What to look for this month – September

As you can tell from the Hastings Autumn Landbird Migration Survey posts this is the time of year when the autumn migration flood gates open. Thousands of birds flying south hit the south coast then fly along the coast into the wind looking for a good place to cross the channel. This results in large movements of swallows, house martins, sand martins, meadow pipits, siskins, goldfinches and many other species. As well as land birds, raptors are also on the move, including common and honey buzzards, hobbys, ospreys and even red kites in recent years.


Birds that mainly migrate at night will be grounded during the day especially if the weather changes over night, with mist or light rain in the morning. The bushes can then be bustling with chiffchaff, willow warblers, goldcrests, blackcaps, spotted flycatchers and many other species. Scarcer species such as firecrests and pied flycatchers can also be found.

Firecrest, Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve

As soon as ivy starts to flower the ivy bee (Colletes hederae) will emerge. These autumn solitary bees nest in huge colonies on sandy banks and cliffs, quite a spectacular sight. They are a relative newcomer to Britain and Hastings was one of the first places they started to breed. The large size, distinct yellow stripes and reddish thorax make them an easy solitary bee to spot as they forage on ivy flowers.

Colletes hederae, Barley Lane

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s