Recent notes

Yesterday overcast with a cold Northerly wind. On the fields Skylarks and Yellowhammers were still present in flocks. Stock Doves were in pairs feeding on the grazed, pock-marked, watery and partly iced-over fields along with Jackdaws, Crows and Rooks. A Buzzard flew over carrying what looked like a vole, a rodent that usually becomes active at this time in the spring.

Today welcome sunshine, but a cold breeze and cloud reasserting a wintry feel. At West Hill a single Fieldfare dropped into trees and three Jackdaws and a Buzzard flew NW.

At Fairlight later in the morning 25 Snipe could be seen feeding avidly in an area of close-cropped sward near the lane. I wondered if they were recently arrived migrants rather than locally wintering birds. The coastal fringe seemed to have few small birds and there was little sign of passage except a Rook flying north. Signs of late winter stress and shortage

included a male peregrine attacking another male, and at Ore a male Sparrowhawk chasing another male. Two Crows were taking risks with the traffic as they fed on the remains of a freshly killed Fox on the Old London Road.

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