Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Hastings highlights

This Sunday to Tuesday was a Hastings visit, and again I brought my camera as Monday morning's forecast was good. I got out early, perhaps a bit too early.

I went to the beach as before, the stretch where the fishing boats are in between the harbour arm and Rockanore. On the beach was a collection of various-aged Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. It was too dark at first for the birds so I took a couple of skyscapes, even though I had totally the wrong lens for this kind of thing.

 It looks cloudy, but there was actually only a little bit of wispy cloud on the horizon, just enough to detain the sunlight for about 15 minutes.

I was impatient to get photographing though, so took a few noisy pics while the sun was still hidden. The adult Great Black-backed is ringed, would be interesting to know where it came from but I'm not going to volunteer to rugby-tackle it and check the ring details.

At last, proper sunshine. Here's a streaky-headed adult Herring Gull...

... and a confiding juvenile, sitting on the Rockanore wall and hoping I'll go away.

This Jackdaw was one of a flock of about six, that came gliding down from the cliffs to begin a busy day of crumb-hunting in the car park.

Also in the car park, a Black-headed Gull that settled down in a puddle. I mainly took this pic to show my dad that there are still some Black-headed Gulls in Hastings Old Town in winter, though certainly way fewer than there were when I was growing up here.

After this, I decided to climb up Tamarisk Steps to Tackleway, and from there up the long set of steps that climbs to the top of the East Hill. I had no particular plans for what I'd do once I got there, but ended up just finding a spot to stand on the top by the lift, and waiting to see what came along.

Spotting a fast-moving and small-looking falcon, I raised the camera expecting it to be a Kestrel, but got a nice surprise - juvenile Peregrine. I suppose this is evidence of fairly local breeding? Or maybe not? We have seen adults just along the coast a bit in Fairlight.

I realised this was a Raven as it bombed past, and had that 'oh well, at least I got a photo' feeling as it disappeared along the hillside, out of view. But then, to my great joy, it came back, with another one.

The Ravens tumbled about together, while I willed them to come closer. This is another species we've seen at Fairlight, and I once saw one high overhead from my dad's street.

The Ravens did come closer. I kept firing off shots (though the camera kept stopping mid-burst, damn the slow write speed of my memory card!) and got a few OKish closer shots.

I saw the Peregrine once more, but got no photos to speak of. The other avian action was supplied by a party of maybe 10 Magpies, who kept flying up into the breeze and getting blown about.

Some of the Magpie photos look very strange indeed, capturing them from some peculiar angles as the wind played with them. Here's one that is at least recognisable.

1 comment:

Alan Pavey said...

A nice set of photos Marianne, standing on the hill paid dividends, especially like the last shot