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Photographic Walk in Hastings Country Park NR

You are invited to join the Friends of HCPNR for a gentle stroll with cameras through the country park led by local naturalist and photographer, Crystal Ray. This event is suitable for all abilities but is aimed particularly at those wishing to improve their photographic skills, especially close-up, in an outdoor environment.

The date is Saturday 6th September. Meet at 10.30am at the Country Park Visitor Centre, Lower Coastguard Lane, off Fairlight Road. Charge is £2, free to Friends of HCPNR. Regret no dogs. The walk will last for about 2 hours.

Further information from Jill Howell on 01424 815256 or the Friends' website: or Facebook page.

Doin't forget your camera!


Hastings Autumn Bird Migration Survey 2014

September 1st

W becoming SW f1-3, clear at first, increasing cloud & showers.

Fairlight Cliffs to Fairlight Place 0620-0810: AP

Willow /Chiff 18 [2CC 1WW identified,], Whitethroat 4, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Blackcap 12 together by Warren Cottage,  Reed Warbler 1, Redstart 1, Wheatear 2.  Yellow Wagtail 29 W, Grey Wagtail 3W, Meadow Pipit 7 W, Swallow 220 W, Sand Martin 22 W, House Martin 7W.

West St Leonards 7.30  AG
Birds identified passing west;- Swallow 74, Sand martin 1, Swift 2 and Grey wagtail 2.
South Saxons 9.00 - 9.50   AG
2 Lesser whitethroats, I Common whitethroat 7 Blackcaps, 1 Reed warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow warbler and 19 Robins.
Swallow 13 W and Rook 1 S.
Galley Hill 10.15 - 10.55   AG
1 Common whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Willow warblers.
Swallow 67 W and Sand martin 1 NW.
Birds seem much more wary since a number of Sparrowhawks and kestrels have fledged locally during August and are often seen hunting.



Brede Valley

Driven out of my Winchelsea allotment by a nearby terribly noisy hedgecutter, [yesterday there were 2 Spotted Flycatchers there, but not today] I abandoned digging and walked to the market garden area below Snailham Wood.

There have been a lot of Whinchats around lately and a fenceline not far below the hill held one of these, 3 Wheatears and a Stonechat; it must have been attractive  in some way as I only saw one more Wheatear on the walk. I was hoping for a Honey Buzzard as these  have been around the Dungeness area lately, but  much scanning produced   just the usual Buzzards, a couple of Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk . However high pitched falcon calls from Snailham wood proved to come from 3 juvenile Hobbies chasing around the trees, an adult was nearby-have they bred here ?

A Kingfisher called from the river, 4 Yellowhammers landed in a hawthorn, and, as I crossed a stile beside the railway line, I noticed 2 tiny Common Lizards on one of the steps, one was obliging enough to stay there while I fumbled for my camera [note the non-slip surface on these railway stiles, great idea]



Hummingbird Hawkmoth


There are some Hummingbird Hawkmoths on the wing. It is a day flying moth, just over an inch long, that hovers over tubular flowers such as Verbena, Honeysuckle, Red Valerian etc. It is a very fast flyer and does not stay still for more than a second or two, and it feeds whilst hovering. It has a very long proboscis that probes deep into the tubular flowers in order to drink nectar. The body of the moth is grey with a chequerboard abdomen and an orange hindwing. The wings beat at up to 1250 beats per minute, and hence are seen as a blur.


Beach Reserve

A fine daybreak and plenty of birds on the move around the Beach Reserve and Harbour Farm, highlights included at least 300 Yellow Wagtails, 12 Wheatear, 35 Goldfinch, 3 Whinchat, 280 Swallows and 70 Sand Martin. Managed to get to the Curlew Roost early enough to see 290 birds head off in various directions. Flat Beach attracted 18 Wigeon, good numbers of roosting gulls and at least 100 Sandwich Terns. Also of note Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper and Kingfisher.