20.4.19 Spoonbill and Whinchats

The last 48hrs have been glorious, cloudless skies backed with a stiff NE or NNE wind, despite the crystal clear conditions there were migrants to enjoy on land. The sea was pretty much neglected by us. Jamie and I attempted to cover as much of the headland as possible with Harry Witts joining us on the 20th. A big highlight of the last 2 days has been encountering 7 beautiful male Whinchat, a species I see little of in spring.


Whinchat at Crowlink.


Yellow Wagtail entering UK airspace over Crowlink. (photo. JP)

Birds of note on the 19th included 18 Willow Warbler, 12 Common Whitethroat, 2 Whinchat, 2 Redstart, (all encounters of those two species late afternoon suggesting a late arrival of birds?) A late Fieldfare in Belle Tout Wood and most notable being a Spoonbill passing east, out to sea at Cow Gap during the early afternoon.


The first Hobby of the year over Belle Tout.

The 20th produced more new arrivals despite the clear conditions. c12 Willow Warblers, c25 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Tree Pipit, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 2 White Wagtail, 10 Wheatear (including the first females I’ve seen this spring), 5 Whinchat, 1 Hobby, a single Red Kite bearing a wing tag, all three hirundines were seen arriving in off the sea, c20 Swallow, c8 House Martin and c6 Sand Martin.


Female Wheatear, Crowlink.


Wing tagged Red Kite. I eagerly await details of this bird as there is much speculation as to where coastal Red Kites come from. I firmly believe they’re British birds… will I be eating humble pie?!


Red Kite



Beachy Head’s 9th record way, way out at sea from Cow Gap (photo.JP)


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