10th to 16th August 2014 – Melodious Warbler

So Obvious highlight of the week for me came mid morning on the 16th when I discovered a Melodious Warbler in the gully near Cow Gap. I saw the bird very briefly as it moved away up the side of a gully, feeling that photographic images would endure longer than those gained through my bins I rattled off some shots. The bird was on view for no more than 60 seconds & fortunately the images are good enough to make clear judgements on the primary length thus discounting other possibilities when dealing with pale/yellow Hippolias warblers in the UK. I do try to observe birds in the field before using the camera to secure an ID, but in this case the bird was clearly moving in a manner that suggested it wasn’t hanging around. See heavily cropped images below. They are of poor quality but serve as good record shots.

MEL_BIG

Melodious Warbler.

MEL_COMP

Melodious Warbler in “The Gully” at Cow Gap

The remnants of tropical storm Bertha completely wiped out birding on Beachy Head, which is incredibly exposed in SW winds. I made little effort between Sunday and Wednesday as the wind makes looking for migrants in cover impossible. Things did settle down to a light westerly air flow and on the 14th a fall of birds occurred at Whitbread Hollow with, c50 Willow Warbler, c110 Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Reed Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 1 Nightingale, 4 Tree Pipit. The 15th was quiet in comparison apart from 5 Swift but the 16th saw an increase in birds again at Whitbread with another Redstart, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Tree Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail, c50 Sand Martin, 1 Wheatear, c60 Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warbler, 5 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler (my 4th so far this autumn, although god knows how many pass through unnoticed). Of course the star bird that morning was the Melodious Warbler. I also spent a bit of time at the ringing hut this week were I got to see a number of birds being ringed.

sedge

Sedge Warbler.

_MG_0735

Lesser Whitethroat.

Wall Lizards!  They seem to be very numerous along the walk ways down the beach in the Holywell area, a species that has been introduced to the UK and has since colonised certain spots along the south coast. I also saw about 4 Clouded Yellow Butterfly through out the week.

photo

Wall Lizard, above Holywell cafe.

About BEACHY BIRDER

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