Sunday, 29 June 2014

29th June 2014 Sussex

Honey Buzzard 1

Honey Buzzard
Having spent time in what would seem reasonable habitat to perhaps encounter this species this Summer it seems somewhat ironic that the first we see this year is over a busy road flanked by open farmland. Whilst clearly not breeding habitat, with egg thieves unfortunately still active in the County, it is still sensible not to disclose any details as to its location. I never feel particularly confident in ageing and sexing this species but this individual's complete dark trailing edge point to it being an adult and its evenly-spaced narrow barring to its underwings and darkish secondaries presumably render it a female. Forsman notes that only females have translucent inner primaries (as here) although the Collins Guide points to the translucent hands of males!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

28th June 2014 Rodmell & Cuckmere

Hobby 1

Curlew 45
Ringed Plover 1

Curlew in the Cuckmere
Ringing recoveries reveal that Curlews wintering in southeast England are mostly from Fennoscandia, particularly from Finland (Migration Atlas). Numbers in Sussex build up quickly from late June and that neatly coincides with adults departing from Fennoscandia (BWP). On their arrival in the UK adults quickly commence their moult as was evident amongst the individuals comprising the above flock.

Male Dark Green Fritillary in the Cuckmere

Friday, 27 June 2014

27th June 2014 Ashdown Forest

Short-toed Eagle 1

Short-toed Eagle in the Ashdown Forest

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

24th June 2014 Ashdown Forest

Short-toed Eagle 1
Tawny Owl 1 whilst driving home

Short-toed Eagle in the Ashdown Forest

Monday, 23 June 2014

23rd June 2014 Ashdown Forest

Nightjar 1 male with plenty more heard

Sunday, 22 June 2014

22nd June 2014 Asdown Forest

Short-toed Eagle 1
Red Kite 1
Turtle Dove 1
Woodlark 1
Spotted Flycatcher 1

Short-toed Eagle at Ashdown Forest (in flight JFC)

Spotted Flycatcher at Ashdown Forest

Saturday, 21 June 2014

21st June 2014 Ashdown Forest & Rodmell

Short-toed Eagle 1
Nightjar h
Woodlark 1
Tree Pipit 2
Redstart 1 juv.

Gills Lap Car Park
the car park was full on our arrival at 7am with expectant Eagle admirers that were not to be disappointed

Short-toed Eagle at Gills Lap, Ashdown Forest (JFC)

Large Red Damselfly at Old Lodge

Common Lizard at Old Lodge
Little Owl 1

Friday, 20 June 2014

20th June 2013 Ashdown Forest

Short-toed Eagle 1
Woodcock 1 roding
Nightjar h

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

18th June 2014 Ashdown Forest

Woodlark 1
Tree Pipit 1

Tree Pipit on Ashdown Forest

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

17th June 2014 Ashdown Forest

Short-toed Eagle 1 Sussex 351



Short-toed Eagle in the Ashdown Forest (in flight all JFC)

Sunday, 15 June 2014

15th June 2014 Ashdown Forest

Short-toed Eagle 1 ex.
Woodlark 1

Short-toed Eagle in the Ashdown Forest (lowest JFC)

Saturday, 14 June 2014

14th June 2014 Beaulieu Road Station

Goshawk 1
Dartford Warbler 2 pair carrying food

Silver-studded Blue 1 male

Male Silver-studded Blue at Beaulieu Road Station

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Pete Neatherway

The very sad and untimely passing of Pete leaves me completely shocked and with a deep sense of loss. I will forever remember his enduring friendship, and I will sorely miss his endless interest in, and encouragement for birding, twitching, foreign travel, photography and even this blog. Not only was I fortunate enough to spend time with Pete on countless occasions at Beachy but I’ll treasure the memories of travelling together to see (and miss!) some great rarities across Britain.  Those that instantly spring to mind include finally seeing my first Lesser Scaup in Oxfordshire having previously missed so many, successfully doubling-up on a River Warbler near Wigan with seeing my only summer-plumaged adult Ross’s Gull performing to just a few feet in Cleveland, revisiting the Burghead Grey-tailed Tattler when we overnighted at the somewhat appropriately named Nethybridge where Pete was as equally thrilled to see 3 Capercaillie shortly after dawn the following morning before going on to see my first Forster’s Tern off Edinburgh whilst ‘on our way home’.

I then vividly remember Pete wanting to see something rare enough to entice us to Scilly during his first visit to the islands. St. Agnes duly delivered producing a Yellow-browed Bunting with Pete phoning excitedly at the prospect of us now ‘having’ to travel down to join him. The next day we received the typical warm welcome and gratefully accepted an invitation to extend our stay by utilising some spare floor space!

On another occasion, the MS Oldenburg failed to leave Ilfracombe for Lundy and so denied us all the opportunity to look for a Baillon’s Crake.  Although incredibly frustrating and disappointing at the time, Pete’s philosophy was always ‘better to regret the things that you do, than regret the things that you don’t’.

How he so enthusiastically conveyed the excitement of witnessing falls of migrants be it at Beachy, Beidehae or Pt. Pelee, how he described the wonder of seeing so many Neotropical families new to him in Panama, how he recounted Cape Town pelagic trips plucking Albatrosses out of the air and how he told tales of conducting atlas work in remote areas of his beloved southern Africa well beyond the ‘safe borders’ of South Africa all played testimony to few regrets, but conversely, were more a reflection of how much he loved the rich and varied birding experiences that he sought and then enjoyed so much.
Pete was of course, just half of the familiar duo of ‘Pete & Mim’, and whilst I am struggling to come to terms with the loss of Pete, I cannot imagine how Mim is feeling right now, and can only add my heartfelt condolences at this very difficult time.

Monday, 9 June 2014

9th June 2014 Rodmell

Hobby 1
Cuckoo h

Sunday, 8 June 2014

8th June 2014 Rodmell

Green Sandpiper 2

Green Sandpiper at Rodmell
This species is typically the earliest of Autumn returning southbound migrants as one parent, usually the female, leave the males to raise their juveniles so depart their breeding territories from late May and early June.

Hairy Dragonfly at Rodmell
Female Variable Damselfly at Rodmell

Steam Train passing Rodmell
Having caught a glimpse near Southease yesterday we obtained a distant view today

Saturday, 7 June 2014

7th June 2014 Beachy SE1 and overcast

Gannet c.35W
Scoter 10W
Arctic Skua 1E and 1 lingering
Sandwich Tern 12E
Swift 15W

Third-summer pale morph Arctic Skua off Birling Gap
Whilst its head pattern, body plumage, upperwings and tail projections are similar to an adult its pale median underwing coverts form a striking mid-wing line confirming its immaturity. As its remaining underwing coverts appear uniform lacking barring it would seem most-likely a third-summer.