Monday, 31 August 2015

31st August 2015 Beachy NE3 Overcast, thunderstorm then rain

Sparrowhawk 1
Swallow 150
Yellow Wagtail 4
Wheatear 10
Whinchat 7
Whitethroat 15
Chiffchaff 1
Firecrest 3
Spotted Flycatcher 1

 Firecrest at Belle Tout
Wood Sandpiper 1 juvenile
Common Redstart 2
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Spotted Flycatcher 2
Juvenile Wood Sandpiper at Rodmell

Sunday, 30 August 2015

30th August 2015 Beachy NE3 Partially overcast

Red Kite 1 juvenile
Swift 1
Swallow c.3,000E
House Martin c.2,000E
Sand Martin c.100E
Yellow Wagtail 5
Wheatear 2
Whinchat 4
Redstart 3
Tree Pipit 5
Grasshopper Warbler 2
Blackcap 8
Whitethroat 60
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Willow Warbler 3
Firecrest 1
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Pied Flycatcher 1

Common Whitethroat in the Old Trapping Area

Yellow Wagtail near the Old Trapping Area

Firecrest in the Old Trapping Area (JFC)

Common Redstart in the Old Trapping Area

Pied Flycatcher in the Old Trapping Area
Juvenile Red Kite over the Top Fields (JFC)
Being a beautiful crisp fresh juvenile the fanned tail in the lower image above neatly portrays the dark subterminal spots as well as the uniform buffish vent and undertail coverts in addition to the visible pale tips to both its underwing and upperwing coverts.
Red-backed Shrike 1 juvenile
Reed Warbler 3
Reed Warbler at Rodmell
Juvenile Red-backed Shrike at Rodmell
We bumped into Andy Williams who very kindly went out of his way to take us and show us a juvenile Red-backed Shrike that he had found. It performed superbly atop hawthorns until flushed by a Sparrowhawk whereupon it was seen to fly towards the riding stables where unfortunately we couldn't find it again.
Newhaven Harbour
Yellow-legged Gull 2 juveniles

Saturday, 29 August 2015

29th August 2015 Beachy 2015 SE1 Clear with some cloud

Honey Buzzard 1 flew south out to sea at 11.30am
Merlin 1
Swallow 55
Sand Martin 40
Pied Wagtail 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Yellow Wagtail 32 over
Wheatear 1
Whinchat 1
Redstart 1 female
Grasshopper Warbler 2
Reed Warbler 2
Sedge Warbler 1
Blackcap 2
Whitethroat 65
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler 3

Grasshopper Warbler at Birling
Honey Buzzard departing south out to sea from Beachy Head (all JFC)
Its grey head, black-tipped primaries , prominent broad black trailing edge to wing, pale grey flight feathers, well-defined dark oval carpal patches and almost translucent hands all point to it being an adult male

Monday, 24 August 2015

24th August 2015 Rodmell

Whinchat 3
Yellow Wagtail c.60 over

Whinchat at Rodmell

Sunday, 23 August 2015

23rd August 2015 Beachy E5 to SW3 Cear with rain arriving

Balearic Shearwater 2E (dark 8.01am, pale 8.41am)
Common Buzzard 5
Swift 3
Swallow 35
Sand Martin 5
Yellow Wagtail 55
Whitethroat 6

Green Sandpiper h
Whinchat 8
Willow Warbler 3

Whinchat at Rodmell

Willow Warbler at Rodmell

Saturday, 22 August 2015

22nd August 2015 Beachy ESE2 Clear

Sparrowhawk 2
Hobby 1
Swift 20
Swallow 60
House Martin 1
Sand Martin 6
Pied Wagtail 3
Yellow Wagtail 8
Wheatear 1
Redstart 1 female
Sedge Warbler 3
Whitethroat 50
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Willow Warbler 25

Sedge Warbler at Birling (JFC)

Willow Warbler in Chat Vale (JFC)

Female Common Redstart in Chat Vale (JFC)

Common Swift over Chat Vale (JFC)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

