Beachy Head, Arlington Reservoir & Old Lodge NR, East Sussex ... 19th April 2011

I started the day at Beachy Head and parked at the lay-by at Shooter's Bottom. The gully itself was full of Common Whitethroats, at least 12 birds but, apart from that, there were just 2 Wheatears and 2 Meadow Pipits on show.

I continued on to the cliff edge and had a rewarding seawatch from 6.40 a.m. - 8.00 a.m.
I logged 14 Fulmars, 245 Common Scoters, 8 VELVET SCOTERS and 6 Gannets.

Heading on to Belle Tout Wood, near Birling Gap, only a Chiffchaff and 2 male Stonechats appeared and so I headed for the Old Trapping Area, where a PEREGRINE was perched on the cliff near the lighthouse, 3 Swallows were seen plus another male Stonechat and a Rook.

I then drove to Arlington Reservoir, arriving at 12.40 p.m. To begin with it was quiet, with just 3 Swallows to entertain but, at 2.30 p.m., an OSPREY flew over the reservoir and then gained extreme height, circling on a thermal. I left at 2.40 p.m. and headed on for the Ashdown Forest.

Arriving at Old Lodge NR at 3.15 p.m., I did two circuits of this picturesque reserve and noted 2 male Common Redstarts, 2 Stonechats, a Cuckoo, a Tree Pipit, 2 Lesser Redpolls, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 Common Whitethroats.

Unfortunately, no Dartford Warblers were heard or seen but, at 7.10 p.m., a RAVEN flew over, which made a good end to an enjoyable and productive day's birding. I headed for home at 7.30 p.m.



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