Another visit down south to see m’old mate Laurence Pitcher on Beachy Head was just the spring birdy injection I needed! We did the whole site on foot and tallied up 36km back and fourth over the 2 days.
On the Sunday we counted around 25 Willow Warblers (below), 7 Wheatears, 3 Common Redstarts, a Yellow Wagtail and single siskin over, a Black Redstart (above)…
… as well as many Black caps and Chiffies, a Lesser White throat and a few Common White throats (below). A firecrest was in the pines on Birling lane and over at West rise a drake Garganey and a couple of Water pipits were seen as well as fairly good numbers of all 3 Hirundines hawking insects over the water.
The highlight of the day was a female Pied Flycatcher that Laurence picked up in a dense and sheltered group trees at Went Hill. We spent a good while watching and photographing this welcome little beauty.
A female Merlin (below) was seen on both days.
The Monday saw winds turning more northerly and similar numbers of birds were counted, another 7/8 Wheatear, a Redstart etc , A white Wag (below) was hanging around the light house at Belle Tout…
… The highlight of today was an adult male Hen Harrier (below) that I picked up thermaling over the headland. It gained height and headed north, an apparently scarce passage migrant and a good bird for the area.
Other than 20 or so Yellow Wags in off that flew over our heads that was about it for migrants, I managed a some shots of a local Corn bunting singing from the side of the road in nice light. Great birds and other than my visits down here I don’t see them this well very often.
We checked west rise again on the way to the train station and saw the long staying Long Tailed Duck (below), the drake Garganey as well as the many Hirundines again.
Great couple of days, Cheers Laurence.