Sunday, 27 April 2003

27th April 2003 South Landing, Flamborough Head, Yorkshire 1.00pm – 5.00pm. Bempton Cliffs RSPB 5.15pm – 6.00pm. Sunny and calm in the ravine at South Landing with odd shower

Eider 1 female
Hobby 1 Flamborough
Grey Partridge 2 near Goole
Puffin c.8 Bempton
Guillemot c.50 Bempton
Razorbill c.10 Bempton
Long-eared Owl 1 Bempton. A sandy individual lacking the rusty-buff facial discs. Long ears had white outer webs. Breast streaking heaviest on upper breast.
Swallow c.5
House Martin c.2
Blackcap c.3
Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler 1
TAIGA FLYCATCHER 1 male ex. First-summer based on pale bar across the greater coverts. Chin pale whitish, throat orange, grey breast band forming streaks onto lower breast. White belly and undertail coverts. Crown slightly rufous-brown. White eye-ring most noticeable below eye though completely absent at certain angles. Greyish ear coverts and ‘shawl effect’. Upperparts grey sometimes with a brownish tinge. Tertials with pale fringes. Black uppertail coverts darker than black center to tail and broad terminal band. All black bill and black legs and feet. Spent a considerable time on moss-covered ground. Excellent.
Tree Sparrow c.5 Bempton
Yellowhammer 1 Flamborough

Male Taiga Flycatcher at Flamborough (Pete Wragg)

Saturday, 26 April 2003

26th April 2003 Beachy 5.45am – 1.00pm. Calm and overcast becoming brighter

Gannet c.30E
Grey Heron 1
Canada Goose 2
Scoter c.10E
Merganser 1E
Kestrel 1
Peregrine 2
Whimbrel c.20E
Bonxie 1E
Arctic Skua 2E
Sandwich Tern c.5E
Commic Tern 1E
Turtle Dove 1
Swift 1
Swallow c.10
Rock Pipit 1
Pied Wagtail 1
Yellow Wagtail 1
Nightingale 1h
Black Redstart 1
Stonechat c.5
Garden Warbler 2
Blackcap c.3h
Lesser Whitethroat c.4
Whitethroat c.25
Sedge Warbler 1
Willow Warbler c.5
Chiffchaff h
Long-tailed Tit 1
Chaffinch c.10
Linnet c.20
Goldfinch c.10
Corn Bunting 1

Wednesday, 23 April 2003

Monday, 21 April 2003

21st April 2003 Beachy 6.00am – 3.15pm. Light SE becoming SW. Warm and sunny

Red-throated Diver c.6E
Black-throated Diver 1E distant bird but white on scapulars visible – however, looked large.
Fulmar c.15
Manx Shearwater 1E
Gannet c.75E
Canada Goose 2 flew in off
Brent Geese c.100E
Shelduck 3E
Gadwall 1E
Eider c.25E
Scoter c.1000E
Velvet Scoter c.35E
Merganser c.8E
Kestrel c.2
Peregrine 3 vocalising in air together over Birling
Pheasant c.3
Oystercatcher h
Curlew 1E
Whimbrel 2E
Bonxie c.6E
Pomarine Skua 14E all close with pale and dark morphs seen. Excellent.
Arctic Skua c.30E
Black-headed Gull c.20E
Common Gull c.20E
Mediterranean Gull 5E (4 adults and 1 1st-w)
Little Gull 150E (counted) mainly adults with odd 1st-w and 2nd-w
Little Tern c.5E
Sandwich Tern c.350E
Commic Tern c.200E
Black Tern 2E
Auk sp. c.15
Wryneck 1 bottom of lane at Birling – different bird to 18/4 – throat paler-yellow with fine barring
Skylark c.8
Sand Martin 1
Swallow c.10
Pied Wagtail c.3
Yellow Wagtail 1
Redstart 1 male
Wheatear 3
Stonechat c.4
Mistle Thrush 1 Cow Gap, 1 Burgess Hill
Blackcap 1 + 2h
Willow Warbler 1h
Chiffchaff c.3h
Linnet c.20
Goldfinch c.4

Saturday, 19 April 2003

19th April 2003 Beachy 6.15am – 12.15pm. Strong cold NE wind. Clear becoming overcast

Diver sp. 1E
Fulmar c.5
Cormorant c.5
Mallard 2
Merganser 2
Kestrel c.2
Peregrine 2
Sandwich Tern 1E
Rock Pipit 1
Pied Wagtail c.4
Stonechat c.2
Blackcap h
Whitethroat 3
Firecrest h singing – same bird as previous day
Chaffinch c.6
Linnet c.40
Redpoll h
Goldfinch c.8
Greenfinch 1

