17th June 2016 – Serins & Cuckoos

A couple of decent local reports from the previous day enthused me to put aside midsummer birding apathy and have a look around Shooters Bottom this evening. Yesterday’s migrant Cuckoo (JC) had been joined by another. The two barely tolerating each others presence. Similar dates to the two I had last June and a reminder of how fleeting a visit Cuckoos pay during the British summer. Their time in the UK must be the shortest of any breeding, summer migrant. They literally drop off the kids and run…


Pleased with that little seasonal interlude and hopes fading of finding the Serin seen at Hodcombe the previous day I was about to leave. As I neared the cattle trough a high pitched, wheezy call coming from the elders caught my attention. I could just make out the stubby features of a female Serin which quickly departed west. In an effort to re-find it I came across a male in full song along the roadside opposite Hodcombe sounding like a pocket sized Corn Bunting. Bingo! The first Serin I have seen at Beachy Head and my first in the UK for absolutely ages, perhaps two decades. These will be part of the family group (consisting of 2 adults and a juvenile) seen by RC in his garden at Hodcombe on the 16th. It’s a logical deduction these birds have bred locally to Beachy Head.


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