South coast Bank Holiday get away.


Saturday and Sunday were spent birding Beachy Head with Laurence P. The main highlights were the Melodious Warbler he’d found a few days previous, a Turtle Dove that we flushed from the old trapping area (both of these went un-photographed by me) and a Wood Warbler, only seen by Bob the Ringer. There was a good number of migrants over the two days:


…18 Common Redstart, 1 Black Redstart, c50 Wheatear, 7 Whinchat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher…


…c50 Willow Warbler, c40 Common Whitethroat, c15 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, c6 Reed Warbler…


… c10 Blackcaps, 2 Tree Pipit, c100 Yellow Wagtail, c50 Barn Swallow, 3 Sand Martin, 1 Swift, 1 Merlin, 6 Sparrowhawk, c12 Common Buzzard,  Short eared Owl


Bank holiday monday morning was spent with Rich B down at the White Cliffs/ Langdon Hole area near Dover. The site is above the port there and is as good a headland as any in my mind. Rich mentioned the attraction from the harbour lights and despite it not being totally heaving with migrants a decent total was achieved in our visit. I think were planning to put some more hours in there over autumn.


Whinchat, Black Redstart, Spotted Fly, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, 2 Garden Warblers, 3 Reed Warblers, 30 Lesser Whitethroats, 15 Whitethroats & 5 Willow Warblers.


Mid morning Rich and I headed to Dungeness where a juvenile Caspian Gull at the fishing boats had been reported by David Walker .  A few fellow ‘gull connesuerrs’ have commented on its uglyness and perhaps its from somehwere west of the Polish/German border, but it was a nice bird to watch and tonally very Caspian. There seem to be a few more juv Casps turning up in the south now so roll on September (where were likely to have our first 1cys on the Thames)




I completely forgot to mention the American Black tern, We had a look at that, it was great.




Romania Part 2 – Other bits

A belated post about the other birds I saw during my recent ‘non birding’ holiday to Romania.  When I wasn’t looking at Juvenile Caspian Gulls, my early mornings were spent wandering around a body of freshwater that I just found on Google Maps. Conclusion: Romania is stacked full of birds! I had flocks of Whiskered TernsPygmy CormorantsPurple HeronsLittle Bitterns and Glossy Ibises, plus Golden OriolesTurtle Doves, large numbers of dombrowski  (and a few feldegg) Yellow Wagtails, Beeeaters and one or two Redrumped Swallows.





The litter-strewn farmland surrounding our accommodation was also excellent for birding and became my local patch for the week. Isabelline Wheatears, Tawny Pipits, Redbacked and Lesser Grey ShrikeBlackheaded Buntings, many Crested and a single Greater Shorttoed Lark, more Golden Orioles in the woodland where I also had MiddleSpotted Woodpecker and the ‘croak’ and ‘whistle’ calls of Thrush Nightingales were often heard.







Much of the rest of my time was spent doing actual holiday stuff as well as looking at gulls, mentioned in the previous post.  Our final day was spent at the legendary Vadu. The drive down was continually interrupted by me pulling over to look at birds: Blackeared WheatearBlackheaded Wagtails and 18 Redfooted Falcons chasing insects kicked up in the wake of a farmer’s tractor were among the highlights, while the non-birding members of our party (i.e. everyone but me) were entertained by the frequent roadside Bee-eaters and Rollers.







The below Short Toed Eagle was a consalation prize along with a pair of Long-Legged Buzzards at a site which I was sure was the Pied Wheatear site, but I’d buggered up the map and sent us to the wrong place, next time…



Ive missed off a few things through lazyness but as ‘not a birding holidays’ go it was pretty good. Thanks to a group of my best friends for your patience xxx