31st August 2017

Yesterdays persistent rain had cleared over night, the day dawning mostly bright with only a suggestion of a westerly breeze, which had strengthened by mid morning as a band of rain moved in from the SW.


Short eared Owl along the strip between the S bends and Shooters. In the brief few years I have been watching Beachy Head I’ve not noticed migrants linger like this (assuming these recent sightings relate to the arrival on the 25th of two birds), I wonder if there is a bounty of rodents on the headland at the moment.

As predicted in a conversation with Matt Eade the night before a fine morning (rain abating early the previous evening with clear spells overnight), following a foul day would at the very least bring some new arrivals and that seemed to bare out. Generally there was plenty to look at although all the familiar faces one expects this time of year.

I had my highest count of Grasshopper Warbler so far this autumn and Chiffchaff numbers have been slowly increasing over the last 7 days. In general overhead passage was sluggish, although I felt Meadow Pipit passage was perceptible for the first time this autumn but very low in numbers. Hirundines only number c50 for me this morning, very low numbers indeed. My first morning without a Swift for a long while. There was a lively feeding flock of Spotted Flycatcher and phyllosc. in the wood at Belle Tout, but the cover there made counting accurately hard.




Male Common Redstart in the bushes between pub and OTA.

Todays note worthy totals; 4 Whinchat, 5 Redstart, 5 Robin, 6 Wheatear, 7 Spotted Flycatcher, c12 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Alba Wagtail (wagtail & Pipit over & mostly west), 4 Grasshopper Warbler, c55 Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 9 Chiffchaff, 17 Willow Warbler, 12 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Short eared Owl which I take to bird one of the lingering birds first seen on the 25th August. 1 Sparrowhawk was noted. Some impressive dog-fighting going on between a pair of Peregrine and Raven near the pub.


Willow Warbler in Elders at the cliff edge near the old trapping area.


Sparrowhawk in stealth mode at Shooters Bottom, exclusively a migrant at Beachy Head.


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