Friday, 12 May 2017

12th May, 2017 Beachy Head Overcast cool Variable S 2 to 4

We arrived at Birling for a sea-watch and RAB was already watching and KG was also watching from the beach (05.45-08.30). We sea-watched from 05.45-09.00 and again from 11.35-12.35. We also covered Birling lane, Belle Tout wood and the Old Trapping Area. The sea-watch proved productive with a total of 12 Pomarine Skuas, a Puffin with 4 Guillemots and KG scored with a Roseate Tern at 07.17
Very few migrants seen but a superb male Stonechat which was showing many characters of the continental  rubicola race (see pictures below). Not a full count of the area was made today.

Combined totals:

Red-throated Diver 1 E
Black-throated Diver 2 E
Shag 1 E
Gannet 277 E
Little Egret 3 (1 came in over Birling and departed over the downs)
Grey Heron 2 soaring over Belle Tout calling
Brent Goose 8 E
Shelduck 3 E
Common Scoter 102 E
Velvet Scoter 4 E (133 have so far been recorded off Beachy this year)
Sanderling 5 E
Whimbrel 1 E
Curlew 1 E
Pomarine Skua 12 E (4 @06.14, 2 @06.19, 1@06.42, 1@06.57 & 4 @ 12.15)
Arctic Skua 4 E
Bonxie 1 E
Little Gull 1 1stS E (KG)
Black-headed Gull 10 E
Kittiwake c70E
Sandwich Tern 50 E
Commic Tern 25 E
Roseate Tern 1 E @ 07.17 with the Commics (KG). Went past Dungeness @ 08.00
Guillemot 4 E
Puffin 1 E leading the above Guillemots @ 07.05 (Our first record this century, although 16 records of about 30 individuals during the 1980's and 90's).
Reasonable numbers of Auk sp. but no count made.
Swallow 5 in off the sea
Stonechat 1 male showing characters of the continental race rubicola. Also the first juveniles seen.
Spotted Flycatcher 2 (1 Belle Tout wood and 1 Old Trapping Area)

Adult male Stonechat showing many characters of the
continental race rubicola.
Pure white upper and under tail coverts, extensive white
neck collar, restricted orange breast with a white belly,
very large white wing patches and in flight showed a
large white square rump.