For the last three mornings I have spent some time watching from Rock-a-Nore carpark [enjoying all that sea after spending 3 weeks away in a land-locked country]. Of some note was yesterday: strong winds, rain and crashing waves first thing, theoretically good for seawatching, but in my experience usually hopeless, so a pleasant surprise to see a Great Skua and a 1W Little gull [but there were thousands passing the other side of the Channel]. This morning was calm and quite hard work, though I did see about 20 presumed Red-throated divers passing, and a close Black-throated Diver going west. Other birds were a few Fulmars yesterday, a Kittiwake the day before that-they seem very scarce these days, and small numbers of auks, Gannets and Common Scoters. Up to 170 GBB Gulls were on the harbour arm.
I was just leaving the Castle Water Viewpoint at 1 pm today when I was amazed to see a male Migrant Hawker flying rather weakly back and forth over the boardwalk right in front of me. The recorded last dates nationally in the B.D.S.'s magazine Dragonfly News were 20th, 26th & 18th November in 2014, 2013 & 2012, so this is exceptionally late. However, Common Darters can fly into December (3rd, 11th & 8th respectively), so can you do better?
Sunday November 22nd
St Leonards Marina 7.30 - 13.10 AG
Some landbird passage West with Woodpigeon 975, Stock dove 17, Starling 48, Linnet 6, Goldfinch 32 and Chaffinch 7.
Offshore passage noted from mid morning with a good variety of species;-
Red-necked grebe 1 W, Great crested grebe 3 W, Little auk 1 W at 11.53, auk sp. 10 E, Common gull 115 W, Black-headed gull 90 W, Curlew 1 W, diver sp. 6 W 10 E, Red-throated diver 23 W, Eider 3 full drakes diving and preening on the sea drifted slowly west before flying off in that direction, Red-breasted merganser 9 W, Shelduck 11 W, Teal 16 W 25 E, Wigeon 9 E, Gadwall 2 W, Common scoter 22 W 21 E and Brent goose 54 W 41 E.
St Leonards Marina 7.30 - 13.30 AG
some early landbird passage West of Chaffinch 12, Goldfinch 113, Siskin 8, Woodpigeon 24.
In the severe weather conditions birds were noted passing west offshore through the day with Black-headed gull 200, Common Gull 20, Kittiwake 8, Little gull 11, Lesser black-backed gull 15, Herring gull 120, Brent goose 38, Teal 12, Common scoter 3, Grey goose (probably Greylag f7 or 8 in), Snipe f5 S, Dunlin 4, Curlew 1, Razorbill 1 and a Great northern diver heading against the gale through the sea spray.
Galley Hill 7.30 - 9.00 SR
Linnet 54, Starling 35 in and Goldfinch 62 W. Also passage West offshore of: Teal 6, Wigeon 3, Shelduck 3, Common scoter 5, Auk sp. 10, Red-breasted merganser 4, Great crested grebe 3 and Brent goose 25.
West Hill 15.30 MG: Fieldfare 2 in
Flat Beach and the new saltmarsh areas provided good avian activity this week, 2500 Golden Plover, 800 Lapwing, 270 Curlew, 58 Snipe, 70 Redshank, Spotted Redshank, 95 Dunlin and 220 Oystercatcher. Wigeon and Teal were also around in good numbers with 540 and 320 respectively. Merlin, Peregrine and Marsh Harrier have been regular visitors and a Wheatear at Parkes Hide this morning was notable.