Harpy Eagle - Guyana - March 2017

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Friday, 20 April 2018

Red Kites to Orchids 20/4/18

I was on standby this morning so I couldn't venture out. By late morning I got bored and eager to catch onto the passage of Red Kites. I walked the cliffs between Peacehaven and Newhaven seeing a lovely flock of five Red Kites flying east at 12.34, and five Wheatears were also present. A Green Hairstreak was found in one of the hollows near the fort.

I spent the majority of the day lounging in the garden writing trip reports but no other Kites were seen.

This afternoon I cycled to the back of Woodingdean where only three Early Spider Orchids were present. Nine Wheatears were at Balsdean.

Red Kites over Newhaven Heights
Green Hairstreak at Newhaven Heights
Early Spider Orchid near Woodingdean

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Seaford Head & Splash Point 19/4/18

Walked the entire headland this morning in between seawatches and found absolutely no new arriving migrants whatsoever. The only notable species for me were Lesser Whitethroats in Hope Bottom. Splash Point was quite slow as well and I didn't keep a detailed count of birds, although Little Gulls and 'Commic' Terns were the most numerous. A Merlin was the main highlight at Splash Point flying in off the sea around 6.05am.

A showy Grasshopper Warbler in Seaford
Peregrine on Seaford Head

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Splash Point 17/4/18

Another good seawatch today. With the slightly stronger southerly wind forecast it was bound to be a Bonxie day, and so that proved with over 50 seen during the period I was down there. Not only this, there was a good variety of species and in good numbers. Plenty of highlights also today that included a very close flock of nine Eider, some close Skuas including a flock of seven Bonxies, some superb Arctic Terns and Black-throated Divers and our first Little Terns of the year. Any day now for the first Pom.

Totals between 05.45-13.45 are as follows:

'Commic' Tern - 352
Common Scoter - 508
Great Skua - 53
Gannet - 51
Sandwich Tern - 150
Arctic Skua - 34
Brent Geese - 169
Manx Shearwater - 15
Mediterranean Gull - 124
Red-throated Diver - 46
Little Gull - 60
Whimbrel - 66
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2
Eider - 9
Teal - 3
Arctic Tern - 120
Black-throated Diver - 7 (all s/p)
Red-breasted Merganser - 8
Little Tern - 2
Velvet Scoter - 3
Avocet - 1
Guillemot - 6
Auk sp. - 15
Grey Wagtail - 1 landed on the breakwater

Arctic Skuas passing Splash Point
Great Skua passing Splash Point
Brent Geese passing Splash Point
adult Mediterranean Gulls passing Splash Point
a full notebook means a good day
at the office!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Splash Point 15/4/18

I was annoyed to have missed seawatching this morning, however I certainly made up for it this evening despite shivering constantly towards the end. After the rain, birds were in constant flow with the highlight being a good movement of Manx Shearwaters that included a flock of 11. Skuas were well represented as were Gannets and Terns.

Totals between 5pm - 7.30pm are as follows:

Common Scoter - 20
Gannet - 203
Sandwich Tern - 137
Brent Geese - 140
'Commic' Tern - 427
Red-throated Diver - 12
Great Skua - 8
Little Gull - 55
Arctic Skua - 26
Whimbrel - 1
Manx Shearwater - 19 (incl. flock of 11)
Common Gull - 186
Mediterranean Gull - 95

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Cuckmere Haven & Seaford Head 11/4/18

Almost pleased to be going back to work as the five days have come to an end and all I have to show for it is finding 5 Black Redstarts. Not what I had in mind as I cast back to the memories of seeing Hoopoes, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Woodchats, Serins etc during this time of April in Sussex. Looking at the weather today looked promising but there was very little about.

The Cuckmere held a first-summer male Black Redstart and 3 Wheatears, whilst Seaford Head was dull, not even the Black Redstarts were present. I chilled in the garden all afternoon reading through Namibian trip reports as a few Buzzards were moving north bound, but were presumably local birds. An afternoon walk along the cliffs from Peacehaven to Newhaven Fort produced just a single Wheatear.

1st summer male Black Redstart at
Cuckmere Haven

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Cuckmere, Seaford Head & Rodmell 10/4/18

Slightly better today with a bit more variety. Down the Cuckmere first thing produced two Yellow Wagtails flying north and a Green Sandpiper on the scrape being the most notable birds. Phylloscs were at their most numerous for the first time this spring.

Next up was Seaford Head where there were now three Black Redstarts at Hope Gap and singles of Willow Warbler and Redwing. Graeme Lyons also had what was presumably the same Hawfinch in Hope Bottom.

This afternoon I took Pippa down to Rodmell Brooks where a Little Ringed Plover and Green Sandpiper were of note, whilst in the car park a Firecrest was in full song. Pippa was warn out so resisted on walking the cliffs to Newhaven Heights.

Cuckmere Haven
Green Sandpiper - 1 on scrape
Yellow Wagtail - 2
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 10
Firecrest - 2

Seaford Head
Redwing - 1
Black Redstart - 3 incl. the singing male
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 5

Rodmell Brooks
Little Ringed Plover - 1
Green Sandpiper - 1
Firecrest - 1

Green Sandpiper at Cuckmere Haven
Wheatear at Cuckmere Haven
Willow Warbler at Hope Bottom
Little Ringed Plover at Rodmell Brooks
Brown Hare at Rodmell
Pippa on another long walk

Monday, 9 April 2018

Seaford Head 9/4/18

I started down the Cuckmere but not a single migrant was seen. Seaford Head was nearly similar but two Black Redstarts at Hope Gap were found, one of which was a male in full song. A male Wheatear was also present as were two newly arrived Chiffchaffs.

male Black Redstart at Hope Gap
Wheatear at Hope Gap