Friday, 18 April 2003

18th April 2003 Beachy 6.00am – 1.45pm. Cold moderate E wind. Clear skies

Red-throated Diver 1E
Gannet c.5
Cormorant c.12
Canada Goose 1W
Shoveler 4E
Scoter c.20E
Merganser c.10E
Kestrel c.2
Pheasant c.5
Whimbrel 4 briefly on beach
Arctic Skua 2E
Black-headed Gull c.25E
Sandwich Tern c.10E
Common Tern c.15E
Razorbill 1 thrown into the boot of my car by a fisherman – JFC took it back to the beach where it swam out to sea before returning towards the beach and hauling itself onto a rock exposed by the tide. Ringed.
Cuckoo 2
Wryneck 1 found in Chat Vale. First seen in flight with pointed wings and long tail apparent and Shrike-like flight. Black stripe extending from nape down center of mantle. Throat buff but appeared quite dull. Barred underparts.
Swallow c.10
House Martin c.5
Meadow Pipit c.5 mobbing one of the Cuckoos in Cow Gap
White Wagtail 1
Pied Wagtail c.4
Stonechat c.5
Mistle Thrush 1 Burgess Hill
Blackcap 1 male
Whitethroat c.5
Chiffchaff h
Firecrest 1 singing male high-pitched series of calls
Linnet c.30
Redpoll 1
Goldfinch c.15

Thursday, 17 April 2003

Wednesday, 16 April 2003

16th April 2003 Chailey Common 6.15am – 7.30am. Calm and sunny

Sparrowhawk 1
Cuckoo h
Green Woodpecker 1
Dartford Warbler 1 singing male. Orange base to bill. Small white spots on puffed-out throat. Red eye. Grey head and upperparts, darker wings. Long tail. Dark wine-red underparts with white belly. Orange legs.
Willow Warbler c.8
Chiffchaff c.5
Linnet c.8
Reed Bunting 2
Yellowhammer 1

Sunday, 13 April 2003

13th April 2003 Beachy 6.00am – 2.00pm. Cold moderate ESE. Overcast becoming sunny

Red-throated Diver c.5E
Black-throated Diver 1E adult s/p Flew high towards us with white patches on scapulars seen as it banked away.
Black-necked Grebe 1 full s/p sat on sea
Little Grebe 1 w/p sat on sea alongside Black-necked Grebe – rare at Beachy
Fulmar c.15
Gannet c.150E
Cormorant c.10E
Shoveler c.4E
Teal c.10E
Pochard 1E
Scoter c.500E
Velvet Scoter c.12E
Merganser c.10E
Kestrel 1
Pheasant c.3
Curlew 2E
Whimbrel 5E
Bonxie 3E
Arctic Skua c.25E
Black-headed Gull c.25E
Mediterranean Gull 1E 2w
Great Black-backed Gull c.25E
Sandwich Tern c.200E
Common Tern c.100E
Guillemot c.5
Cockatiel 1 Hollingbury flew across road natural-looking individual
Skylark c.10
Sand Martin 2
Swallow c.10
Rock Pipit 1
Meadow Pipit c.10
White Wagtail 1 male on lawns at Birling. Black crown sharply demarcated from grey mantle.
Wheatear 3
Stonechat c.5
Willow Warbler 1 singing in wood
Chiffchaff c.3

Saturday, 12 April 2003

12th April 2003 Beachy 6.00am – 1.30pm. Newhaven 1.45pm – 2.00pm. Wind cold E, overcast

