Tuesday, 28 March 2017

28th March, 2017. Beachy Head Hazy sun with sea-mist. SE2 to SW 3-4

With SE winds our hopes were high for a sea-watch and we watched from dawn at 06.30-10.30. At long last the flood-gates opened and probably almost 5,000 birds moved past us during the 4 hour watch. We were joined by RB, RE and a face from the past Pete Clement. Unfortunately, RKH only joined us towards the end of the watch. Brent Geese were moving at dawn and within the first five minutes 250 were seen. Highlights included 56 Velvet Scoters, 33 Little Gulls, 8 Scaup and a Little-ringed Plover which came in off the sea at 06.57, this is just our 13th record since 1960 and our first record for March.
LP was covering some of the Headland sites and we also covered a number of sites with other observers. Small numbers of night migrants were seen included our first Willow Warbler for the year.

Red-throated Diver   68 E
Gannet c50 E
Canada Geese 4 E with 2 retuning W
Brent Goose 2,045 E
Pale-bellied Brent Goose 1 E
Shelduck 5 E
Scaup 8 E with Scoter
Eider 2 on the sea
Common Scoter 2,019 E
Velvet Scoter 56 E
Red-breasted Merganser 7 E
Peregrine 1
Little-ringed Plover 1 in off the sea @ 06.57.
Curlew 6 W
Arctic Skua 5 E
Mediterranean Gull 15 (3x1stW and 12 s/p ad's) 
Little Gull 33 E
Black-headed Gull c50 E
Kittiwake c80 E
Sandwich Tern 164 E
Auk Sp. 2 E
Black Redstart 1 female type B/T wood
Wheatear 5
Chiffchaff 18 (most had moved on by mid-morning)
Willow Warbler 1
Firecrest 3

Large numbers of Brent Geese on the move today

Poor record shot of a pair of Eiders off Birling