Friday, 13 April 2001

13th April 2001 : Beachy Head 7.30am - 1.15pm. Sunny with cold northerly breeze

Gannet c.10E
Brent Goose 18E
Merganser 5E
Peregrine 2
Grey Partridge 2 roadside Ditchling Beacon
Iceland Gull 1 faded (appeared largely wholly white) 1st winter/summer (based on apparent all- black bill seemingly eliminating a faded 2nd winter). Noticeably smaller (c.20%) than accompanying 1st winter Great Black-backed Gull which was harrying the Iceland. Iceland appeared stiff-winged, quite bulky and large-billed (so recalled a Glaucous in many ways) but bill appeared wholly black through bins (feel sure pale-pink basal two-thirds of bill so typical of Glaucous would have been easily discernible at the range cf. Dungeness earlier in year). Primaries, secondaries and tail appeared almost bleached white. A few irregular pale brown markings across the coverts. Flew East at c.100m range roughly at eye-level at c.8.30am. First seen from behind the Birling Gap Hotel. Ran to cliff edge to see it disappearing east still flying alongside GBbG. Only in view for a couple of minutes at most. Concentrated on bill so head and underparts not noted. Later told of an Iceland Gull having been reported off Seaford Head just prior to bird past Birling. Presumably same individual but no idea of age/appearance of Seaford bird. 2nd winter Glaucous reported off Newhaven!
Rock Pipit 1
Meadow Pipit c.12
Pied/White Wagtail h
Redstart 1 male in bushes east of Belle Toute
Wheatear 3
Whitethroat 1 just west of Belle Toute feeding on ground
Sedge Warbler h singing in isolated thicket to west of Belle Toute
Willow Warbler c.20 (including very greyish-white individual (N & NW Europe ?) at Birling.
Chiffchaff c.5
Pied Flycatcher 1 male Birling. Bird tired and kept closing its eyes whilst resting motionless. At one point flew to the ground very close to me and took an orange millipede which it quickly swallowed. Possibly a 1st summer male as had brownish cast to primaries and secondaries and greyish tone to mantle (giving shawled effect) contrasting with black crown and nape. Small white patches above base of bill. Superb.
Corn Bunting 1