Archive | March 2016

East hill note

A cold N or ENE fresh wind and complete cloud cover early on. I noticed 1 Rook, a Starling and 14 Chaffinches coming in as I looked from my window.


East Hill 8.55 – 10.15

Brambling;- 1 calling frequently from saplings near All Saints could not be seen until it flew out and joined six other finches that were flying northwards. Another Brambling was with Chaffinches of which 274 passed eastwards.

A Pied wagtail and an Alba wagtail along with 2 Siskins, 1 Goldfinch and 24 Woodpigeons were also logged heading east.

A male Blackcap was noted.


Marina notes

March 26th Southerly force 6 and 8/8ths cloud. 9 – 10.20

Passage east of Common gull 43, Great black-backed gull 3, Little gull 1 and Brent goose 135.

A female Marsh harrier flew purposefully south out to sea despite the strong wind.


11.40 – 12.05

Common gull 22, Great black-backed gull 1 and Brent goose 17.


March 27th

10.50 – 12.00 strong sw wind.

Common gull 59, Great black-backed gull 3, Black-headed gull 1, Mediterranean gull 2 (an adult pair), Fulmar 1 and Curlew 1.

12.20 – 13.20

Common gull 21, black-headed gull 6, Lesser black-backed gull 2, Brent goose 13 and Dunlin 3.005


Recent notes

Yesterday a Grey Seal off Glyne Gap and a Wheatear perched on roses at Galley Hill. I counted nine Carrion crows flying west.

Today a look around East hill at 9. A few passage birds were Woodpigeon 6 w 7 e, Redwing 2 e, Chaffinch 20 e, Goldfinch 1 e and Siskin 3 e.

Sunny and dry after a wet night.

Fairlight Glen

Two Continental Coal tits were seen very well. They were working their way inland along a pathside hedge between two fields as I walked down this morning.

Later in the day I watched from the clifftop near Fairlight Glen and counted 410 Chaffinches passing east or northeast in an hour. Some flocks were over the sea and others very high up and I must have missed many. There was also a small passage of Starlings, Woodpigeons, nine or more Siskins and a couple of Stock doves. Even a Bluetit.

Alerted by a message from Hastings I saw two Red Kites arrive over the Glen and after a good while of circling they decided to head north-eastwards over Warren Glen.

Finally a Swallow came in and hawked for flies briefly among the sheep on the top field.



Warming hills

Welcome sunshine today, the wind light and variable.

2 Wheatears near Barley Lane and a Chiffchaff there. Fifteen Redwings passed through along with two Skylarks, a small number of Meadow pipits and some small flocks of Chaffinches.

Marina offshore

The north-easterly abated and there was a sense of Spring in the cold air. Although overcast, temperatures improved during the afternoon, setting the scene for a strong up-Channel passage of Black-headed gulls.


Passage east of;- Brent goose 280, Black-headed gull 139, Cormorant 12 ‘sinensis’ types, Great black-backed gull 4, Red-throated diver 7, Common scoter 1, Canada goose 4 W and Shelduck 1 W.

midday – some notes of Brent goose 20 E, Black-headed gull 52 E, Common gull 8 E and Great black-backed gull 4 E.

3.45 – 5.30

Easterly passage more intense with Brent goose 620, Black-headed gull 1,140, Cormorant 4, Mediterranean gull 1, Common gull 14 and Great black-backed gull 5.




Cold comfort

Fairlight hilltop on this wintry morning.

Chaffinches trying to migrate into the cold north-easterly wind with full overcast and light drizzle were landing in treetops, calling and some singing as they rallied and tried to continue the journey. However the passage seemed to fade away after I had counted 145 birds.

Lots of Jackdaws and some Rooks in the fields, the Jackdaws have been collecting nesting material. Some Reed buntings present, presumably wintering birds. A flock of 24 or more Stock doves feeding in a fallow corner.

East Hill

Cold and overcast from the NNE. A light passage over the Hill recorded from 9.45 – 11.

Rook 1 W, otherwise passage east of 38 Chaffinches, 3 Siskins, 6 Meadow pipits (and 8 in), 1 Woodpigeon, 21 Black-headed gulls and 13 Cormorants.

2 Chiffchaffs and 1 Goldcrest.

Marina note

240 Brent east logged during the day – flocks quite distant off Bexhill seeming to come in from the south-west, later an afternoon watch proved quiet from Marina with the ene breeze continuing cold.

1 Meadow pipit came in and two Grey herons flew slowly east. About 30 Black-headed gulls and just a dozen Common gulls noted on passage.

Common Otter Shell

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Common Otter Shell Lutraria lutraria

A large bivalve of the lower intertidal sediments with a distribution throughout the British coasts. The species was described by Linnaeus who wrote the name as ‘Lutraria’ (Otter) by a slip of the pen, when he meant to name it ‘Lutaria’ (Silt).

The shells, not rare along the coast here, are frequently pecked by gulls.