It’s been mostly mild and unsettled with a colder, calmer period towards the end of the month.
Birling Gap late January.
A typically slow month with most interest occurring off shore. Despite it being a good autumn for Dartford Warbler in 2022, I’ve only managed to locate one this winter, a male above Birling Gap. A lone Brent Goose on the sea at Holywell on the 23rd. I joined RAB for a seawatch on the 24th which predictably produced a movement of 693 Auks east and 47 Red throated Diver (mostly east) in two hours. A further 50+ Red throated Diver were on the sea at Birling Gap on the 25th. Amongst the grazing cattle, a notable increase in Common Gulls now feeding in the fields, which is a sign of late winter. A Short-eared Owl was seen on the 24th (MEC) whilst a far more unusual Barn Owl was watched hunting around the dew ponds near Bullock Farm on the evening of the 26th. A single Chiffchaff was in the wood on the 29th, which along with the appearance of the first lambs, could lead you to believe it’s a migrant. It’s not until the ones appear with pollen dusted crowns in early March that I regard as true spring migrants.
Red throated Diver.
Two attempts to see the over wintering Penduline Tit at near by West Rise proved fruitless but there were at least three different groups of Bearded Tit, which were good to see.
I’ve recently moved to Eastbourne and started birding last year. I love your blog. How do you get notified of possible sightings please?
I stick stuff on twitter. Theres a link to that on the blog.
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