News archive

June 2016

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Turtle dove

More Spring bird sightings in the Eastbourne area.

Sea watching again proved fruitful, with at least 75 pomarine skuas seen on May 5th. Arctic and great skuas flew past, together with black terns, two whiskered terns and a solitary roseate tern. There was also a great northern diver in full summer plumage, an osprey and a hooded crow, all in flight. Meanwhile 12 common sandpipers were resting at Splash Point, and 16 purple sandpipers at Newhaven Harbour.

There were hobbies and yellow wagtails on Pevensey Levels, and once again the Beachy Head area was rich in bird life. Here sightings included red-rumped swallow, red kites, raven, a nightjar, a firecrest and two increasingly rare turtle doves (pictured). But perhaps the star bird was the serin seen near Hodcombe Farm.

Friday, 3 June 2016

House martin in flight

May Birds in the Eastbourne Area

A most unexpected sighting was of a white stork flying over Arlington reservoir, which was also home to three swallows on the 5th of the month. By mid month there were dozens of swallows, house martins (pictured) and sand martins over the water, besides two artic tern and one little gull. An added bonus was a green sandpiper by the dam, and an osprey later in the month. West Rise marsh hosted four little gulls.

Birds in the Beachy Head area included ten firecrest, two redstart, a short-eared owl, ring ouzel and a whinchat in the trapping area. There was a fall of warblers in Plantation Wood, featuring several dozen willow warbler, 16 blackcap and four garden warblers.

A redstart and a pied flycatcher were seen around the town centre, while further west there was an osprey at Birling Gap and a nightingale, a redstart, two firecrest and a white wagtail at Seaford. Finally there was a spotted redshank at Tidemills.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Yellow wagtail in winter wheat

April Seabirds in the Eastboune area

April was a busy month for bird activity in the Channel. The month started with 11 velvet scoter at Splash Point, and three more at Birling Gap. This latter site also hosted a flock of 47 little gull, while three arctic skua flew east. Notable single birds in the first week were black throated diver, great skua and red necked grebe. During the second week the seabird passage included Manx shearwater, some Mediterranean gulls, a merganser, a common scoter, five black throated diver and another five red throated diver, plus skeins of Brent geese. A notable increase in terns included arctic, common and especially Sandwich tern. There were two Slavonian grebes resting on the sea at Seaford, while a great northern diver flew past.

One of the local highlights in the birdwatcher's calendar is the passage of pomarine skuas (aka Poms) with their distinctive tail shape, and on the 21st of the month nine of these birds flew past Splash Point and up the channel. The same day they were followed by 18 Balaeric shearwater, and another six arctic skua. The next day an unfavourable offshore wind reduced sightings, but a razorbill and an Icelandic gull appeared besides no fewer than 43 whimbrel. A yellow wagtail (pictured) and two swift flew onshore.

The end of the month was quiet for sea-watching, although some more little gull flew past Birling Gap.