Archive for January, 2007

31st January 2007, Wednesday

News from RSPB Dungeness

Ten goldeneye were showing well from Hanson ARC hide. An Egyptian goose was seen flying over the reserve.  Smew and goosander were still visible on Burrowes pit and a pair of peregrines were seen at the ARC side of the reserve. Two chiffchaffs were also reported.

30th January 2007, Tuesday

Recent news from Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve

On Sunday 28th two harbour porpoise were reported loafing off Ecclesbourne Glen as well as 7 eider. Also reported around the nature reserve were 2 chiffchaff, hawfinch, 9 redwing, 27 song thrush and a fieldfare. A distant red kite was also reported from the helipad car park.

Also in recent weeks a barn owl has been reported hunting near the barn owl boxes and 2 raven have been regularly seen feeding on the farm fields.

30th January 2007, Tuesday

Mystery Duck

At the Long Pit, in amongst hundreds of Tufted Duck and Pochard there was a duck that at first appeared to be a Ferruginous Duck. It was right over the back and the weather was gloomy so photos are rather poor! A second look suggested that it is a hybrid Pochard x Ferruginous Duck. Also on the Long Pit, the Black-necked Grebe was still present, as were eight Goldeneye (three drakes) while at the Narrow Pits, two Long-eared Owl were roosting in trees at the left-hand end of the pit.
Ferruginous DuckFerruginous Duck

30th January 2007, Tuesday

Castle Water

Highlights included,1500+ roosting Lapwing, 16 Golden Plover, Green Sandpiper, 3 Scaup, Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher. Two Little Owl showed well perched on fence posts at the southern end of the main pit. A Peregrine and Marsh Harrier made several appearances which caused some disturbance.

30th January 2007, Tuesday

Castle Water Fungi

Six Coprinus species have been recorded on the Nature Reserve, all have been at Castle Water. Today a huge group of Glistening Inkcap (Coprinus micaceus) was found on and around the base of a rotting Willow. This is a common species, but has only been found at two locations at Castle Water.

rxcoprinus micaeus (glistening inkcap).JPG

30th January 2007, Tuesday

News from RSPB Dungeness

Smew were seen on Burrowes pit and the New Excavaitions.  Goosander were also seen on Burrowes pit.

Three ruff flew over Denge marsh early in the morning and a goldcrest and a singing corn butniting were spotted on the bridle track.


30th January 2007, Tuesday

Walland Marsh Ramble

A walk across public footpaths on Walland Marsh on Sunday 28th January in a fairly cool wind produced a number of interesting species: literally thousands of Lapwing and Golden Plover, large flocks of Pintail, Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler, a flock of about 70 White-fronted Geese also included a few Greylag Geese and one Egyptian Goose. A small flock of Greylags in flight were joined by two Snow Geese, while six Bewick Swans flew over honking.

rx Walland-Marsh-01.07-1w.jpg

Read the rest of this entry »

30th January 2007, Tuesday

Beach Reserve

Highlights from early this morning, 264 Curlew were roosting on Flat Beach, 87  Corn Bunting were counted inflight over Lime Kiln Cottage and a Merlin was seen near Ternery Pool.

29th January 2007, Monday

Medlar in Guestling Wood

The Woodland Trust purchased Guestling Wood last year. On the Trust’s website
I found this intriguing article.
“Mystery fruit tree foundThe Hastings Botany Group discovered a very unusual tree while conducting a botanical survey at Guestling Wood in Sussex. Members of the group were most surprised to come across a Medlar tree (Mespilus germanica) in the woodland.

Dave Bonsall, woodland officer for the wood, said: The tree was discovered near a Scout hut. It is quite an unassuming little tree, only about 10ft high, so could easily have been missed. It is not believed to be native to the UK and being a fruit tree, doesn’t normally grow in the wild – so it is quite an oddity to find it here

The Medlar’s normal range is south-east Europe to western Asia, although it has been cultivated for centuries beyond its normal range. The trees are dark in appearance, with contorted trunks, and solitary wild flowers on the branches.

So how did it get there? Read the rest of this entry »

29th January 2007, Monday


Saturday 27th January 2007
0830-1100: 59sp

Little birds have begun to re-occupy the area. I counted 58 Blue & 35Great Tits and 31 Blackbirds, mostly in the tall oaks and hazel coppice alongside the railway. Wrens are evenly distributed between that habitat and reedy ditches.

Numbers of corvids have dropped off sharply, with only about 20
Carrion Crows and 10 Jackdaws
, though most of the 11 Magpies were already paired up.

500 Woodpigeons, 200 Lapwings and hundreds of gulls were feeding on the large area of partially consumed kale to the west of the valley, with an indeterminate number of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails running about on the muddy areas.

Although a f Marsh Harrier (showing less white than the one a fortnight ago) did its best to flush the ducks, counting them was as tricky as ever. There appeared to be 120 Mallard, 100 Teal, 30 Shoveler, 10 Wigeon & 6 Gadwall. Interestingly, a pair of Coot had returned, echoing the increased numbers at Powdermill last week.

The Cetti’s Warbler is still in situ – this week rattling from a clogged-up ditch just S of the crossing – but I did not see the Water Pipits.

Other birds of interest: 4 Little Grebes on the Brede, Buzzard (heard) and a Grey Wagtail, also heard, at the road bridge.