Archive for the 'Fairlight' Category

27th December 2010, Monday

More on House Sparrows

Of all my tetrads covered for the Bird Atlas, the most sparrow-rich has been TQ81Q at Fairlight Cove, which resembles Pat’s area at Camber in that it is a seaside bungalow development though on a cliff-top rather than sand. The gardens there are pretty manicured but many householders put out feeders and there is access to rough grass on the cliff-edge. On my early winter visit I found 76 birds, which had the website sending a flashing red warning that the count was unusually high.

Another good flock is to be found around the entrance to Toot Rock, Pett Level where they exploit a chicken run and up to 60 birds are present in late summer. Around our house at Chick Hill I see breeding adults foraging, as Brian notes, for insects in pasture well-manured by cattle. I share his views on their conservatism in visiting new feeding sites even at a very short distance from an existing one.

House Sparrows are not that easy to count; not only do they squabble inside dense shrubs as Pat notes, but also chirrup invisibly from eaves and gutters. Around Alexandra Park, Hastings, you can hear them calling from nearby streets but they don’t seem to cross to the park itself. In the Weald they are often either absent from human habitation or hanging on in isolated pairs and seem most to favour untidy farms with livestock. In N Spain, though, I’ve noticed they occupy any building, even vacant second homes way out in the woods, with not a chicken in sight.

26th May 2010, Wednesday

Cliff Aliens

Walking beneath the cliffs at Fairlight yesterday it was striking how the dominant plants are non-natives. As the gardens (and houses) tumble into the sea, some of the garden plants have established in a big way. The “big three” are Pampas Grass, Wall Flower and Hottentot Fig. They are certainly attractive flowers, but are they a good thing? I suspect they offer food and shelter to many native invertebrates, perhaps even rare species…

Pampas Grass
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28th July 2009, Tuesday

Nest box success

The picture below shows the first appearance of young House Sparrows that have fledged from a nest box that I put up at the back of my house last year. The box was a communal type and aimed at House Sparrows because ivy that had been used as a nest site in previous years had to be removed.


Fred Batchelor by email

17th October 2007, Wednesday

Moths at Fairlight

Last night was the best of the autumn in my garden trap, despite heavy rain. 10 species included a migrant Rusty Dot Pearl, Black Rustic, L-album Wainscot, Red Line Quaker and Sallow. Also a Twenty Plume moth in the kitchen and Hummingbird Hawk in the garden again.

Photo of L-album wainscot by Alan Parker
Photo of L-album wainscot by Alan Parker

Posted by Alan Parker on wildhastings

14th October 2007, Sunday

Moths at Fairlight

Still very few moths in my garden trap, but today an L-album Wainscot-the third this year, and again a Hummingbird Hawk Moth on Verbena bonariensis

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Posted by Alan Parker on wildhastings

6th October 2007, Saturday

Moths in Fairlight

Very few moths trapped recently but in the trap yesterday a Dark Sword-grass. In our garden a Hummingbird Hawk Moth for the second day feeding on Verbena Bonariensis along with 6 Red Admirals, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady & Speckled Wood. Also Rhododendron Leafhopper on sunflower.

Reported by Alan Parker on