News archive

December 2015

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Water rail feeding at waters edge

November Birds in the Eastbourne Area

Although the autumn migration had almost finished, there were several firecrests seen near the coast. At West Rise there were up to eight bearded tits, and more surprisingly a Caspian gull. Further inland, Shinewater lake hosted a water rail (pictured), and a red-throated diver towards the end of the month at the same location.

Back near the coast an adult yellow-legged gull was at Exceat, while short-eared owls were seen at Tidemills and on the Cuckmere river. Heralding the winter season, as many as ten purple sandpipers were counted on the eastern arm of Newhaven Harbour.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Male merlin perched on old fence post, Shetland

October Birds in the Eastbourne Area

October proved a great month locally for the smaller birds, especially in the area around Beachy Head. Firecrests and yellow browed warbler were early sightings, and later a Pallas warbler was at Plantation Wood. A storm petrel was seen at Seaford, while our smallest raptor, the merlin (pictured), was around Birling Gap.

Dartford warblers and black redstarts were observed, but more unexpected were two bluethroats at Chat Vale, while the real rarity was a solitary short toed treecreeper.

There was a good passage of ring ouzels throughout the month, interspersed with appearances from short eared owls and a great grey shrike.

Further inland, a great white egret and short eared owl provided interest around West Rise.

Although global warming could have dire consequences for some birds (not to mention some people), perhaps on the plus side, bluethroats and great grey egrets will become comparatively familiar.

Just to remind us that winter is not that far away, the month ended with a snow bunting at Seaford Head.