Saturday, 28 August 2004

28th August 2004 Beachy 6.00 – 2.00pm. Overcast then sunny before clouding over. W2

Fulmar c.5
Marsh Harrier 1 juv/fem Appeared small in comparison with the Honey Buzzard. Very dark brown underwings and underparts contrasting with pale cap. Seen above ridge of Hollow.
Honey Buzzard 1 Whilst we were walking the path into the bowl of the hollow just west of the ringing hut I noticed a large raptor purposefully flying south with purposeful deep wingbeats covering a fair distance very quickly over the Hollow at 10.45am. On seeing it through binoculars I drew the others attention to it by calling it as a Buzzard sp. On seeing the combination of its small but protruding head, appearing long-necked, and long narrow tail that appeared longer than the width of the wings, I said I felt sure it was a Honey Buzzard. As we discussed it whilst watching it continuing on its way we noted the wings had the carpals of forewing held well forward whereas trailing edge was straight. It was clearly a medium morph appearing neither particularly pale or dark. Its underwings were heavily backlit against the high white cloud so the only features we were able to see were obvious black oval carpal patches and a broad dark trailing edge to the underwings. It appeared considerably larger than a nearby Marsh Harrier seen immediately the Honey Buzzard had disappeared from view.
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 3
Peregrine 1 juv.
Sandwich Tern 5
Wood Pigeon c.25
Swift 11
Sand Martin 50
Swallow 75
House Martin 1
Meadow Pipit c.15
Tree Pipit 1h
Yellow Wagtail 16
Redstart 11 including a male showing a whitish patch on the secondaries recalling samamisicus. The same individual had an obvious white band across the upper breast forming a white border below the black throat.
Wheatear 20
Whinchat 3
Blackcap 7
Lesser Whitethroat 4
Whitethroat 30
Grasshopper Warbler 2
Willow Warbler 37
Chiffchaff 2 (first Autumn migrant Chiffs)
Spotted Flycatcher 16