Archive for November, 2006

30th November 2006, Thursday

Beach Reserve and Long Pit

Highlights this morning: 65 Corn  Bunting and 40 Skylark inflight over Lime Kiln Cottage heading for the nearby fields, Merlin, 4 Stonechat, 12 Grey Partridge and 50+ Linnet were also on Harbour Farm. 460 Oystercatcher and 71 Sanderling were roosting on Camber shore, 2 Red-throated Diver were fishing close inshore near the River Mouth. 115 Curlew took off from the new pools behind Ternery Pool, where they must have roosted overnight. Long pit held a good selection of wildfowl, 150 Tufted Duck, 122 Pochard, 2 Red-crested Pochard, 2 Scaup,3 Goldeneye and 18 Great Crested Grebe.

29th November 2006, Wednesday

Pett – Winchelsea

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Several Song Thrushes now rival one another in the morning chorus at Chick Hill, while nearby a lonesome Egyptian Goose patrols the slopes.

The ditches near to the Carter’s Flood hide have recently attracted a variety of scarcer  wetland birds including Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail and Little Egret, with Stonechats on the nearby reeds. There was also a Barn Owl this morning.

At dusk, Water Rails, Cetti’s Warblers and Bearded Tits could be heard calling from the Pannel reedbeds and the abrupt spluttering of Pheasants from the valley’s dark recesses set off a chorus of Little & Tawny Owls.

Read the rest of this entry »

29th November 2006, Wednesday

News from RSPB Dungeness

A goosander was seen flying from the New Diggings to Burrowes pit.
A total of eleven ruff were seen (ten on the ARC pits and one at Denge Marsh) additionally 230 golden plovers and nine dunlin were seen at Denge  Marsh.
A Dartford warbler was seen near the viewpoint.

29th November 2006, Wednesday

Pannel Valley Reserve

At Carters Flood 300 Lapwing and four Redshank were present early this morning, whilst three Little Egret appeared to come out of roost from the alder wood.

Lapwing - Carters Flood

Overhead a few birds were on the move including Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail and Skylark, whilst two Chiffchaff in flooded woodland seem set to overwinter. Winter visitors are still thin on the ground with just the odd Fieldfare and Redwing present and a group of 5 Siskin in the alders.

29th November 2006, Wednesday

Castle Water at Dawn

From the viewpoint, 46 Little Egret left the island roost, as did 60 Stock Dove and 90+ Jackdaw, 2 Smew (redhead) flew in from Northpoint pit, 66 Mute Swan took off from the main pit. At least 5 Water Rail were calling amongst the reeds, 3 Cetti’s Warbler and a Kingfisher were also present.

Little Egret

28th November 2006, Tuesday

Pannel Valley NR

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Two Marsh Harrier and a Kingfisher were the only birds of note on a windy and wet morning. There was a Chiffchaff in one of the Hawthorn hedges and a very confused Mistle Thrush in full song.

28th November 2006, Tuesday

News from RSPB Dungeness

Two marsh harriers were seen flying over Burrowes pit. Smew, goosander, curlew and kingfisher were also seen from the visitor centre in the morning.  Over 250 golden plovers were seen from Denge Marsh hide.

Christmas shopping weekend

Saturday 2 and Sunday 3, 10 am – 4 pm
Enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a home-made mince pie whilst you shop.  Father Christmas will be dropping in to see the children with a few festive surprises. Our bird shop will be full of Christmas cards, calendars and gifts.  Entry to the visitor centre is free.


28th November 2006, Tuesday

Rye Harbour Sightings

A redhead Smew was present this morning on Castle Water, visible but distant from the hide. A Peregrine was also visible from here chasing Lapwings with little success. On the Beach Reserve, a flock of 300 Golden Plover roosted on Flat Beach along with small numbers of Grey Plover, Dunlin and Redshank.

27th November 2006, Monday

Apple of Peru, Nicandra physaloides

Apple of Peru, Nicandra physaloides

I have come across the very distinctive apple of Peru or shoo-fly plant, Nicandra physaloides, several times this year, though it is not a plant I have seen in the wild before. My latest sighting was of several plants still in flower in a private garden in Baldslow on the outskirts of Hastings and I have also seen it in Balcombe Green, Sedlescombe.

It is an alien species from, as the name suggests, South America and poisonous to boot. As the shape of the fruit suggests, it is related to the Physalis fruit, or Cape gooseberry sometimes sold in supermarkets.

I wonder if anyone else has seen it locally this year and if it is going to become a familiar plant.

27th November 2006, Monday

Change of dates!

Please note that two of the planned talks at The Iden and District Natural History Society have swapped their dates.
December 8th and January 26th dates have been switched. See the published list of talks here which shows the talks BEFORE the change.