All the counts from the Hastings autumn migration watch have now been entered into an XL spreadsheet, enabling instant calculation of day and species totals- what a chore that would have been in the old days !
As there isn’t a great deal to report at present, it seems timely to reveal some of the results of several hundred hours of fieldwork: today the raptors or birds of prey.
9 species of raptors were recorded this autumn. of which Peregrine and Kestrelare resident, and no migration activity was suspected [Although Peregrines are a conspicuous
predator of migrant Wood Pigeons]. Sparrowhawks are also resident and can be seen daily, only 4 birds were considered migrants. Buzzards are a frequent sight inland , but much less so on the coast and with a total of 13 were the commonest migrant raptor recorded. Other large migrant raptors were : a total of 5 Marsh Harriers, a Hen Harrier and an unidentified ringtail Harrier , and 2 Honey Buzzards, probably the best birds recorded this autumn.
Two migrant falcon species were also noted: a total of 7 Hobbies and a single Merlin.
So the conclusion is that although an outstanding place for observing small birds migrating, our area is not wonderful for seeing migrating raptors, though few places in the UK are !
Looking through my photo archive I see it’s even worse for photographing migrant raptors , possibly because my camera struggles with flying birds, so the picture is of a non migrant but almost stationary individual…