Rock-a-Nore seabirds

A one hour watch from dawn this morning produced a modest movement of Red Throated Divers: a dozen heading west and 4 east.

A group of grebes which appeared suddenly and then swam far out to see proved to be 3 Great Crested and a Slavonian Grebe; a Gannet and a couple of LBB Gulls  moved west.



A nice walk along the seafront from the Stade to Bexhill in bright sunshine yesterday produced a total of 134 Turnstones, again well down on the 200 or so wintering 2 years ago. Nice to see the small group on the grass verge at the W end of St leonards, ignoring the traffic and passers by, I haven’t seen them for some time.

Other birds were a lone Dunlin at Glyne Gap-but no sign of any Purple Sandpipers; a Black Redstart popped up on one of the beach huts near the cafe.


Rock-a-Nore seabirds

Today I paid my first early morning visit to the harbour, in the hope of seeing a few passing seabirds. However, in half an hour after a gloomy dawn, I had seen just 6 Common Scoters get up off the sea, and a few local Fulmars gliding about.

No Grebes, Divers or Auks; it should be better in a couple of weeks !

Where have all the Turnstones gone ?

A nice group of Turnstones at Bulverhythe-but not today…

Over the 2010/11 winter I made regular counts of Turnstones between Hastings harbour and Bexhill, by walking along the seafront. I didn’t do this last winter, but recently suspected there were less around, so I did a count today.

Last time, the counts were around 200, in fact 208 on Nov 10 2010 and 235 on Nov 24. Today there were just 60, of which half were in the Glyne Gap area; there were 10 around the fishing boats at Hastings, and just 11 off Bexhill. This seems a worrying reduction and I will repeat the count later on to see if it’s consistent.

Autumn migration watch

The annual Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve  Autumn Migration walk, expertly lead as always by Andrew Grace, started at 8 am after another wet night.  Those who braved the weather-12 in all-were treated to one of our best autumn watches, as the weather speedily inproved. It was clear that birds were arriving just where we were, at low level, then heading along the coast in either direction, giving everyone a chance to see and hear groups of Siskins, Goldfinches and Linnets at close range, and experience a heavy passage of Swallows. The Jay movement was the best so far:

Firehills 0800-1015:

Jay 65 W in groups of up to 20, Meadow Pipit 40 W, Goldfinch 140 W 340 E, Siskin 150 E, Redpoll 13 W, Chaffinch 60, Brambling 1, Linnet 50 E, Swallow 1700 W, House Martin 300 W, Sand Martin 1W, Pied Wagtail 25 W, Greenfinch 4, Reed Bunting 3, Starling 15 W, Goldcrest 9, Chiffchaff 6, Blackcap 3,

Rook 1, Yellowhammer pair.

[A late addition for Oct 5-a wet and windy early morning again:West St Leonards 8.50-9.50  AG
Some passage West noted of Pied wagtail 2, Meadow pipit 42, Swallow 8 and Chaffinch 20.
4 Chiffchaffs