Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Hastings happy hour

I stayed overnight in Hastings at my dad's on Tuesday, and as Wednesday morning dawned fine and sunny (albeit pretty freezing cold) I decided to nip down to the seafront to see the Fulmars before we hit the town centre to do the shopping.

As I walked down Rock-a-nore Road, I could hear Fulmars cackling from the cliffs above. In the very sheer cliff face adjacent to where the East Hill funicular lift goes up to the top of the East Hill, there were several Fulmars tucked into hollows in the rock.

I stood in the car park at the end of the road and took a few flight shots. Their numbers seem to be up on last year. I noticed one bird waving its feet around as it flew, and was also struck by how little the feet are.

There were a number of gulls loafing on the beach. Here's a Great Black-backed showing how much bigger it is than its Herring minions...

... and this is also a GBBG, a youngster in first-winter plumage. Although it was quite windy, the wind direction must have been such that it flattened rather than whipped up the sea, no nice dramatic wave action today.

A Herring Gull approached, carrying a whelk. It had a particularly awkward grip on its prize, holding it vertically, which forced it to have its bill open very wide.

Whoops, dropped it...

... or maybe the dropping was on purpose, to break the whelk on the stones below.

The gull very athletically followed the plummeting gastropod.

The whelk did not break on impact, or not visibly so at least. The gull collected it, in a more comfortable grip this time, and carried it away.

This gull also seemed in playful mood. I watched it slide all of the way down this rooftop.

A good-looking adult Cormorant came in off the sea and flew along the base of the cliffs (which are covered in scrubby vegetation).

After this I walked up Tamarisk Steps and on up to the top of the East Hill, only to find that my favourite viewpoint over the town was blocked off, being full of fence panels and bits of tree. This was disappointing. I walked along looking for another good viewpoint but didn't find one. A few little flocks of Meadow Pipits went over.

Going back down the steps, I noticed a Raven over the Old Town, and grabbed a few rubbish photos before it headed off in the direction of Fairlight.

On the walk back through the Old Town to dad's I noticed this rather odd-looking Feral Pigeon so took a picture of it. And how about that blue sky?

I staked out dad's garden for a little while when I got back, hoping for more Ravens, but no luck. It looks like the nesting Blue Tits are back, I was roundly scolded by this one and its mate when I stepped outside.

Wildcat! Oh, alright, a tamecat. She was climbing up a roof opposite dad's garden, a roof that has its own nesting Herring Gulls although they were out at the time. I imagine the gulls would give the cat short shrift if they caught her up there.


Phil said...

Love the Gull and Whelk sequence Marianne.
Not so sure about the moggy though! :-)

Warren Baker said...

Nice Post Marianne,
Good to see a different location, a ''normal'' patch. not many people go ''wild-lifing there.

Graham Canny said...

Great aerial shots, sounds like a lovely day out!