Archive | November 2017

Blackbirds in the thickets

35 Blackbirds counted along the North’s Seat hedgerows on the 24th where the banks of Holly and Hawthorn berries are being raided – some Redwings and Song Thrushes unassuming there among them. In the Barley fields Skylarks numbered 35 and Meadow Pipits are in good numbers. SR recorded good numbers of Water Rails in the west, as well as at least two Bearded tits while 6 Velvet Scoters are with 370 Scoter offshore. There had been some late passage through Combe Haven on 19th with 270 Woodpigeon, 2 Redwing and a Song Thrush north.

Today a ‘vee’ of 12 unidentified geese flew rapidly east over West Hill. Buzzards are widely seen including at St Helens and a pale phase flying west over Pilot Road.





Settling in for winter

On November 16th a Firecrest was very active in lower Alexandra Park, flycatching and foraging among the trees not far from the bandstand.

At Glyne Gap marsh and Filsham SR recorded a first Jack Snipe of the season and a small number of winter passage birds included Brambling, Redwing, Fieldfare and a newly arrived Little Grebe.

On November 17th a survey of the HCP fields showed that numbers of Skylarks (40) and Reed Buntings (10) are already in winter territories. A flock of a dozen Skylarks mobbed a passing Fox, circling above the animal and a high-pitched alarm call was heard as well as the communal chirruping. 5 Skylarks were also seen to come in over the cliffs and an unusual sighting was a Woodcock flying strongly along above one of the footpaths before diving down into Home Place Farm. The Woodcock is a regular autumn migrant in late October and November and further arrival can be recorded in mid-winter if there is snow. Also at Combe Haven SR recorded Brambling, Redpoll and 15 Goldfinches arriving while 3 Velvet Scoters made an appearance offshore as the Common Scoter flock established.

Today at Hastings Beach AP recorded a first Purple Sandpiper of the winter, roosting on shingle among Turnstones quite close to the pier.

Late passage notes

Often overcast and mild. Light W.

Combe Haven CP (eastern side) 7-10 SR 1 Goosander and 1 Chiffchaff. Fieldfare 9 in, Red Kite 1 W, Starling 22 W and Brambling 1 NE.

West Hill am AG Starling 290 W. Meadow Pipit 1 E.

Late season passage notes

Winter has been drawing nearer, sometimes with cold northerly winds between milder spells.

November 9th

Combe Haven CP (eastern side) 7.30-10.30 SR 35 Blackbirds, 14 Song Thrushes, 1 Ring Ousel, 1 Redwing, 60 Chaffinches and 1 Chiffchaff. Marsh Harrier 1 female W, Brambling 2 SW and Fieldfare 1 on 30 N.

November 10th

Glyne Gap 7.30-8.30 SR Marsh Harrier 1 juvf SW. Water Pipit 1.

Hastings am AG Common Buzzard 1 NW.

November 11th

Combe haven CP (eastern side) 8-10 SR 10 Snipe, 1 Brent Goose and 1 Chiffchaff. Starling 75 W.

November 12th Nf4 6/8ths

West Hill 6.50 AG Starling 16 NW, Blackbird 2 N and Goldfinch 1 N.

November 13th

Galley Hill 7.30-9.30 SR Starling 55 N and Redpoll 2 N.

November 14th

Combe Haven CP (eastern side) am SR 3 Chiffchaffs, 5 Redwings, 2 Bearded Tits, 8 Goldcrests, 3 Lapwings, 3 Wigeon and 6 Snipe. Skylark 1 N, Fieldfare 2 N and Starling 21 N.

West Hill am AG Starling passage W/NW or in of 19 flocks totalling 840. Chaffinch 2 in.



Hastings passage notes

November 7th

Pebsham am SR 1 Firecrest.


November 8th NNE f5 8/8ths rain clearing.

North’s Seat-Barley Lane 6.55 AG 19 Blackbirds, 3 Goldcrests. Redwing 4 N, Meadow Pipit 1 N, Starling 35 NW and Skylark 1 W.

Combe Haven CP (eastern side) 8-10 SR 1 Brent Goose, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 3 Fieldfares, 11 Goldcrests and Song Thrush 1 N.

Hastings autumn migration today

Light NW 1/8th after a clear cold night

Fairlight cliffs 6.30-8 AP 1 Dartford Warbler, 1 Coal Tit and 2 Siskins.

Woodpigeon 720 in/W, Brambling 13 W, Chaffinch 11 W, Starling 22 W, Meadow Pipit 24 W, Goldfinch 95 E, Redpoll 23 in, Pied Wagtail 4 in and Goldcrest 2 in.

Galley Hill 7.15-9.45 SR 1 Reed Bunting. Grey Heron 1 E, Redpoll 11 E, Linnet 13 E and Goldfinch 60 E.

St Leonards am AG Swallow 2 W.

Hastings autumn passage notes

Often quiet now, the migration season seems to have run through quickly despite the very warm autumn weather.

November 3rd 3/8ths NE f2

North’s Seat 7.25 AG 20 Blackbirds, 4 Song Thrushes, 22 Chaffinches and 8 Goldcrests. Starling 85 NW.


November 5th 1/8th NW f4

Fairlight cliffs 6.25-7.50 AP Woodpigeon 1180 W, Goldfinch 75 E 25 W, Chaffinch 7 E, Redpoll 16 W, Pied Wagtail 3 W 2 E, Skylark 1 in, Reed Bunting 2 in/E, Siskin 12 E and Redwing 1 in.

White Rock 7.25-8 AG Woodpigeon 1020 in and 150 E, Starling 5 W.

West Hill 8.15 AG Redpoll 2 in.

St Leonards am AG A pale Common Buzzard W mid morning, flying low above rooftops chased by gulls and crows, underparts white with dark ‘comma’ mark on carpal area of underwing. Uppertail white with irregular brown-black apical band.

Redpoll 3 in off sea.

Combe Haven CP (eastern side) 7.20-10 SR 3 Chiffchaffs, 14 Stonechats, 2 Lapwings, 7 Wigeon and 1 juv male Marsh Harrier. Woodpigeon 1800 SE, Starling 35 W and Redpoll 16 SW.

Hastings autumn passage notes

Very quiet on 1st with Goldfinch 40 E recorded at Fairlight and Galley Hill. AP SR.

November 2nd 1/8th N f2 warm sun after a cold start.

Combe Haven CP (Eastern Side) 7-10 SR 1 Chiffchaff and 8 Water Pipits. Great White Egret 1 E, Bearded Tit 4 E, Woodpigeon 64 NW and Starling 120 W.

Glyne Gap marsh 1-2 SR 5 Swallows, 3 Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest.

North’s Seat 7.25 AG 19 Blackbirds, 3 Goldcrests and 1 Redwing, Song Thrush 4 and 3 N, Starling 35 N, Meadow Pipit 2 W, Pied wagtail 1 W and Reed Bunting 1 W.

Barley Lane-Coastguards 8 AG 4 Goldcrests. Skylark 18 and 7 N, Redwing 3 N, Redpoll 6 N, Siskin 8 N, Starling 180 and 185 in/W, Yellowhammer 1 N, Bullfinch 1 N and Linnet 7 N.

Firehills am AP Woodpigeon f200 E.