Thursday, 25 August 2016

25th August, 2016 Beachy Head Overcast with long sunny periods hot and humid. ENE 3 decreasing to 1

Met up with RKH and covered Birling lane and scrub opposite, Shooters Bottom, Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden and Icky Ridge. RE was again ringing in Whitbread Hollow and we also met up with a number of other birders including GG and KG.
Still good numbers of common night migrants with a heavy passage during the first hour of hirundines with a rough estimate of 2,000 during this period. Yellow Wagtails were again present in reasonable numbers but the highlight was a distant adult Honey Buzzard over the top fields at 10.11am
Just after we had departed KG had 2 Honey Buzzards go over the Headland and also a Merlin.
Combined numbers:

Little Egret 5 off Birling
Honey Buzzard 1 over the Top Fields departed NE @ 10.11 (GG, JFC, DRC, RKH et al)
2 over the Headland perKG
Sparrowhawk 1
Common Buzzard 6+
Merlin 1 on the Headland (per KG)
Kestrel 1
Peregrine 2-3
Tawny Owl 1 Hollow
Swift 5 E
Sand Martin 200 E
Swallow 1,000 E
House Martin 1,000 E
Tree Pipit 2 E
Yellow Wagtail 55
Grey Wagtail 1 W
Nightingale 1 Whitbread Hollow (per RE)
Redstart 4
Whinchat 5
Wheatear 10
Cetti's Warbler still present in the Hollow (per RE)
Sedge Warbler 4
Reed Warbler 5
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Common Whitethroat 70 (35 Headland and 35 Hollow)
Garden Warbler 1
Blackcap 8
Willow Warbler 51 (26 Headland and 25 Hollow)

Clouded Yellow 5+

Late news from yesterday after we had left the area: 14 Common Buzzards and 1 Marsh Harrier seen on a raptor watch by Several Observers.
RJF spent virtually 10 hours walking the area and recorded a good hirundine movement during the afternoon, also 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 29 Wheatears, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and the Wryneck as well as many of the migrants seen by ourselves. LP paid a quick visit during the evening and had a showy Nightingale in Shooters Bottom and at dusk 130 Yellow Wagtails E presumably going to a local roost.

4 Little Egrets off Birling

Wheatear at Birling


A  distant adult Honey Buzzard over the Top Fields which departed NE
Shows small protruding head, longish rounded tail, good pointed 
projection on the carpal joints and good barring on underparts. 
In flight had three loose flaps followed by a  longish glide holding 
the wings slightly down curved giving a droopy effect.

Willow Warbler in the Hotel Garden

Common Swift over the Old Trapping Area