Sunday, 21 August 2011

Kingsdown to Hope Point

A late start this morning (7.45am) due to too much to drink last night at a murder mystery evening.
A quick look at the sea showed nothing about so I climbed the steps for a walk  to Hope Point.
Things started rather well with 10 common whitethroats being seen in the first 2 clumps of bushes south of the golf course car park and a steady movement of hirundines overhead –mainly house martins and swallows but a decent number of sandmartins and a few swifts. (This movement continued until about 8.30 after which there was just the odd group moving.)
After that next to nothing was seen until I approached Hope Bay Cottage. The first bit of interest was provided by a peregrine which I found perched on the cliff face. I fired off a few shots then crawled along the cliff edge trying to get closer. Eventually it had had enough of me and flew off – despite my best efforts I’m pretty sure it could see me as it spent a lot of time looking in my direction.

In the scrub of Hope Bay Cottage things got decidedly lively as a mixed flock of tits (long-tailed and blue) and warblers worked their way through the scrub. The flock was 50-60 strong with LTTs being the most numerous; warblers seen were chiffchaff, blackcap and reed warbler. There were some willows in the same area but these did not seem to be part of the flock.
Long-tailed Tit

After they had passed it was back to normal ie next to nothing, until I reached Hope Point where a decent head of common and lesser whitethroat plus a few more reed warblers were seen. Though getting a decnt picture was beyond me.
Lesser Whitethroat
The final bit of interest was provided by a sparrow hawk that reduced the whitethroat population by 1.
Sparrow Hawk

1 comment:

  1. Good to spend some time with you on the cliffs, despite not seeing a lot.

    The Murderer (not the sparrowhawk)