The past 4 days have been fairly similar to one another, with the exception of the 23rd where some strong NE winds heeded some wader movement it seems – Greenshank, Ringed plover, Dunlin and Golden Plover were all heard and or seen flying over the headland.

Spotted Fly

Since then too an arrival of Whinchats has been noted, A single Spotted Flycatcher has been in a similar place near the radar station for a couple of visits, One or two Wheatears around, the juvenile Black Redstart party of 8 has been frequenting the lower cliff path at Langdon, Im bumping into 2/3 Common Redstarts (including the below bird just near my house) most visits Yellow wagtails are moving in all directions in small groups and Willow Warbler numbers seem pretty high; 15 – 20 ish.

juv Black Redstart
Common Redstart
Yellow Wagtail

Today I joined Rich B around lunch time, on my way up the cliff path I had a Cuckoo fly west, heading into cover near the castle.

Cuckoo west

Rich had seen a Pied Flycatcher, Tree pipit 6 Whinchats et al and we bumped into two Pied Flys during our walk together, likely the same plus another.

Pied Flycatcher

A Wryneck was seen in Fan bay on the 25th, I regretfully chose the farm over fan bay that morning!

Good numbers of common and lesser Whitethroats, singles of Reed, sedge and Garden warblers also noted.

22/08/21 Melodious Warbler

Last night LP and I drove up to Bempton cliffs RSPB, slept in the car park and were watching the Black-Browed Albatross after an hour or so of fog first thing. It was incredible, a once in a lifetime experience seeing it fly about the cliffs and we both throughly enjoyed it.

Black-Browed Albatross

Whilst we were swooning over it gracefully gliding back and forth Rich Bonser was on the patch bush bashing and turned up a showy Melodious warbler!Just beneath the radar station.

Melodious warbler (photo Rich B)

It seems to have pleased the crowds and a good few people saw it, unfortunately I was a little late returning from Yorkshire and got caught in a rain shower whilst looking for it so gave up. The place was crawling with birds though, the best of which were 2 Pied flycatcher, a Spotted flycatcher and good numbers of common warblers.

Pied Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher

In the days preceding Ive had smaller numbers of Willow wabrlers and the same 2 Common Redstarts up on foxhill down, 2 Wheatear and up to 8 Black Redstart (all juvs)

Common Redstart
Willow Warbler

Well done Rich, hopefully ill catch up with the Melodious tomorrow.

19/08/21 Juvenile Caspian Gull

The South westerly airflow continues and passerine migration seems pretty slow. 6 Willow, a Garden warbler and increasing numbers of juv Black Redstart (7ish) where all to remark at in the bushes up top first thing.

Garden Warbler

Numbers of Gulls have been moving westward along the cliff tops, some in long lines others in small groups but pretty consistently throughout the mornings. Today the noticeable number of Lesser black backs were punctuated by a large male juvenile Caspian Gull and 2 juv Yellow legged gulls.

1cy Caspian Gull

1cy Caspian Gull

Ive been hoping to see Caspian Gull in this scenario this month so there’s a target hit! The first calendar year YLG below is beginning to get that tawny look many do mid august, lots of scapulars replaced.

1cy Yellow-legged Gull
Looking east from the undercliff Langdon hole.

As I type this a Great green bush cricket can be heard stridulating from my garden!


SSW winds at a just about bearable strength this morning and a walk around the entirety of the patch in the company of old friend Laurence P .

Willow warbler

c18 Willow Warbler were counted across the whole site as were 4 Wheatear, 5 Yellow wagtail, a juv Black Redstart, 2 possibly 3 Spotted Flycatchers in the valley were my first of the autumn, as was a Coal tit, c50 Swallows west, a much smaller number of House martin and Swift too in the same direction. Local Bullfinches were active and visable and a Nightingale (presumably different to friday’s bird) was heard croaking and whistling from the bomb crater on Foxhill down where we spent an hour or so looking for migrant Raptors in vain. Decent numbers of Adult and juvenile Corn buntings are to be seen currently in the un-harvested barley fields around reach road. Common and Lesser Whitethroat also well represented and I don’t really think local breeders have left/started moving yet, still some very scruffy adults about.

Spotted Flycatcher

Also noted were singles of Hummingbird Hawk Moth and Jersey Tiger.

Corn Bunting

Calais Honey Buzzards

A brief but relevant interlude; on the 11th of August I arrived at calais after a week ‘working’ in Marseille (great birds here of course, lots of Western sub alps, Bonnellis warblers, Alpine and Pallid swifts… all that stuff, lovely). I wanted to spend some time birding just other side of the channel before my return.

ForĂȘt de Guines was the chosen site, recommended to me by Martin Casemore as a good site for Honey Buzzard. I initially intended to do some headland birding too but in the end I settled for just watching the Honey B’s from a vantage point in the woods.

Its hard to say how many individuals I saw but a conservative estimate would be 8 in the woods itself and during the quiet period of the day, where none of the local birds were seen above the woods, I picked up 6 HBs moving together from far to the north to far the the west , very high up they looked like they were migrating.

Also during this time I had a few Hawfinch fly over, 2 Marsh harrier, a juv Marsh warbler in the willow herb infested clearing I stood in plus Short toed treecreeper, Marsh tits etc etc.

The local HBs re surfaced right on cue at 2.30 and there was much wing clapping and calling, Great birds and the mad thing is that on a clear day you can see this woodland from the patch. I love the continent.


Back home after over a week away working in the south of France, a slightly blustery SW met me as I walked up the cliff but there were some birds to look at, in the western end of the patch at least.

A Cuckoo, 3 Redstart and 14 Willow warblers were in bushes between the top of the cliff path and the radar station. A Nighingale flew from bush to bush in Langdon hole itself, It showed for a second and proceeded to croak and whislte for a while.

c60 Swallow and a small flock of sand martins were also noted. Good to be back