The morning was slightly overcast but very still. In contrast to the previous 3/4 days which had been clear with a moderate to brisk E or ENE wind.
For me personally the morning was relatively sedate. My first Marsh Harrier of the autumn came in the shape of a juvenile which headed out to sea over Shooters bottom. 2 Wheatear were on the roof of the pub. Numbers of Yellow Wagtail have been increasing throughout the week with 20 passing over head this morning. The passage of Tree Pipit has also picked up with 3 on the 17th. I think Willow Warblers have peaked, I only saw c18 first thing with another c20 during visits later in the day. In contrast Whitethroats were numerous with a combined total at various sites exceeding 60. I have only encounter small, single figure numbers of Reed and Garden Warblers along with similarly low counts of Lesser Whitethroat. A Wryneck was discovered in Shooters midmorning which I caught up with at about 2pm. With a sprinkling of eastern drift migrants along the east coast it was nice to see Beachy Head get something!
Whilst looking for the Wryneck some 400 hirundines gathered above the headland (70% Swallow 30% Sand Martin) with around 20 Swift accompanying them. I also encountered my first Clouded Yellow’s of the year with 4 seen in the warm, humid sunshine. 3 Whinchat were along the Cornish Farm track at dusk. 4 Turnstone high over on the 15th were note worthy as seeing waders actually on or over the headland is quite hard.