I spent a few hours between 06.30 and 09.00 in the area between the Pub and the old trapping area. The wind was brisk, strengthening from the west but unlike the night before, clear skies had dropped more Willow Warbler in.
Above the “Old trapping area” so called as there used to be ringing at several sites on Beachy Head. Now days it’s limited to the Hollow on the eastern side of the headland. A modest looking collection of wind blown Hawthorns that have hosted a number of great birds over the years.
The mornings birds were standard mid-August fare with the roll call including 1 Tree Pipit over, c40 Willow Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 20 Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler. A passage of around 110+ Swallow went west accompanied by 2/3 Sand Martin. It seems to be a good autumn for Willow Warblers (in the 3 autumns I’ve been here). Nothing compared to historical numbers but then again where is. Grasshopper Warbler seem noticeably absent, having not seen one since the first put in an appearance last month. Cuckoo on the other hand have been pleasingly numerous with both an adult and juvenile seen this week, bringing the collective total to 10 individuals seen this autumn.
10 Painted Lady were floating about mainly in the sheltered areas, a marked increase in numbers this morning.
Another of this mornings Willow’s feeding low to the ground.
The 11th August was fairly poor for migrant numbers, that also coincided with a cloudy night. Seems clear skies are actually very good here for dropping birds in. The 10th however saw a Wood Warbler (JC) spend a few minutes in the old trapping area and whilst looking for that I had a brief encounter with my first Redstart of the autumn.