12th May 2016 Red-rumped Swallows!

A brighter morning with the fog of the previous 48hrs clearing over night with a freshening easterly breeze.

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Red rumped Swallow.

A fairly quiet morning in the Hollow was enlivened as (what was presumably) last weeks Hooded Crow glided east and headed towards Eastbourne town at 08.00hrs. About 15 minutes later and purely by chance, I picked up a distant hirundine. It was very high up to the west near the apex of the headland. As bird descended it became clear it had a pale throat and tail streamers. As quickly as the penny dropped it was a Red rumped Swallow the bird disappeared below the cliff edge at Cow Gap following the line other migrating Swallow (c20) and Swift (5) were taking east. I felt a little short changed by such a crappy, fleeting view of a great bird. So I was very pleased, when 30 minutes later, I found 2 feeding over the sports field in the Hollow. They were last seen at 10.20hrs

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I then went on to relocate what were presumably the same two about a mile west feeding over Hodcomb at 14.00hrs during a lunch break from work. So the objective mind would conclude all the sightings were of the same two roving birds. I have to say I’m not wholly convinced there wasn’t other individuals involved, mostly likely the first singleton which seemed to move purposely through the site. But I concede it’s impossible to prove.

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Red rumped Swallow

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The birding highlight of the preceding 6 days was a great seawatch on the 6th May when I enjoyed 50 Pomarine Skua before breakfast time. Otherwise it’s been pretty quiet with a general decrease in common migrant numbers, the only oddity being a singing Reed Warbler in the gully at Cow Gap on the 10th May.

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