News archive

March 2018

Monday, 12 March 2018

Typical marsh

February Birds in and around the Eastbourne area

This was an unusually quiet month, but was enlivened by the appearance of a bluethroat at West Rise Marsh. It was first seen on the 7th February, and remained in the area all month, although it was elusive at times. This is a rare bird in these parts, and even rarer in winter. However this cousin of the robin is widespread across Europe. In Britain it is a summer visitor, confined to small numbers around the south and east coasts. Incidentally only the adult male shows the distinctive blue throat. Unlike the robin, it also has an eye stripe. Towards the end of the month it was kept company by a red throated diver.

Elsewhere perhaps the most noteworthy small birds were the hawfinch and at least four bramblings, all at Arlington. Two Egyptian geese were at Rye Harbour. I do not know why these birds, now widespread in East Anglia, are still a comparative rarity in Sussex. At Pett Level, west of Winchelsea, nine white-fronted geese were seen. Also Sovereign Harbour retained its solitary black guillemot throughout the month.

Many of the black headed gulls are now sporting their summer plumage, and hopefully we will have some news of our summer migrants next month.

Ian Muldoon