27th August 2017 Pied Flycatchers

Another long day out on foot. A still night followed by a still morning, with what little detectable wind there was swinging SE by mid-morning bringing the wonderful spectacle of sea fog sitting below the headland.

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Sea fog viewed from the top of Beachy Head.


Today’s most enjoyable birds were two showy Pied Flycatcher discovered in the grounds of the pub at 08.30am this morning. The first I have seen this autumn.


Pied Flycatcher literally in the pub car park.


In all we covered the Hollow, tops bushes around the pub, Shooters Bottom, old trapping area & Birling Gap. Returning to raptor watch at the pub shortly after midday with (unfortunately) no repeat of the luck we had yesterday. No large raptors were seen beyond what appeared to be local Common Buzzard, numbering 6/7. I was surprised to again flush a Short-eared Owl from cover in Shooters Bottom as we checked the site again for Wryneck late afternoon. I took this to be one of Friday’s birds but who knows. An interesting collection of waders (which for obvious reasons are scarcities on Beachy Head) a Ringed Plover (heard only), a single Golden Plover flew around the headland calling and 3 Dunlin flew through amongst a pulse of Swallow whilst sky watching. Again all three species of hirundines were on the move, very approximate count of 1800+ birds. There were also c20 Swift seen through out the day.


An appalling but yet unmistakable image of an early, lone Golden Plover circling Beachy this morning.

Other sightings included; c30 Blackcap, c60 Common Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler,3 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 23 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Wheatear, 4 Whinchat, 11 Common Redstart, 1 Goldcrest, 32 Yellow Wagtail, 12 Tree Pipit.


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