25th July 2017 Mucho Swifts

A  cloudy morning, quick to clear in a freshening north wind.

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Many Swift, somewhere in the region of c800 were present first thing, mainly feeding below the cliff tops, in the lee of the wind, at the very highest point on the headland. Numbers seemed to drop off as the weather cleared.

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There were around 10 Sand Martin interspersed amongst the Swift.

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Some of this mornings Swift below the cliff tops.

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Willow Warbler. This one along the path north & opposite Shooters.

I only saw a small number of Willow Warbler (8) along with 2 Sedge Warbler and a rather shy Redstart which was my first of the south bound season. Still no Grasshopper Warbler or Nightingale for me yet, both of which usually start passing through at this time. Grasshopper Warblers certainly have with 4 being trapped and ringed in the Hollow on the 23rd.

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Male Common Redstart, lurking near the pub garden.

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Juvenile Cuckoo in Shooters Bottom, late evening on the 23rd.

Cuckoo don’t breed on Beachy Head so all birds will be from elsewhere. Most adults now having departed this may (hopefully) be the first of a few juveniles this autumn. This particularly bird was found running around plucking Cinnabar caterpillars from ragwort. Odd to think this individual would have recently murdered it’s step-siblings a few weeks back.

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