Saturday, 31 August 2013


I seem to be chasing birds at the moment, following a disastrous day in East Sussex  I took an early morning trip to the dip in the Monarch's Way, just north of Cissbury Ring. On SOS there had been reports of double figures of Whinchats present. I have seen Whinchats here before but due to the poor results of the previous two days my expectations were low. Anyway, as I ambled down towards the dip I was delighted to find the birds as reported. Overnight a stiff northerly breeze had developed and I think this was making the birds flighty. I tried stalking them and sitting in ambush, neither method worked, oddly enough the usually obliging Wheatears and Yellow Wagtails were behaving in a similar manner. In the end all I could manage were shots from distance.

The ubiquitous post sitting Wheatear
A quick reconnoitre of the eastern side of Cissbury revealed similar conditions, apart from a large flock of Wilchiffs and a few well spread Redstarts and Whitethroats there was nothing moving. With the wind moving round to the east I expected the sheltered Rifle Butts to deliver, yet again very little to be seen.

The previous day Martin and I had visited Seaford Head, Shooter's Bottom and Belle Tout and they were virtually devoid of birds. Reports on SOS suggested that large numbers of birds were present. Yes, you have guessed it, "should have been here yesterday", no doubt large numbers of migrants decamped across the Channel overnight leaving just a few tardy Whitethroats and Redstarts. Nice to meet David Buckingham, always good to put a face to a name, David regularly posts about Beeding Brooks on SOS. Looking forward to seeing his future photographs.

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