Archive for September, 2006

30th September 2006, Saturday

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

From the viewpoint at Castle Water this morning, 37 Little Egret left the roost, 4 Bearded Tit, 6 Ruff, 100+ Wigeon, 48 Gadwall and 3 Green Sandpiper. On the Beach Reserve 10 Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper and 200+ Golden Plover. On Harbour Farm, 300 Linnet, 60 Meadow Pipit, 50+ Goldfinch, 4 Whinchat and 2 Wheatear. With plenty of small prey around Sparrowhawks (male pictured) are regular at Castle Water and the Beach Reserve.

rxsparrowhawk2.jpg

29th September 2006, Friday

Rye Harbour, Beach Reserve

Highlights this morning have been, 9 Little Stint ,4 Green Sandpiper, Arctic Skua, Merlin, Marsh Harrier and 3 Whinchat.

27th September 2006, Wednesday

Pett Pools

If you visit Pett Pools you will notice some special management taking place.
An introduced water plant, Australian Swampweed (also known as New Zealand Pigmyweed or Australian Swamp Stonecrop) Crassula helmsii, is threatening the native wetland wildlife. The Wetland Trust is carrying out essential management of these pools to protect their long term wildlife value. This will involve lowering the water level by pumping, careful application of herbicide and possibly burning. This work has been agreed with English Nature and the Environment Agency.
Ten or so years ago the roadside pool was drained each autumn by the Sussex Ornithological Society to attract wading birds. It was a very good birdwatching site and so the current management may also provide good birdwatching.

27th September 2006, Wednesday

Rye Harbour Sightings

Highlight this morning was a Wryneck which was present next to the path beyond the Parkes Hide at 11am. On Harbour Farm, 10 Little Stint and a Green Sandpiper were present on the excavations, while on Flat Beach Level 60 Dunlin, 59 Ringed Plover, 10 Grey Plover and a Sanderling roosted.

27th September 2006, Wednesday

Rye Harbour Moths

The run of good migrants in the Lime Kiln moth trap continues, with yet another Clancy’s Rustic this morning. Also of note were four Delicate, two L-album Wainscot, two Pearly Underwing and a Convolvulus Hawk-moth.

27th September 2006, Wednesday

Pett – Winchelsea

The birds were a bit more varied and exciting this morning, starting with a Marsh Harrier labouring high south against a Tiepolo sky just as I left the house. There was I, between cars and dustbins, on my way to Winchelsea and there it was, with a view way across the Channel and France as its destination.

As I scanned for Gannets from the top of the hill, the coast was speckled with little bands of migrating birds, while overhead the sky was full of twittering hirundines and passing Meadow Pipits and Goldfinches.

The oaks along the old cliffline were busy with Chiffchaffs and Chaffinches, pursued by a Merlin performing headlong figures-of-eight among the treetops.

No sign of the Spoonbill at the Flood, but a Tree Pipit called overhead and a few minutes later an Osprey came flapping across the marsh, gliding low over the heads of a couple of dog-walkers who remained oblivious to its presence in spite of its glittering white undersides, lit by the low sun.

26th September 2006, Tuesday

Pannel Valley NR

A colour ringed Spoonbill was the highlight yesterday which joined 6 Little Egret on Carters Flood until midday. Today 13 Little Egret were present representing a new record count for the site, whilst impressive numbers also came in the form of 5-10,000 Swallow coming into roost this evening! Migratory passerines can still be found in good numbers around the reserve with Chiffchaff being particularly numerous whilst late migrating species such as Stonechat and Goldcrest are just starting to appear. More unusual migrants have included a Nightjar and a Redstart in recent days.

26th September 2006, Tuesday

Reed Dagger

This Reed Dagger caterpillar was found while cutting willows at Castle Water, this is a nationally scarce species but not uncommon at Rye Harbour.

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26th September 2006, Tuesday

Rye Harbour Moths

The catch in the Lime Kiln moth trap was relatively sparse last night, with 90% of the numbers made up by Rush Veneer, Square-spot Rustic and Lunar Underwing. However, one or two interesting species were present, including a second Clancy’s Rustic (below), a Scarce Bordered Straw, a Small Mottled Willow and several Feathered Brindle. Firsts for the year included a Sallow, and two Autumnal Rustic (bottom), which despite being a nationally common species is less than annual at Rye Harbour
Clancy's Rustic

Clancy’s Rustic

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25th September 2006, Monday

Convolvulus Hawk-moth Caterpillar

This impressive Convolvulus Hawk-moth caterpillar (below) was found outside Lime Kiln Cottage this morning by a member of the public. The adult moth (bottom) is a fairly regular migrant to Britain, occurring mainly in late summer and autumn. However, the species only breeds in Britain irregularly, the caterpillars usually being found on bindweed (Convolvulus – hence the name!)
Convolvulus Hawk-moth Caterpillar

Convolvulus Hawk-moth Caterpillar

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