Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Monday 31 August 2020

Beachy Head 31/8/20

The first calm day after the northerly blow meant that for the first time this autumn, today felt very autumnal, and of course, rare. I decided to visit Beachy as I'd driven down from Alton in the early hours, which makes the trip more worthwhile than visiting Seaford Head.

Upon arrival, small numbers of Willow Warblers were moving in the bushes, whilst overhead, Tree Pipits, Siskins and Yellow Wagtails were evident as they moved west. The morning was very enjoyable with ten species of warbler noted, plenty of overhead activity and an excellent variety of other migrants; numbers weren't exceptional however, but this wasn't much of an issue... even Cow Gap had birds! Very few birders seen today! 

After the morning circuit, LP and I commenced a raptor watch from the pub finding only a Hobby for our troubles (our Merlin at Belle Tout turned out to be the highlight!). Ca. 2000 hirundines were present late morning/early afternoon, the majority being Swallows.

Sites visited included the following: Hotel Garden and bushes W to Old Trapping Area, Icky Ridge, Frances Bottom incl. Gropper field, Cow Gap & Gully, Birling Pines and Belle Tout incl. gully.

Totals are as follows:

Willow Warbler - 22
Yellow Wagtail - 60 W
Reed Warbler - 3
Tree Pipit - 8 W
Whitethroat - 50
Siskin - 26 W
Grey Wagtail - 3 W
Whinchat - 6 (2 Hotel Garden, 1 Icky Ridge, 3 Frances Bottom)
Pied Flycatcher - 5 (1 Icky Ridge, 1 Cow Gap, 2 OTA, 1 Belle Tout)
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Chiffchaff - 1
Bullfinch - 1 (Frances Bottom)
Blackcap - 14
Sedge Warbler - 2
Redstart - 4
Wheatear - 4
Garden Warbler - 1 (Cow Gap)
Grasshopper Warbler - 2 (1 Cow Gap, 1 'Gropper' field)
Cetti's Warbler - 1 (Cow Gap)
Spotted Flycatcher - 3 (Belle Tout)
Merlin - 1 (Belle Tout)
Swift - 4
Hobby - 1

Whinchat at Hotel Garden

Siskins over Icky Ridge

Pied Flycatcher at Cow Gap

Wheatear at Cow Gap

Grasshopper Warbler at Frances Bottom

Pied Flycatcher at the Old Trapping Area

Spotted Flycatchers at Belle Tout

Merlin over Belle Tout Wood

Swift over the pub

Cow Gap gully

Frances Bottom