Yet more strong SW wind, broken cloud cover, a continuation of the recent weather over the last 7/8 days.
Male Wheatear at Birling Gap.
A late afternoon visit to the Belle Tout and Birling area where the highlight was a very dapper male Wheatear. Amazing these birds manage to make landfall in such adverse weather with the previous 48hrs looking like a migrant deflector shield. The bird was feeding within the shelter of the pumping station compound, just a few 100m north of Birling Gap, along with a Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail and 2 Rock Pipit.
The wood was quiet, with c8 Great Tit & 4 Blue Tit, no sign of a Chiffchaff for me yet. 2 Stonechat at Birling and a fly over Linnet were the only other sightings of note.
Above the current and recurring weather situation presenting north bound migrants with a considerable cross and head wind, although todays Wheatear seemed to be part of a small arrival along the south coast. How they do it in such conditions is unbelievable. Conditions seem favourable to the south which may suggest quite a surge once this weather situation breaks down from Monday 18th March onwards.
On Saturday 9th March, after a quick check of Belle Tout where JP & I found it hosting 3 Firecrest, we did a little “off piste” birding where a visit to the Cuckmere Valley provided Glossy Ibis, litoris Rock Pipit 5/6 Mediterranean Gull. On to West Rise where we had a White Wagtail amongst 25 Pied Wagtail, Water Pipit and a 3CY Caspian Gull who’s ring provided some interesting data here.
Caspian Gull X935 at West Rise marsh on the 10th March. (photo JP)