Red-throated Diver c.5E
Fulmar c.20
Gannet c.35E mainly adults
Little Egret 1 Cuckmere
Brent Goose c.35E
Shelduck c.4 Newhaven
Shoveler c.10E
Wigeon 2E
Teal c.8E
Scoter c.600E
Velvet Scoter 2E
Merganser c.5E
Kestrel 2
Peregrine c.4 (2 pairs)
Lanner 1 sat in field between Birling and East Dean before flying towards East Dean. Appeared to closely resemble an adult male erlangeri illustrated in the Collins Guide although Lanner complex notoriously difficult to assign to form (see Forsman). Pale forehead with pale golden crown. Dark narrow teardrop with large white cheeks. Blue-grey upperparts. In flight appeared pale taking on a brown appearance. No apparent jesses.
Pheasant c.3
Oystercatcher c.5
Ringed Plover 4 Newhaven
Green Sandpiper 1 Newhaven
Curlew 2E
Bonxie 2E
Arctic Skua 3E
Black-headed Gull c.25E c.5 Newhaven
Common Gull c.35 Newhaven mainly 1st-s
Herring Gull c.40 Newhaven
Lesser Black-backed Gull c.10 Beachy
Sandwich Tern c.25E
Guillemot c.2
Auk sp. C.15E
Green Woodpecker 1
Skylark c.6
Rock Pipit 2
Wheatear 1
Stonechat c.4
Song Thrush 1
Chiffchaff c.3Jay 1
House Sparrow c.8
Chaffinch c.10
Linnet c.35
Goldfinch 2
Serin 1 female at the top of the lane at Birling. Heard a fairly soft ‘tit-tit’ call repeated several times and quickly located a small Finch heading for the pine trees at a range of c.25m. On seeing the bird it was a very small, stubby round-headed and very short-tailed Finch immediately identifiable as a Serin on shape and structure alone. The only plumage seen before it quickly disappeared from view was extensive diffuse streaking to the flanks. Nothing about its head appeared yellow and its underparts were not strikingly bright white. Hence we were convinced it was a drab female. It was clearly about to land but on reaching the pines we again heard it calling repeatedly as before with one longer faster sequence ‘zi-zi-tit-tit-zi-zi’ as it flew towards the cliff edge being seen only briefly in flight above the pines. A minute or so later it was again heard calling and although not seen was clearly departing to the west.

Friday, 11 April 2003

11th April 2003 Beachy 6.15am – 7.30am. Wind cold NE, sunny with haze out to sea

Brent Goose c.55E
Scoter c.15E
Merganser 3E
Raven 2

Sunday, 6 April 2003

6th April 2003 Rye Harbour 8.00am – 1.30pm. Overcast with light showers. NE wind

Cormorant c.30 Castle Water breeding colony
Gadwall 1 drake Castle Water
Wigeon c.20 Castle Water
Teal c.5 Castle Water
Garganey 1 drake Castle Water
Pochard c.2 Castle Water
Tufted Duck c.15 Castle Water
Ruddy Duck 2 Castle Water
Ringed Plover c.10
Golden Plover c.400 Flat Beach
Pacific Golden Plover 1 likely 1w moulting into its first summer plumage. Bill appeared similar size to Golden Plover but finer especially at its base. Legs appeared slightly spindly and a fractionally paler and bluer than accompanying Golden Plovers. When facing away it appeared quite long-legged but stood no taller than Golden Plovers. Bird c.15% - 20% smaller than Golden Plovers lacking their bulk. In flight appeared smaller and thinner-winged. Pale yellow suffusion to whole of head and face including forehead, supercilium which flared behind the eye end encircled the dark ear-coverts. Dark spot in front of eye. Upper breast with black spots. More extensive irregular area of black on sides of belly. Flank-line principally white with a few small black spots. Undertail coverts white with the odd small black mark. Nape appeared pale yellow with fine darker streaking. Mantle suffused yellow. Scapulars almost giving a barred effect with neat black and yellow lines being formed – black far more extensive than Golden Plovers. Wing coverts finely patterned. Tertials principally dark making it difficult to accurately assess primary projection and possibly newly growing feathers. Primary projection appeared to consist of three primaries and longer than expected with longest primary falling beyond the tip of the tail. Tail sides appeared white with black bars. In flight underwing grey with darker grey axillaries. First record for Sussex.
Lapwing c.15
Snipe c.4
Black-headed Gull c.50
Mediterranean Gull c.25 mainly adults and 2w with 2 1w. Feeding in fields north of Castle Water
Swallow 1
Cetti’s Warbler 1 singing and taped into view Castle Water. White half-crescent below eye. Grey suffusion to supercilium and face. Whitish throat with greyinh underparts. Rufous-brown upperparts.
Chiffchaff h

Saturday, 5 April 2003

5th April 2003 Beachy Head 7.00am – 1.30pm. Newhaven 1.45pm – 2.00pm. Rye Harbour 5.30pm – 7.30pm. Cold but sunny with NE wind

Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 2
Merlin 1
Golden Plover c.280 Flat Beach
Lapwing c.10
Knot 2
Dunlin c.10
Mediterranean Gull h
Yellow-legged Gull 1 1w Newhaven. Large all black bill. White head with dark shadow behind and below eye. Underparts white with spotted flanks. Mantle with dark-centred feathers and some with single anchor-markings. Tertails all dark. In flight slight primary window. Pink legs.
Stock Dove c.5
Skylark c.6
Rock Pipit c.5
Stonechat c.6
Chiffchaff 1 + 2h
Long-tailed Tit 2