Hastings Country Park NR

11th October 2009, Sunday

Though I had no more than an hour to spend on this grey morning, a lot of birds were on the move past the old coastguard houses, mostly flying E. Many were just bundles of tiny dots bowling past the headland, anonymous had they not issued the twitter of contact notes which distinguished them as Goldfinches (730), Linnets (220), Meadow Pipit (50), Siskin (40), Pied Wagtail (25), Lesser Redpoll (10) etc etc.

A Brambling buzzed as it came over and then a clear and distinctive call that had me stumped. the bird wasn’t high but no colours were visible. However I suspected from its shape and general neck-of-the-wood qualities of its voice that it was a Scarlet Rosefinch, something I haven’t seen for years and never in the UK. Once I got to some books and sound files I knew that’s what it had been.

Paul James was there with his Wildlife Walks group (http://www.sussexwildlifewalks.com) and had already found Ring Ouzel and Crossbills, but I saw none of the latter till I got home when 19 flew over my house.