The most conspicuous and spectacular of autumn migrations are those of the swallows, house martins and sand martins (hirundines). In some years tens of thousands of birds can be seen in a day during late September. During an easterly wind these birds fly east towards Dungeness where they cross the channel on their way south, in westerly winds the migrants fly west towards Beachy Head.
In certain weather conditions such as during heavy mist or light rain these birds can sometimes be forced to make landfall to rest when thousands of birds can be seen resting on window ledges and roof gutters.
This migration can be witnessed anywhere along the coast of Hastings but the West Hill is probably the best place to witness autumn migration due to the excellent all round vision. Swallows on migration fly very low to the ground to catch a quick snack from any flying insect while en route. On the West Hill this can mean that incredibly close views of low flying migrating swallows can be seen.
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