Friday, 16 March 2018

16th March, 2018 Beachy Head Overcast with odd sunny periods, cool SW 4

As we drove over Ditchling Common in the dark, a Woodcock was sat in the middle of the road and as we approached with our headlights on, it stood up and brought back memories of the Plains-wanderers which I saw with torches with RJF in Australia, a superb start to the day. The Woodcock then flew off.
We sea-watched from 06.20-07.50 mainly Brent Geese and Red-throated Divers were moving. We then covered the Old Trapping Area, Hotel Garden, Icky Ridge area, Shooters Bottom and Belle Tout wood. Met up with RE who had covered Birling lane, Birling loop, Cornish Farm track and Belle Tout wood. Migrants were thin on the ground with 2 new Firecrests seen and 2 rubicola type male Stonechats, one which RE had seen in the scrub below Belle Tout lighthouse and the second which I was able to photograph on Icky Ridge.

Red-throated Diver 41 E
Gannet 2 E & 2W
Brent Goose 283 E
Common Scoter 4 E
Red-legged Partridge 1 calling from the set-a-side field.
Mediterranean Gull 1 E
Herring Gull 600 in the Birling area
Kittiwake 50 E
Green Woodpecker 1
Meadow Pipit 6
Stonechat 6 (including 2 rubicola type males (1 on Icky ridge, 1 in Scrub below B/T lighthouse).
Blackbird 12 mainly males
Song Thrush 1
Redwing 1 Icky Ridge
Chiffchaff 1
Firecrest 2 (1 Hotel Garden and 1 Shooters Bottom)
Long-tailed Tit 2 on the Cliff Path

Firecrest in the Hotel Garden

A striking male Stonechat with large white wing panels and
collar band and a whitish rump  on Icky Ridge


Meadow Pipits are now being seen in small numbers.