Sunday 6th November
N f3 to 4 increasing 5 or 6, low-level cloud, good
Recording by: AG, SB, MG
Quarry Hill and St Leonards cliffs occasional records 6.50-11.50
Birds passing E or coming in;- Woodpigeon 12, Starling 15, Fieldfare 1, Redwing 8, Finch sp. 100, Chaffinch 3, Goldfinch 240, Siskin 20, Redpoll 2, Skylark 1 heard, Pied wagtail 7. Also 1 each of House martin and Swallow.
West Hill 08.00 – 09.15
Woodpigeon 1230 E, Pied Wagtail 1E, Brent Geese 86 S (high skein formation), Twite 1N, Goldfinch 258E, Redpoll 7E, Siskin 15E, Chaffinch 4E, Greenfinch 2E, Linnet 25E, Short-eared Owl 1 SE (over sea). 1 Goldcrest, 4 Gannets feeding off-shore.
West Hill 12.45
HCPNR 15.00 – 16.15
Snipe 5 in-off, Chaffinch 4 in-off, 1 Stonechat, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Peregrine falcons.
A most fascinating sight was witnessed; the Peregrines hunting prey.
The first peregrine was seen high up, roaming in wide circles off of the cliff edge when suddenly it ceased circling and gave chase over the sea. It had spotted an in-coming blackbird. It quickly caught up with it, dashing in front then underneath, spectacularly showing its powerful scythe-shaped wings and ‘stooping’ around the panic-stricken bird in a succession of deep switchback curves.
In a matter of seconds, a further peregrine was on the scene. In an attempt to escape, the blackbird dropped into the water, inevitably sealing its fate. As it flew up, it was swiftly grabbed, no doubt despatched, and whisked out of sight to the cliff edge.