With similar weather from the exceptional period of late-May 2008, optimism ran high for a visit to Beachy Head this morning. I had planned to meet Ian and Jake at the hotel, and from there we walked the rides down into Whitbread Hollow, Cow Gap and the gulley, Francis Bottom, Icky Ridge, Hotel Garden and all sites down to Belle Tout area, and then a long slog back up to the hotel.
The time of year of course means very few migrants are present, however, there is the outside chance of a potential rare bird. None of this today, although whilst in Cow Gap gulley, a female Serin was heard and then quickly found as it patrolled the area, showing relatively well as it perched on top of the scrub. Half an hour later, walking up through Icky Ridge, another Serin was heard and then seen well in flight, that in good light, was assumed to be the same bird as the Cow Gap individual... it also seemed to be flying back that way. Then, a few minutes later, Jamie Partridge informed us he had had two Serins, and a short time later one of these two then flew past us as we were watching over the hotel garden. So, we had definitely seen two Serins, and may have seen three. With a singing male at Dungeness too, it seems the conditions are working, and hopefully will continue to deliver over the coming days.
Elsewhere, a singing Reed Warbler at Belle Tout Wood was sadly just a Reed Warbler. Of note, a very fresh Dark Green Fritillary and a few Bee Orchids (both colour forms) were found on what was an enjoyable walk.
|Serin in Cow Gap|
|Corn Bunting at Chat Vale|