For the past few years I have made sure Im free for the bank holiday in August, mainly to see common migrants in decent numbers with fingers crossed for something scarcer down at Beachy Head.
The bird of the trip was an Ortolan Bunting, found early on by Kris Gillam. We just about got onto it before it flew off east calling.
My personal Highlight however were 4 Honey Buzzards (three together on in the early part of the weekend and then another lone Male bird the following day) that Laurence and I picked up between us over the headland.
we’ve seen HBs before on these dates at Beachy Head but to get 4 in 24 hrs was great. An Osprey headed east along the coast on the Saturday about midday and a Hobby was seen once or twice probably attracted by the 1000s of Swallows that lingered around the headland and seemed to thin out towards sunday.
Common migrants were present in good numbers rough totals are as follows for the two days: 23 Wheatear, 15 Whinchat, 15 Redstart, 10 Pied Flycatcher, 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 10 Robin, c50 Willow Warbler, c65 Whitethroat, 10 Lesser Whitethroat, 25 Blackcap, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, c70+ Yellow Wagtail, 35 Tree Pipit,
We spent saturday evening’s sunset on the headland hoping to glance a Nightjar in the gloam. LP picked one up from the car whilst driving home and we saw it a couple of times hunting around the lights of the pub.
Early Sunday morning and we heard of new of a Tawny pipit over west just a mile or two down the coast, abit of a blow as we were totally primed to find one, next time.
Sometimes looking at the size of the place I’m amazed that anything is found at all, there is so much cover and potential, I wish I could be there more.