As far as Old Roar Ghyll
A gloomy, windy morning for today’s RXbirdwalk, but from the tall treetops of Alexandra Park the sound that came was not howling or droning but the cheerful melodies of several Song Thrushes. With ten days yet till the solstice, their music was enlivening and backed up by early drumming of a G S Woodpecker.
As usual the park was packed with Great and Blue Tits, plenty of cooing Woodpigeons and of course the Hastings Sound of Herring Gulls. Multiple Magpies too and insouciant Jays. It’s not yet cold enough to drive in Redwings or much in the way of wildfowl (c70 Mallard, 2 Mute Swans, c20 Moorhens and a single Coot). We could only see one of the pair of pinioned White-fronted Geese which have been in the park for at least 6 years.
As we moved upstream from the more formal park into the wilds of Old Roar, we could find no Fancy Finches in the Alders overhanging the dark and sludgy settling ponds (the Blue Plaque Night Heron Pond) and just one Grey Wagtail which however Showed Well among the little waterfalls.
The shrill alarm calls of various little birds suggested there was a raptor prowling above the twiggery sure enough, as soon as we emerged on the road with a bit of sky in view a Sparrowhawk drifted over.
We were lucky enough to miss all but a little rain as well as a Fun Run involving a large number of people dressed as Santa Claus. 34 species.