Saturday, 12 March 2016

12th March 2016 Beachy NE1 7.30am - 7.50am

We drove through thick fog for it to be clear at East Dean where there was a thick ground frost under the clear skies. A 20 minute sea-watch produced just a single Great Crested Grebe and 2 Carrion Crows arriving in off the sea so we set off up the lane in now glorious sunshine. A Firecrest in the pines was a welcome sign of Spring. A Collared Dove flew up the lane to land on one of the bungalows. A male Pied Wagtail was on another rooftop but was soon eclipsed by a smart White Wagtail on the roof of the old Hotel. It was good to see Ron Knight there with whom we spent the remainder of the morning. Before leaving the car park another Collared Dove was seen to arrive in off the sea and fly up the lane. In the hope of a Wheatear we walked the Belle Tout loop but in the event couldn't even find a Chiffchaff although another alba Wagtail flew north and we managed a double-figure count of Stonechats. Back at Birling it was still hazy out to sea and although the promised southeasterly hadn't materialised a party of 6 Mediterranean Gulls flew east. We then tried the Old Trapping Area, the Hotel Garden and Chat Vale but little was in evidence until a Reed Bunting dropped in just as we were about to leave.   
Great Crested Grebe 1 E
Kestrel 1
Common Gull c.50
Mediterranean Gull 6E
Collared Dove 2
Pied Wagtail 1 male
White Wagtail 1
Stonechat 13
Firecrest 1
Reed Bunting 1
Carrion Crow 2 in off

 White Wagtail at Birling Gap

Reed Bunting at Chat Vale (JFC)