18.8.19 Movement amid a few calm nocturnal hours.

Rain during the night from 3am to dawn, still at first with a band of rain at 11am, gale force SW by 1pm.

The few calm hours over night gave respite in-between the strong south westerlies allowing for a movement of birds. We visited Warren Hill, Radio Mast, Pub, old trapping area, Shooters, Birling & Belle Tout.


One of many Willow Warbler on Warren Hill.

I’ve visited Warren Hill (a spot just 200m north of the recording boundary) a few times of late. In geographical terms it’s the same east facing slope of the the Downs that runs south to Beachy Head itself. The final ridge before the land flattens out into East Sussex and Kent. This morning JP and I found it hopping with birds & in stark contrast to the headland which is a mere 1.5km away to the south. Whether this was due to the slight westerly drift to the wind or perhaps something more influenced by the geography I don’t know.


Redstart near the dew pond, Warren Hill.

90% of the bird tally was from WH with the Headland very quiet in comparison.

Combined totals for Beachy Head sites and Warren hill: c65 Willow Warbler, c60 Common Whitethroat, c10 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 4 Garden Warbler, 4 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 5 Common Redstart, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, c20 Tree Pipit. A westerly passage of 25 Swallow, 3 Sand Martin and a single Swift.


Reed Warbler old trapping area.


Wheatear at the radio mast.

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8.8.19 First Tree Pipits…

A bright morning with a light meandering south wind. Cloud cover moving in turning SE by 10am. I covered the areas around the radio mast, pub, old trapping area and Shooters Bottom.

Although the proceeding 2/3 days have been very windy, there was a small calm window in the early hours of this morning which looked like the kind of gap migrants take advantage of and so it was. Nothing unusual but nice to see migration flowing again. Strong SW wind is very poor here in autumn.



Personal totals, c35 Willow Warbler, c30 Common Whitethroat, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Reed Warbler, 2 Wheatear, 2 Nightingale, 3 Tree Pipit (first I’ve seen this autumn) & a Yellow Wagtail over, a single Sand Martin out to sea.  3 Hummingbird Hawkmoth were along the cliff edge.


Willow Warbler. One of many along the hedge around the radio mast this morning.

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3.8.19 First Pied Flycatchers

A warm sunny morning with a light east wind.


Willow Warbler in the old trapping area.

Things are really picking up a pace now with a decent movement of birds off a light east wind over night, I must at this point thank John and Doreen Cooper for alerting me to how good the morning was as I had foolishly decided to concentrate on work.


Pied Flycatcher,

A mixed bag along with good numbers really highlights the pleasure of August birding here with JFC’s Willow Warbler estimate at c70. No less than 3 Pied Flycatcher (a good count for such an early date) and a single Redstart (JFC), my first Yellow Wagtail and Golden plover of the season went over. All other common migrant warblers are present in varying numbers.


Garden Warbler in Shooters Bottom.

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30.7.19 Late July…

The end of July has seen a spell hot settled weather brought to an end by a deep transatlantic low.


Willow Warbler in the old trapping area. I saw my first on the 22nd.

Birding has been confined to the odd morning visit to Beachy Head and throwing bread around at Princes Park. Yellow legged Gulls seem easier to come by this year with even the occasional bird seen incidentally over the headland or over town. For me passerines have been limited to low, single figure counts of Willow Warbler and Reed Warbler.

I’m looking forward to August which is by far my favourite month, numbers and diversity increasing as the month progresses.


Reed Warbler in Shooters.


Yellow Legged Gulls in Princes Park.




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18.7.19 M-m-m-m monster Yellow legged Gull at Eastbourne Fish Shop

Low pressure moving in bringing an end to the pleasant weather. Failing to find anything at Princes Park the beach front Fish Shop at Eastbourne had a small gathering of gulls including the best and largest Yellow legged Gull I’ve seen the summer.


Huge, presumably male Yellow legged Gull.
















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16.7.19 Cuckoo

A few images from the last few days. Mainly high pressure conditions with very light winds meandering from the SE to SW in direction, there was also an impressive full moonrise over the see at 9pm on the 16th which immediately went into eclipse!


Cuckoo in shooters Bottom on the 16th.

Although relatively quiet for me, c25 Sand Martin went east in one flock along with 5 Swift, a Reed Warbler was also heard churring from near the cattle trough, all signs of a changing season.

On the evening of the 15th no less than 3 juvenile Yellow legged Gull were feeding in the pasture fields around Hodcombe shortly before dusk.






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9.7.19 High summer Yellow leg’s

Another fine day, light SW wind predominately high pressure conditions.


juvenile Yellow legged Gull at Holywell.


Above with a Herring Gull, it’s advanced age showing in it’s structure here with the younger Herring showing that “young pigeon” look about the face and short tail and primary projection.


At certain angles the head shape and mask gives them a distinct look at this time of year.




A couple of Little Egret stalking the rock pools along with many Back headed Gull including some moulting juv’s, two adult Med Gulls were also present.



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