A cold wind reasserted itself – at first there was some warm sunshine but then becoming overcast with an easterly flow going north.
A first swift appeared over the street on the evening of the 27th and the following day there were four birds racing about over the rooftops. A first House martin was also noted, speeding northwards.
Today no less than eight Wheatears up on the fields. They appeared quite tired and subdued and were ‘British’ rather than ‘Greenland’ birds, five females and three males. I surmise that many of these birds were held up by cold weather in Europe and North Africa earlier in the spring and their delay was then compounded by having to use their reserves of migratory fat during the poor weather and thereafter accumulate additional reserves of energy before being able continue their migrations.
I heard Cuckoo calling clearly for the first time from the sheltered woodland towards Fairlight Hall.
A pair of Wheatears again recently on the fields and this morning a flighty male in quite a cold brisk wind from points SW and W. I was pleased to record no fewer than eight Willow warblers today, all of them foraging for insects in the lee of a flowering Blackthorn hedge and birds even dropping into the grass below for windblown insects.
No Swallows seen today but up to five arriving recently.
A quite small mining bee photographed today at Warren Glen as it was resting and grooming on a leaf appears to be an example of Andrena praecox, the Small Sallow Mining Bee. This is interesting also as it is associated with Grey and Goat Willow catkins and their season is much later this spring than last year, when catkins and many associated insects were out in March.
Very few Willow warblers so far, in fact only two singles recorded myself so far this spring and in this remarkable heat I expect birds are passing through quickly. Perhaps with some cloud and a few showers forecast for tonight there may be an arrival tomorrow.
Today eight Red kites were over Hastings Country Park mid morning. Seven together thermalled westwards towards the Old Town and Ore, joined by several Buzzards. Otherwise there were some more Whitethroats and one or two Lesser whitethroats.
A watch from the Pier early afternoon gave over 20 Sandwich terns east along with a flock of ten adult Mediterranean gulls. A sole Swallow came in.
The footpaths and fields noticeably drying out this morning, although plenty of water and mud remains. Many trees remain bare but others are budding out. The warmer weather has arrived and this morning there were newly arrived male Whitethroats. The first two were in Brambles in a small private field that has not been grazed for some time – I heard the song and the first bird appeared, carrying dried grass in the bill! On the clifftops there were several birds scattered about gorse and Blackthorn, one in song-flight.
Two male Wheatears on the driest part of a field where I had seen a male and female a few days ago. So a light passage continues although I have not seen any flocks this spring.
Linnets have been building up in numbers and visiting certain fallow areas for food. I have only seen a couple of single Swallows zipping northwards so far.
Offshore in light winds little noted but a pair of Great skuas and a flock of ten adult Mediterranean gulls were of note.
Very wet underfoot. The paths and fields sodden and a real slog at times getting around.
On the 8th a Red kite over Covehurst.
A recent report from Silverhill was of a Stone curlew calling repeatedly during the early hours as it passed northwards over the town.
Yesterday two tired male Wheatears perched amongst our woolly-coated grazers on a soaking field while a Swallow swept past. At East Hill a ravenous Willow warbler fed on small insects among the male Goat Willow catkins. Small numbers of Linnets, Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Siskins passed overhead on spring passage.
Many solitary bees were visiting the flowers of Alexanders in the welcome sunshine.
Marina 8 – 13.30 Light Easterly with rain, clearing with a weak southerly at Low Water 10.30 when passage dropped away. Warmer.
Passage up-Channel of Great northern diver 1, Red-throated diver 32, Gannet 3, Arctic skua 1, Common gull 13, Lesser black-backed gull 3, Great black-backed gull 5, Herring gull 80+, Black-headed gull 19, Mediterranean gull 3, Sandwich tern 30, Commic tern 8, Common tern 4, Teal 2, Garganey 3 (with Shovelers), Shoveler 34, Pintail 2, Red-breasted merganser 2, Common scoter 503 and Brent goose 93.
Marina-Pier 8.30-13.20 ESEf5 3/8ths.
Passage up-Channel of Mallard 6, Garganey 3, Common scoter 985, Velvet scoter 2, Red-breasted merganser 2, Shoveler 6, Brent goose 9, Great northern diver 1, Whimbrel 1, Commic tern 4, Sandwich tern 22, Great black-backed gull 1, Common gull 55, Black-headed gull 1 and Great crested grebe 2.
Marina 9.30 – 13.15 S then SSWf5 6/8ths becoming 9/8ths.
Passage East of Common Gull 72, Mediterranean gull 2, Black-headed gull 6, Red-throated diver 8, Oystercatcher 2, Brent goose 407 and Common scoter 34.
Marina and Pier 9.35-12.45 SSWf5 cold. 5/8ths then clouding over.
Passage up-Channel of;- Great black-backed gull 5, Common gull 82, Black-headed gull 8, Sandwich tern 7, Curlew 1, Red-throated diver 33, Common scoter 290 and Brent goose 430.