Archive for August 14th, 2006

14th August 2006, Monday

German Wasp

Today I noticed an interesting pattern on the wooden handrail leading to the viewpoint at Castle Water. Then I saw several wasps chewing the surface. They look like German Wasps (Vespula germanica). Unlike bees, the wasps have no wax producing glands and therefore cannot construct wax combs. To get around this they use paper which they make from wood pulp, just like we make paper from wood pulp. The wasps use their powerful jaws to scrape wood from trees and fence posts, this is then chewed up and mixed with saliva and then spread out to make combs
Wasp collecting wood

14th August 2006, Monday

Possible Grey Seal sighting – Pett Level

Large seal, very nosy(!), spotted 5 metres off the beach at Pett Level. Moving east, popping up at intervals to view people on the beach.

Posted by Peter Downes to

14th August 2006, Monday

Ebb tide at Pett Level

As the tide ebbs between sand-banks, small fish and crustaceans are trapped in shallow gulleys, where they run the gauntlet of wading gulls (Herring, Black-headed & Greater Black-back) and diving terns (Common & Sandwich), themselves harried by passing Arctic Skuas.

pett shore 06-08-14.jpg

The fertile bands of sand and silt are scattered with the shells of common bivalves (left to right: Common Piddock (Pholas dactylis), Banded Wedge Shell (Donax vittatus), Rayed Sunset Shell (Mactra corallina), Razor Shell (Ensis ensis).
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14th August 2006, Monday

Rye Harbour Moths

A few interesting species despite the rather cold damp weather last night. Migrant Rush Veneer is still turning up in good numbers, as is Silver Y, while other migrant species included Bordered Straw, Dark Sword-grass, White-point and Evergestis extimalis. Rarities included Reed Dagger, Ethmia bipunctella and Cynaeda dentalis.

rush veneer small.jpg

Rush Veneer

14th August 2006, Monday

Beach Reserve

Wader highlights from the Beach Reserve this morning included, 2 Wood Sandpiper, 9 Green Sandpiper, 10 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 3 Little Ringed Plover and 150+ Golden Plover. Flat Beach also attracted 22 Teal and 56 Mallard, at least 4 Hobby and 2 Marsh Harrier were around Harbour Farm. Along the shore 4 Arctic Skua (pictured) were hanging around and 35+ Gannet were fishing close inshore.

rxfour arctic skua.jpg