Obviously this is going to be a difficult period for so many in so many ways. From a birding perspective it will certainly curtail the spring for me. However I am fortunate enough to live within walking distance of my local patch, Beachy Head. When possible, I will make regular visits but at all times will conduct my activities within government guidelines regarding exercise and social distancing.
Looking east from Belle Tout Lighthouse on Friday 27th on another oddly serene morning.
The weeks weather was dominated by clear skies day and night accompanied by a very strong E or NNE wind. There weren’t a huge number of passerine migrants seen and the stand out highlight being a party of 4 Spoonbill on the 25 March. They were tracked along the East Sussex coast prior to and after their appearance at Beachy Head. In regard to the more expect and familiar birds, I’ve enjoyed the return of Linnet to the headland, the gaudy males joyous song really lifts the spirits.
Spoonbill circling out over the sea at Birling where I lost them for a while somehow!
… then almost passing unnoticed to the east.
The annual spring passage of Red Kite also got underway with a minimum of 7 seen. Small single digit counts of Firecrest and Chiffchaff were seen most mornings, along with single Blackcaps on two occasions. There was max count of 4 Black Redstart around Birling Gap on the 25th. A total of 4 White Wagtail were seen.
The presence of Red Kite here are almost exclusively a feature of spring. This year their passage embodies something reassuringly ordered & timeless against the adverse chaos we are all living in.
Black Redstart at Birling Gap.
Some White Wagtail getting under hoof near Hodcomb.
And this rather tired one in Shooters