Archive for December, 2005

31st December 2005, Saturday

Happy New Year

I just wrote a nice account of New Year’s Eve wonders on Pett Level, but then my computer disconnected and I lost it.
So you’ll have to guess.

A bird-full, plant-full, moth-full, midge-full, moss-full, fungus-full, scuttlefly-full 2006 to all RXers.
Cliff Dean

30th December 2005, Friday

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Some additional highlights from the past few days: 250+ Corn Bunting and 120 Skylark flew over Lime Kiln Cottage, 20 Reed Bunting could be found perched on the fence at the Wader Pool, 300+ Fieldfare and 100+ Redwing flew over Rye Harbour Village. At least 40 Grey Partridge have been found on Harbour Farm while checking and feeding the Goats. Also a Marsh Harrier made a good job flushing all the Birds at Castle Water.

30th December 2005, Friday

Pett Countryside

In addition to the songbirds listed by Nick, at least 200 Stock Doves have been in the area. Blackbirds have been unusually numerous at inland sites over the last few weeks and are conspicuous among the Fieldfares. Song Thrushes have been more noticeable since snow fell, but are scattered in small numbers along hedgerows and even out in marsh ditches.
I’ve had good views of Water Rails along the iron-stained ditch at Pannel Bridge and have disturbed several Woodcock from their brackeny benders.
At least one Water Pipit remains along the RM Canal and a Merlin was over the Level at dusk last night.

Mosaic of woodland, arable and pasture.

29th December 2005, Thursday

West St Leonards

At West St Leonards 18 red-throated divers, 12 great crested grebes and 3 common scoter were on the sea. Another 30 red-throated divers flew west early morning.

29th December 2005, Thursday

Pannel Valley

Cover crops on the reserve held good numbers of birds in the snowy conditions and produced some surprising sightings including: Woodlark, Dartford Warbler, 15+ Corn Buntings, 70 Tree Sparrows and in excess of 350 Reed Buntings.
A ringtail Hen Harrier and 2 Marsh Harriers were also present, as well as large mixed flocks of Fieldfare, Redwing and Starling in the orchards near Icklesham.

29th December 2005, Thursday

Rye Harbour

Although overcast and gloomy I set out for Castle Water in the hope of finding an elusive Bittern (but failed)… At Long Pit at least 1 Slavonian Grebe and 1 drake Goldeneye. At Castle Water a Kingfisher, 1000 Lapwing, 200 Golden Plover, 600 Wigeon, 200 Teal and a Black-headed Gull with a full brown hood – an early date to see this summer plumage! On Narrow Pits 1 Long-eared Owl and then the highlight of the morning 5 Smew, all drakes.
(Visitor reported sightings for 27th – a Bittern at Narrow Pits, 5 Ruff and 2 Bewick Swan at Castle Water)

Slavonian Grebe at Long Pit.

28th December 2005, Wednesday

West St Leonards

Over 20 red-throated divers were close inshore on the sea opposite west st leonards early morning. Another 50 flew west. Also on the sea was a small number of great crested grebes, auks and common scoter. There was also a small westerley movement of linnet and chaffinch.

28th December 2005, Wednesday

Short-eared Owls

One or two Short-eared Owls are seen regularly at the west end of the Beach Reserve. A good vantage point is to stand on the road near the Old Lifeboat House and look inland and watch for crows mobbing…

28th December 2005, Wednesday

Ermine ?

I live at Dungeness and I have a Stoat in the Garden that is 2/3rds white, every time I see it, it is getting whiter and whiter, I first saw it about 2 weeks ago and it was pale, on boxing day I spotted it again and it is almost white now.

from Dave Bunney by e-mail

27th December 2005, Tuesday

Pett Level

A walk in the snow along the RM Canal this afternoon turned up ringtail Hen Harrier, Green Sandpiper, 1-2 Water Pipits & 5 Stonechats.
Yesterday at Cliff End there were 70 grey geese flying S ahead of the bad weather, 110 GC Grebes offshore and Grey Heron & Little Egret on the beach.
On 24th there were 17 Eiders offshore.

Snowy day at Pett Level