Bird Meeting at West High Down on 22nd October 2023

Ten members joined Dave Fairlamb of Natural Links for an Ornithology Group outing to West High Down on 22 October 2023.

Starting from the National Trust car park at the old chalk quarry near High Down, we walked along the main footpath on the northern slope of Tennyson Down and there was a flock of at least 15 Long-tailed Tits making their way along the hedge. Other birds in this area included Blackbirds, Robins, Magpie, 2 Jays, 4 Chiffchaffs and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Long-tailed Tit

Great-spotted Woodpecker

As we reached the gorse covered ridge of the Down, a Green Woodpecker gave its presence away with its loud `yaffling’ and a few Greenfinches flew over, accompanied by a Siskin calling.  The open grasslands held at least 5 Meadow Pipits and 5 Skylarks, with one of the Skylarks still managing to remind of summer with its beautiful song as it flew overhead.

Meadow Pipit


A couple of family groups of Stonechats were still on territory amongst the gorse bushes, seen along with Dunnocks, Wrens and Chaffinches. Jackdaws, Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls patrolled the cliffs and both male and female Kestrels were hunting over West High Down. Both Red Admirals and Speckled Wood butterflies were still on the wing.

Speckled Wood

Dave Fairlamb



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