Archive for June, 2007

30th June 2007, Saturday

Beach Reserve

It looks like the last sitting Little Tern has given up, there was no activity within the fenced off enclosure this morning, although 17 Little Terns were present along the shore. Bird highlights this morning included, 2 Green Sandpiper and 5 Little Egret at Ternery Pool. Avocet and Little Ringed Plover are still present on the new pools behind Ternery Pool and 22 Curlew were feeding along the shore.

29th June 2007, Friday

Seabirds Suffering

It is not good news about the nesting seabirds at Rye Harbour. The continuing wet, cold and windy weather has taken a great toll on the small fluffy chicks of the terns and the gulls. Feeding has been difficult with stormy seas, so the chicks get hungry and weak and don’t hide when danger threatens. The adults spend more time away feeding, so cannot collectively repel threats, which come in the form of Herring Gulls and Kestrel. Today I was watching the last of 2 Common Tern chicks close to the webcam, next to the base of the wooden post… the adult flew up and the chick stayed in the open, then down came 2 bright yellow legs and took the tiny chick away… a tasty snack for a hungry Kestrel, probably with it’s own hungry chicks to feed.
young Common Tern
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28th June 2007, Thursday

Cleg-fly

This common horse-fly flies silently, so you do not realize its on you untill it has sunk its spear-like mouth parts through the skin and started to drink. I discovered this to be correct yesterday, the bite is still causing some irritation and can last several days. In Ireland this fly is known as the Silent Doctor ‘because it enters quietly and gives you an injection’.

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Cleg-fly trying to bite through my trousers

28th June 2007, Thursday

Longhorn Beetle

I think the longhorn beetle in the picture below could be Strangalia maculata,the black and yellow markings are very variable and range from completely yellow to almost completely black. In Britain this is one of the commonest longhorn beetles, and from May to August the adults can be found on flowers feeding on pollen. The larvae develope in decaying tree stumps of various deciduous trees.

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28th June 2007, Thursday

Gregarious Caterpillars

Just a follow up to the post 4th June, the pictures below show the catepillars of Small Tortoiseshell (above) and Peacock (below) living gregariously on common Nettle, the eggs would have been layed in dense clusters on the underside of the leaves. The caterpillars live like this untill nearly fully grown, they then diperse and prepare for pupation.rxsmalltort greg catsDsc07505.jpg
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26th June 2007, Tuesday

The Drab Wood-soldierfly

Not a very good picture but a very interesting fly. This is a Drab Wood-soldierfly (Solva marginata), a nationally notable species associated with poplar, the larve living underneath the bark. Several individuals were found on and around the poplar near the Rye Harbour entrance to the reserve yesterday, and a quick check on Recorder revealed that this species has not been recorded in the Rye Bay area previously. Even better, Penny Green of the Sussex Biological Records Centre informed me that their database only contains four records of this species for Sussex, all of these from Lewes and the most recent nearly ten years ago!
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Drab Wood-soldierfly

26th June 2007, Tuesday

Little Terns

It looks like its going to be a bad year for the Little Terns at Rye Harbour. The combination of bad weather and the first few chicks being taken by a Kestrel, have reduced the colony to three sitting adults, no chicks and a maximum count of ten Little Tern present on Shore Ridges this morning.

25th June 2007, Monday

URGENT APPEAL – BREDE HIGH WOODS

The Woodland Trust urgently needs your help…
click here for details

24th June 2007, Sunday

Guestling Wood

Saturday 23rd June 2007 0645-0900: 43sp

The dark chestnut coppice is still and silent but for Woodpigeons clattering out through the saw-toothed leaves, shrill Wrens echoing and sonorous Blackbird melody. The black males are conspicuous everywhere, skimming across fields of sweet-scented beans or perched upon poles above fields full of rabbits and Crows.

Some of the crows have long ears. They are in fact sweet little black rabbits. It occurs to me that I see them only as youngsters. Could it be just a colour phase they go through? Like Goths.

Watermill Lane is full of rabbits too; sand from their burrows spills onto the roadway. A Stoat goes bounding through the middle of them, neither side interested in the other.

Mixed Tits (BT, GT, LT) stream through the foliage of an old cherry orchard in which the sprawling survivors bear small, dark, sweet fruit. Somewhere above, a flock of young Mistle Thrushes is rattling.
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23rd June 2007, Saturday

Beach Reserve

The last Avocet chicks are hatching out now on the new pools behind Ternery Pool, two chicks and two eggs (pictured) were present in the nest scrape this morning. On Shore Ridges at least 5 Little Tern chicks were seen this morning.

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