom. (taken on the 26th)

Male Stonechat- 9-12 pairs breeding on the Headland with young now flying



Kestrel hovering and then moving on in Cow Gap

Star of Bethlehem - several good clumps are now coming into flower