The birdwatchers around Rye have been looking more at their local birds this year. So we thought it would be interesting to log the arrival of birds as they travel north - some to stop and nest here, but many more to continue their journey.
During February and March, but especially April and May, millions of birds will travel north, following the sun to try and raise the next generation. The timing of their arrival in Sussex is fairly predictable - with Swift and Spotted Flycatchers being among the latest - but it's always a joy to welcome them each year.
Listed in order of appearance:
NSD = now seen daily
Mediterranean Gull - although some overwintered the first groups of birds were at Pett Level 16th February. NSD
Chiffchaff - although some overwintered, 1 was singing at Castle Water 26th February. NSD
Avocet - although 1 or 2 may have overwintered there was a flock of 36 at Rye Harbour 26th February. NSD
Sandwich Tern - 1 at Pett level 28th February, then on 8th March 12 at Rye Harbour and 5 at Pett Level. 190 roosting at Ternery Pool 28th NSD
Little Ringed Plover - 1 at Rye Harbour 6th and 7th March (this equals the earliest ever in Sussex). NSD
Cold northerly winds delay arrival of spring migrants.
Sand Martin - 1 was at Castle Water 19th March. Many feeding at Castle Water on 1st April. NSD
Swallow - back at its nesting barn in Udimore 24th and 25th March. At Rye Harbour 3 around the temporary cabins on 29th were the first. On 1st April hundredes were at Castle Water feeding on all the flies there. NSD
Little Gull - an adult was feeding at Castle Water on 25th March
Wheatear - 2 different birds seen at Rye Harbour at same time, but different locations on 26th March. NSD
Blackcap - some overwinter, so it's difficult to tell early arrivals, but on 27th March males were heard singing at Winchelsea and Castle Water. NSD
The last two days of March were warm with light southerly winds, so migrations speeded up and even the laughing call of Marsh Frog was heard at 2 locations on 30th.
Sedge Warbler - at least 9 singing males were singing from reedbeds at Rye Harbour on 31st March. NSD
Common Whitethroat - 1 singing in Brambles on 31st March NSD
Willow Warbler - 1 singing at Rye Harbour on 31st March NSD
Garganey - a male of this summer visiting duck was at Pett Level 24th March and then a pair at Rye Harbour on 31st
Yellow Wagtail - one seen on Flat Beach at Rye Harbour 1st April, 5 near Camber Castle on 3rd. NSD
House Martin - several feeding with Swallows at Castle Water on 1st April
Reed Warbler - one singing at Pett Level 2nd April. Several singing at Rye Harbour 10th NSD
More cold weather slowing spring down.
Whimbrel - 5 flying along shore at Pett Level on 5th April, 3 at Castle Water 9th, 10 roosting in evening at Rye Harbour 12th.
Common Tern - one seen flying along river Rother 8th April, 1 at Pett Level 14th. several at Pett Level 19th
Swift - 2 over pits at Rye Harbour 11th April
Cuckoo - 1 heard at Pett Level 13th April, then 1 at Castle Water on 14th
Lesser Whitethroat - 1 calling at Rye Harbour 18th
Little Tern - 1 at Rye Harbour 19th
We'll update this blog through the Spring.
Swifts at Rye Harbour in late May
This post is also available on Sussex Wildlife Trust website