SPLASH POINT

Seabirds and early mi­grants from the South Downs

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - PAUL TRODD

SPLASH POINT IS one of Sus­sex’s premier sea-watch­ing lo­ca­tions, with the sea level prom­e­nade and hous­ing con­trast­ing with the rolling chalk down­land and white sea cliffs of the South Downs. The spec­tac­u­lar scenery east from Seaford to Beachy Head falls within the Seven Sis­ters Coun­try Park, an Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty, and Bri­tain’s new­est Na­tional Park, the South Downs. The walk also passes across a golf course, arable farm­land and skirts the Cuck­mere Val­ley. Sea­watch­ing from West Groyne break­wa­ter is most pro­duc­tive on an on­shore wind dur­ing the morn­ing. The early spring up-chan­nel pas­sage of com­mon seabirds, wild­fowl and waders can fea­ture gems such as Gar­ganey, Eider, Vel­vet Scoter and Avo­cet. Mov­ing into April, the va­ri­ety in­creases. A Kit­ti­wake colony along the cliffs is one of the few re­main­ing on the south coast, while Pere­grine are re­cent colonists. In­com­ing mi­grants, such as hirundines and Yel­low Wag­tail, pass over­head as spring pro­gresses. Black Red­start, Wheatear and Ring Ouzel can be grounded around the golf course and in scrub. You could ex­tend the walk to take in the South Downs Way.

Kit­ti­wake

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