Archive for June, 2006

30th June 2006, Friday

Cinnabar

There are many Cinnabar moths at Castle Water at the moment, although these moths are nocturnal they flutter away when disturbed from their resting places amongst low vegetation. The Caterpillars feed on Ragwort and can easily strip the plants bare.

rxcinnabar.jpgrxcinnabarlarva.JPG

29th June 2006, Thursday

Tern Chicks

So far, this year has been an excellent one for breeding terns at Rye Harbour and now there are lots of chicks to see.
Sandwich Tern (500+ pairs) are nesting on 4 islands at Ternery Pool and on the bank, there are chicks of all ages, and best views are from the Crittall Hide.
Common Tern (169 pairs) are nesting on most islands at Ternery Pool and on the raft at Castle Water, the oldest chicks are just begining to fly.
Little Tern (21 pairs) are nesting on shore and have many chicks, they are best viewed from the volunteers caravan.
For the third year running there is a good supply of fish in the sea and the chicks are growing fast.
Sandwich Tern chick
Sandwich Tern with chick

28th June 2006, Wednesday

Speckled Bush Crickets

There seems to be quite a lot of Speckled Bush Crickets in our garden at Sedlescombe this year. I have been photographing them at their different stages of their development. They are not yet fully mature, but should be, by late July early August. The females develop a long sabre-kind of growth on the backside, used to deposit eggs. It looks like some of the individuals in the photo maybe starting to develop these. The males gain a prominent, brown stripe on their backs, and their legs turn partially brown. Their mating call is ultrasonic and lasts only a few milliseconds. I hope enough of them survive the next few weeks so that I can photograph the adults.
Speckled Bush Crickets
Dave Monk

28th June 2006, Wednesday

Spotted Crane-fly

The Spotted Crane-fly is identified by its clear, shiny wings and spotted body, at rest the wings are normally folded flat over the body. The female above in the picture will lay her eggs by pushing the tough reddish tip of her abdomen into the soil.

rxspottedcranefly.jpg

28th June 2006, Wednesday

Juvenile Gulls

It can be a confusing time for bird watchers at Ternery Pool, with so many birds in plumages not shown in most field guides. Now is the best time to see juvenile gulls – hundreds of Black-headed Gull, showing brown backs, white bellies, pale legs and patterned heads, and fewer Mediterranean Gull showing grey “scaly” backs, grey bellies, dark legs and plain heads.
Juvenile Mediterranean Gull

Mediterranean Gull

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28th June 2006, Wednesday

Skylark

Singing Skylarks are a favourite with visitors to the reserve, 37 pairs nested this year mainly on the Beach Reserve. The one in the picture started singing from its Sea-kale perch, before climbing higher and higher on fluttering wings.

rxskylark.jpg

27th June 2006, Tuesday

Rare Duck

A female Ferruginous Duck was swimming around the roadside pool at Pett Level this morning. It was diving regularly and quite difficult to find. Access is not permitted around the pools, but you can get a good view from the roadside, or the top of the sea wall.

Ferruginous Duck

Ferruginous Duck

John Willsher

27th June 2006, Tuesday

Tiny shingle flowers… and insects

Herb Robert is a widespread plant of hedgerow and woodland, but there is a seaside sub-species that grows on the shingle at Rye Harbour. Last year the enormous grazing pressure from Rabbits resulted in few flowers being produced, but there are a few of the dark red rosettes to be found in flower now.
Herb Robert

Herb Robert
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27th June 2006, Tuesday

Ternery Pool

I was surprised to see an adult Mediterranean Gull responding to the begging of what looks like a fledged Black-headed Gull, has this bird got mixed parents, or is the Med Gull just being overwhelmed by parental instincts. (photos taken thro’ binoculars)

rxmedblack1.jpg

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26th June 2006, Monday

Twiggy or Moth Mullein ?

There are tall yellow spikes of a Mullein along the private road near the Little Terns on the shore. For many years we have named these as Twiggy Mullein, but it has been suggested they could be Moth Mullein. I have looked at several plant books, including Stace, but I cannot make my mind up…. they have characters of both!

It is definately Twiggy Mullein, closer inspection revealed multiple buds in the lower bracts and very short flower stalks.
? Mullein

Twiggy Mullein