Another Chiffchaff shot!
Conditions that have brought a deluge of scarce and rare migrants to the east coast of the UK, from the Shetlands to East Anglia, have not yet done much for Beachy Head. Undoubtedly some of these birds will filter through to south coast sites over the coming weeks. It has however brought some wonderfully warm sunny days and birds have been moving in great numbers at times but it has been quantity over quality up until now at least. Fog and an easing of the ENE wind brought a fall of birds today. I estimate I encountered 300+ Blackcap, 150+ Chiffchaff. With Barn Swallow and Meadow Pipit still moving in numbers first thing in the fog. In terms of scarcity it was very poor with only 2 Whinchat, 2 Tree Pipit and a single Yellow Wagtail being of note. Other warblers included 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Reed Warbler and a single Willow Warbler. Interestingly Beachy Head traps a huge number of Blackcaps at this time of year with almost 100% of controls being from birds already ringed in the UK this summer, so this poses the question, how many of todays birds were in fact UK breeders rather than continental migrants passing through.
Migrant Hawker Dragonflies.
A Hummingbird Hawkmoth and Clouded Yellow also seen today. An escape Falcon sp. took a Rook in Michel Dean this lunch time, below are some images. The bird had what appeared to be a GPS tracker and bells so it should be pretty obvious if seen elsewhere. In flight it was approx. 10% larger than a female Peregrine. What with the possibility of Falconers hybrids and back cross bred birds, I have no idea of what it is exactly.