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.