Trip reports

Wednesday Walk: The Old Barn and Hope Gap, Seaford

male stonechat perched on bramble

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Twelve members set off from the Old Barn on a pleasant warm morning with odd glimpses of the sun. At least a little cooler than the last few weeks, but turning muggy as the morning progressed. We planned to pass along Hope Bottom and head for the cliffs at Hope Gap, but were somewhat thwarted by a filming crew at the steps to the beach - so no access possible and they were also detouring people away from that area. However we had spotted an unusual looking stonechat so a quick negotiation allowed us into the area in a lull in the filming. By this time the stonechat had (naturally) moved away leaving us wondering as it looked like the picture of a Siberian stonechat, but more likely a stonechat with a few "rogue" feathers. However we were rewarded with rock pipits (probably disturbed off the beach by the "luvvies") mixed in with the meadow pipits in the grassland behind the cliffs. The grassland was delightfully alive with butterflies, moths and stunning wild flowers.

Walking along the cliff top to the cottages at Cuckmere Haven, we were rewarded with good views of a pair of fulmars on a cliff ledge. We observed blackbird, buzzard, cormorant, crow, dunnock, little egret, fulmar, goldfinch, black headed gull, great black-backed gull, herring gull, grey heron, kestrel, linnet, magpie, oystercatcher, wood pigeon, meadow and rock pipit, skylark, stonechat (pictured) and whitethroat - and we also heard a blackcap. A very enjoyable morning.

Tony Vass