22.10.19 Late migrants in the sun

A sublime day, virtually no perceptible wind, cloudless from dawn until dusk. Overall there was plenty to look at but the day lacked any real quality.  Out all day visiting the Radio mast, Pub, Old trapping area, Shooters Bottom, Birling Gap, Belle Tout area, Cornish Farm and Long Down.


Dartford Warbler in Shooters.

There was noticeable overhead passage at daybreak, training the optics to the skies I could see (and hear) very high flying Meadow Pipit and Chaffinch heading south east, which I guess underlined the fact it was a great night for migration, with birds making good unfettered passage but in turn that often makes for a predictable day for birdwatchers!

Overhead movement head ceased by 9am, again no specific counts but along with the aforementioned were c8 Reed Bunting, c10 Siskin, c4 Brambling, 1 Redpoll, c35 Skylark, c20 Alba Wagtail, a single Yellowhammer, c80 Swallow (throughout the day) c30 House Martin.

On the ground, c40 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Dartford Warbler, the “blythi type” Lesser Whitethroat still on Long Down, 2 Firecrest (BT Wood), c45 Goldcrest, c35 Blue Tit, 1 Coal Tit (in BT Wood race unknown), c18 Long tailed Tit, c30 Great Tit, 1 Black Redstart pub, c18 Stonechat, 1 Whinchat, c20 Song Thrush, c20 Blackbird, c3 Ring Ouzel, 1 Merlin, 3 Kestrel, 3 Sparrowhawk.


Dreadful photo of the “Siberian” blythi Lesser Whitethroat. In regard to Siberian Lesser Whitethroat, the most recent BBRC report says the following “Genetic analysis has begun to reveal more about the birds reaching Britain. This has confirmed the Siberian subspecies S. c. blythi to be a regular scarce migrant in mid to late autumn, mainly to the east coast, and occasionally in winter too”. It goes on to say “However the less frequent appearance of small, sandy-coloured birds has long suggested the S. c. halimodendri from the deserts of central Asia occurs here too”


Ring Ouzel in Shooters, taken at dusk at a ridiculous ISO.


A late Whinchat along Cornish Farm track.



3 guys arrived in a BMW and immediately jumped off the highest most sheer face of the cliff, quite something to watch.








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