Autumn migration below the cliffs.

Yesterday Oct 23 I joined Cliff Dean and Mike Mullis for a low tide walk below the cliffs of Hastings Country Park from Cliff End to Hastings- a change from my normal walk above.

This is a challenging walk, with slippery rocks to be negotiated and shingle to slog through,  making it difficult to look up and to hear calls, but at least it’s level…

Arriving at Cliff End promenade at around 10.30, we immediately saw 2 Black Redstarts, which proved to be the best birds of the day, but as we slowly progressed westwards we constantly witnessed migration in action, with Starlings Thrushes and Skylarks coming in off the sea, as well as a few Robins and Chiffchaffs which landed on the rocks on the beach. Rock Pipits could be heard calling overhead-more than I’ve recorded before,  Robins were everywhere and presumably mostly migrants.

We stopped to examine the small waterfall where the Warren Glen stream discharges onto the beach, in the strip of green willows beside this were a Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff and a Robin, doubtless newly arrived

Where Warren Glen meets the sea

Totals for the day-no doubt underestimated- were: Redwing 36 in, Blackbird 4 in, Song Thrush 5 in, Skylark 20 in/E, Starling 30 in,  Chiffchaff 3, Goldcrest 1, Swallow 3E, Rock Pipit 8 in, Redpoll few heard, Siskin 10 E 12W, Robin 50.

At sea, 40 Brent Goose W, 24 E, unusually 15 Gadwall landed off Fairlight Cove; a Lesser Black-backed Gull on the beach and a Knot on the rocks.

Probably 3 Peregrines on the cliffs-waiting for migrants ?; and 2 Ravens at Rock-a-Nore.

And of course the stunning landscape of towering cliffs, mudslides and rockfalls.


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