Hastings Spring Bird Migration Survey

ENE f4 occasionally 5 or 6 sunny 4/8ths good

Rock-a-Nore 0615-0830 AP CD
Bar-tailed Godwit 250, Avocet 5 together, Grey Plover 2, Whimbrel 11, Knot 1, Sandwich Tern 272, Little Tern 9, Common Tern 8, Brent Goose 2, Shelduck 3, Common Scoter 1, Teal 3, Pomarine Skua 4, all E. The Pomarines flew low over the sea at 0620 and followed a big movement of 79 off Dungeness yesterday; the spring passage of “Poms” is one of the highlights of the birding year, but not that easy to see from Hastings. They were also noted off Bexhill a few minutes previously.
Also 1 Arctic Skua chasing terns, 1 Swallow E, and a Kestrel apparently coming in off the sea.

Hastings Beach and harbour 8.55-10.55 AG

Birds noted passing up-Channel included 2 Common gulls, 25 Greater black-backed gulls, 1 Black-headed gull, 3 Arctic terns, 12 Common/Arctic terns, 6 Little terns, 188 Sandwich terns, 2 Gannets, 2 Razorbills, 4 Great crested grebes, 63 Bar-tailed godwits, 4 Whimbrels, 1 Common sandpiper, 6 Dunlins, 5 Sanderlings, 15 Grey plovers and 2 Swallows.

There were some marvellous close views of active birds in breeding plumage including Little terns feeding close to the beach, flying to and fro and hovering like moths before plunging successfully for small fry. Sandwich terns banking and stooping adroitely into the windswept sea in the blink of an eye, a summer plumaged Grey plover cutting towards the beach in the teeth of the gusting wind before curving over the breaking surf.

A tiny speck of a bird flying rather like a thrush appeared out to sea and came flapping and gliding and climbing towards the coast. As it approached land it began to climb and eventually passed heading north high above the old castle ruins. It was a Merlin. Perhaps having wintered in southern Europe this small falcon was now returning north towards the same lands as the waders scurrying low over the sea.

Marina 10.15 MG
Little Tern 2, Arctic Terns, Bar-tailed Godwit 28, all east.
High Street 19.00
Common Swift 5 in

West Hill 09.45 SB
Common Swift 1 in

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