6.04.20 to 12.04.20 Lockdown week 3

Weather throughout the week was fine with a wind that meandered between the ENE and ESE sectors.

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The view towards Birling Gap from Belle Tout.

The exemplary conditions allowed incoming birds to complete nocturnal migration unhindered thus the week was almost devoid of any perceptible arrivals. Away from the headland an interesting mid afternoon interlude came on the 8th as White Stork passed NE over the back garden. The bird was ringed and given it’s distinctive “moult” could be traced as the same individual seen at Dymchurch, Kent two days prior. It was a bird from the introduction program run by Knepp Estate, the purpose of which is totally lost on me. I believe there’s considerable doubt White Stork ever bred in the UK. Currently there seems to be more Storks in the skies above Sussex than commercial aircraft. Further info on the program can be read here.

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White Stork. A new species for the Eastbourne garden… kind of! Curlew and Moorhen featured on the Noc Mig set up I’ve been running in the garden at night.

Some familiar migrants reappeared throughout the week, dates of my first below.

  • Willow Warbler   6th April
  • Yellow Wagtail     7th April
  • Whitethroat          9th April
  • Tree Pipit              10th April 

Although grounded migrants were non-existent, there were small but noticeable arrivals of diurnal ones. Meadow Pipit & Swallow arrived in small numbers, 2 Tree Pipit heard and a few Yellow Wagtail passed over spread across all mornings. A small easterly passage of Linnet on the 10th April included a few Goldfinch, 2 Siskin and some real quality, as a smart male Serin flew low through Cow Gap allowing excellent views for a passing passerine, calling as it went. According to the SOS sightings page, Roger Charlwood at Hodcomb had 37 Red Kite throughout the week all east – an incredible number. Two Hoopoe discovered locally raised hopes of an encounter on the headland but unfortunately I had no luck.

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Swallow above Shooters Bottom. A pleasant sight and sound.

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Singing Chiffchaff in the Hollow, several birds now on territory throughout the headland.

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