A very light Sw and a warm sunny day. Another good day for Chiffchaff numbers, A single Willow ,1 CommonRedstart, 2 Blackred, 1 Treepipit over East, a few YellowWags , 4 Whinchat, Reed bunting, 2 Wheatear and the highlight was 6 Treesparrow, (2 over west at the lighthouse and 4 together dropped into bushes on lighthouse down 30 mins later)
A Greensandpiper (2nd of the autumn) flew over west y’day morning and was the only thing of note for me.
I am away with work for the next 12 days and following that I will be on St Agnes , Scilly for the following 3.5 weeks so no birding here till 26th Oct… Bit worried about what i’ll miss!
Light Easterlies, a clear blue sky first thing and a similar situation to yesterday although less birds. A lone Crossbill (my first since June) flew west over Foxhill down calling as did 2 GreyWagtails and 3 Wheatears were present in the harbour field. The bushes in Langdon Hole were fairly empty beyond a few LesserWhitethroat and Chiffies and today was my first day since early August not seeing a Whinchat. A lunch time skywatch produced 3 GoldenPlovers, (2 landed in the ‘castle field’ and a single flew right over my head at Reach road.)
A Light WNW wind and a sunny start to the day, a noticeable increase in Chiffchaff with over 25 birds seen and only 1 WillowWarbler noted, A single CommonRedstart, 6 juv BlackRedstart, 3 GreyWagtail, 4 Sparrowhawk, c100 Swallow and 25 HouseMartins West along with around 30 MeadowPipits. 5 Whinchats were still around the farm and I counted 5 Wheatear and 15 Yellowwags across the patch. A call from Nigel J letting me know that a Whitestork was heading my way was appreciated although it seems the bird diverted west away from me. Later it seems the entire flock of Knepp birds decided to get up and fly around the Dungeness area, I was in place waiting for them to fly over but they never came.
This smart adult Hobby was my bird of the day, It had 3 unsuccessful attempts at the goldfinch flock on Foxhill down before continuing East in the afternoon light.
Despite some switches in the wind over the past few days the numbers of migrants have fallen considerably on the headland, probably been abit too dry and clear at night. A notable clear out on the night of the 7th, the following day all that remained was a single CommonRedstart and single PiedFlycatcher at the top of the Valley.
Having said this things like Chiffchaff have begun to grow in numbers, outnumbering Willows this am. GreyWagtails have been notable migrants most days this month, as have Sparrowhawks and Ive also had a singles and a group of 3 Snipe fly east yesterday.
Occasionally a group of Housemartins or Swallows will go through and this morning there were 2 Hobbys hunting near fan bay, the only other thing of note for me were 2 Willowwarblers, 10 Yellowwagtail west and 4 Whinchat. Mark ringed a Grasshopperwarbler on the farm. Lesser and CommonWhitethroats are still the most numerous warblers I think.
Warm, light Easterly wind and bright sunshine today. A similar set of birds to the past week including 3 CommonRedstart, 3 BlackRedstart, 5 Willow, Single Reed and Sedge, Still good numbers of both Whitethroats, 30+ YellowWagtails, 6 Whinchats. Both Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, a Treepipit on the deck was entertaining in the grass and bushes around the ‘pony Corrall’ at Langdon. Still no Wryneck!
From about 11.30 onwards I could see large numbers of small gulls feeding over the Western end of the patch,On approaching I noticed they were mainly MediterraneanGulls , with some BlackHeaded too and perhaps 600-800 in number at times, all feeding on flying red ants. Quite the spectacle. The harbour was also rammed with Medgulls this evening as we went for our swim.
High pressure and a cloudless sky produced many HoneyBuzzard sightings across the South East today, 11.50 am and minutes after receiving a text from Laurence P at Beachy Head declaring his finding of a nice male, I too was looking at a HB cruising East over the Castle, continuing over the Radar Station and lost to sight . My third of the year.
Simon P tweeted a HB flying North over the Lighthouse 10 mins before my sighting 4km to the west, likely the same bird i guess.
I visited the headland 3 times today, early am, mid morning and early evening and counted 3 CommonRedstart, 4 Willows, A single PiedFly, plus 2 Hobbys and a few Swift among c300 Swallows East. A Greensandpiper (patch tick!)flew over calling first thing and there are many Yellowwags in with the cattle still.Glad to have the sun back.
The wind remains fairly strong and from the North east. Unbelievably there have been 5 Wrynecks (or up to 5 different birds) between South foreland valley and Langdon hole in the past week, none of which have I found or seen even!
Nevertheless, Ive been seeing migrants out and about each morning with fairly stable numbers although this morning seemed abit birdier with the first bird I put my bins on being a juv BlackRedstart on the cliff above my house as I walked up.
Today’s totals for me – Up to 4 PiedFlycatchers between Langdon and the valley, (2 at each end), Spotfly, GrasshopperWarbler (my first and only of the autumn!), 2 TreePipit East, 6 YellowWag, 4 CommonRedstart, 2 BlackRed, 5 Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, only 3 Willowwarblers, many lesser and c’monwhitethroat, GreyPartridge, 1cy YLG east.
The above Gropper was flushed from grass on the farm today and waited patiently while I watched it. as I moved away it went back to the same spot, nice birds and not often I get to look at them.
Steve C & Julian R were out and about and could add Firecrest and GardenWarbler to the tally, as was Colin J who had Pied and spotflycatchers at Top wood.
I spent a couple hours skywatching y’day and had Hobby and 2 Swift plus Local Buzzards but nothing else. Waiting for the promising weather of next week before it goes SW…
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, Ringedplover, Dunlin and GoldenPlover were all heard and or seen flying over the headland.
Since then too an arrival of Whinchats has been noted, A single SpottedFlycatcher 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 CommonRedstarts (including the below bird just near my house) most visits Yellowwagtails are moving in all directions in small groups and WillowWarbler numbers seem pretty high; 15 – 20 ish.
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.
Rich had seen a PiedFlycatcher, Treepipit 6 Whinchats et al and we bumped into two PiedFlys during our walk together, likely the same plus another.
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 lesserWhitethroats, singles of Reed, sedge and Gardenwarblers also noted.
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.
Whilst we were swooning over it gracefully gliding back and forth Rich Bonser was on the patch bush bashing and turned up a showy Melodiouswarbler!Just beneath the radar station.
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 Piedflycatcher, a Spottedflycatcher and good numbers of common warblers.
In the days preceding Ive had smaller numbers of Willowwabrlers and the same 2 CommonRedstarts up on foxhill down, 2 Wheatear and up to 8 BlackRedstart (all juvs)
Well done Rich, hopefully ill catch up with the Melodious tomorrow.
The South westerly airflow continues and passerine migration seems pretty slow. 6 Willow, a Gardenwarbler and increasing numbers of juv BlackRedstart (7ish) where all to remark at in the bushes up top first thing.
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 CaspianGull and 2 juv Yellowleggedgulls.
Ive been hoping to see CaspianGull 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.
As I type this a Greatgreenbushcricket can be heard stridulating from my garden!