18th August 2015 Newhaven

Yellow-legged Gull 1 juvenile

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at Newhaven
another Yellow-legged Gull sporting a rather obvious ventral bulge
Juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull and Juvenile Gull sp. at Newhaven
Juvenile Gull sp. at Newhaven
Characters all suggestive of it being a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull include its large size compared to both juvenile Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, its hefty bill with pronounced gonys, something of a dark mask, at least one of its second-generation scapulars shows basal cross-barring, its tertial patterning, its brownish-coloured upperparts and its underwings were seen to be rather dark. However, on the flip side, it had a very snouty appearance courtesy of its long sloping forehead, never-ending lores and its bill appearing long and rather slender for much of its length being two-toned with its basal two-thirds appearing paler grey, its small-looking head lacked that white-headed appearance and at times it had an overall rather awkward jizz... which has me wondering whether it's possible to safely exclude the possibility of it being the product of those mixed Caspian/Herring/Yellow-legged Gull colonies from central Europe?
Juvenile Caspian Gull Poland 9th August 2010 (Michal Rycak)
A pure Caspian Gull but sharing a (somewhat) similar head/bill profile to the Newhaven Gull
Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on Sicily (Jamie Partridge)
Laurence Pitcher very kindly forwarded this image of a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull that albeit whiter-headed does share the very snouty appearance, long sloping forehead and never-ending lores.

Monday, 17 August 2015

17th August 2015 Cooden Beach

Black Stork 1 juvenile Sussex 353

Juvenile Black Stork over Little Common, Bexhill (Ian Standivan)
Ian's great image had proved incredibly gripping ever since he obtained it on Saturday morning but on our fourth attempt it now proves nicely representative of our scope views of it as it leisurely flew quite high in the sky from Cooden Beach to Little Common. Many thanks to Matt for not only tracking it down this morning but still being present to pick it out for our mid-afternoon views shortly after our arrival on site. After several close misses over more years than I care to remember a great species now to have seen in the County.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

16th August 2015 Beachy & Pevensey N1 Clear

Little Egret 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Sand Martin 3
Swallow 15
Tree Pipit 4
Pied Wagtail c.20
Yellow Wagtail 1S
Nightingale h
Reed Warbler 1
Garden Warbler 1
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Whitethroat 30
Willow Warbler 30

Marsh Harrier 1 immature male

Immature male Marsh Harrier at Pevensey (all JFC)
Ageing and sexing of Marsh Harriers can be notoriously difficult but this individual is a close match to how Forsman describes a first-summer male 'During their first-summer the progressing moult changes the appearance of males. By July males have usually replaced some inner primaries, which are whitish below with broad black tips. From above, these feathers show a dark bluish grey cast. The corresponding upper primary coverts are dull bluish grey, whereas most of the secondaries and their coverts appear dark brown, although they may show some dull grey at the base. The new tail is grey with some brown admixed. The body plumage resembles that of an adult female , with similar head pattern.'

Saturday, 15 August 2015

15th August 2015 Beachy NW2 Overcast

Common Buzzard 3
Sparrowhawk 2
Kestrel 3
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1W
Swift 4
Swallow c.40
House Martin 2
Sand Martin c.55
Pied Wagtail c.25
Wheatear 2
Whinchat 3
Grasshopper Warbler 1
Sedge Warbler 2
Whitethroat 40
Willow Warbler 20


Sedge Warbler at Birling

Airbourne crowd assembling hopeful the Bexhill Black Stork will fly past?

Friday, 14 August 2015

14th August 2015 Newhaven

Yellow-legged Gull 2 juvenile & first-winter

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at Newhaven
a huge individual sporting the odd new scapular

First-winter Yellow-legged Gull with juvenile Herring Gull
note the apparent ventral bulge being an oft-quoted character of Caspian Gull but also sometimes shown by Yellow-legged Gull

First-winter Yellow-legged Gull at Newhaven
sporting what appeared a near-complete set of second-generation buff-coloured scapulars complete with dark anchors and basal crossbars time to call this a first-winter rather than juvenile...