Archive for August, 2007

31st August 2007, Friday

Today’s sightings at RSPB Dungeness

A merlin was seen flying through early this morning. Other raptor sightings today: two peregrines, two marsh harriers and one sparrowhawk.  A female red-crested pochard could be seen from the boardwalk and a common sandpiper was spotted from Makepeace hide. 

30th August 2007, Thursday

Grey Partridge

This familiar farmland bird is declining nationally and locally. At Rye Harbour this year there were just 4 pairs and only one fledged brood of 12 was noted. A project to encourage Grey Partridge in the wider countryside is being started locally, but we need to know where they are now, so if you see any Grey Partridge anywhere in the RX area please can you let me know when, where and how many. Thank-you…. Contact Here.
Grey Partridge

29th August 2007, Wednesday

Golden Plover

Since their return, on 7th August, the roosting flock of Golden Plover has been reliable on the Beach Reserve, today there was well over a 100, including many still with some summer plumage. Their favoured roost site is just inside the electric fence near the river mouth, amongst the flowering and seeding Sticky Groundsel.
Golden Plover

29th August 2007, Wednesday

News from RSPB Dungeness

A black-necked grebe paid a brief visit to Burrowes pit late morning, but was not reported during the afternoon. Two garganey were seen together on Denge Marsh, with two different red-crested pochard and eight pintails also on the reserve. A knot and a spotted redshank flew through and three common sandpipers were seen around the remaining margins of Burrowes Pit, New Diggings and ARC. Two little gulls were feeding on ARC and a whinchat was in the bushes at the top end of the pit. Two more were in the bushes opposite the entrance to the return trail with two redstarts and three lesser whitethroats also seen around the trail early morning. A second osprey was seen over the reserve yesterday morning, initialy hovering over New Excavations before flying low over the entrance track and finally being lost to view over Boulderwall Farm.  

29th August 2007, Wednesday

Wild Carrot Gall

I had not noticed galls on the flowers of Wild Carrot before this morning… and on consulting my Pocket Encylopaedia of Plant Galls, Darlington (1975), found they are caused by the dipteran gall midge Kiefferia pericarpiicola – for which there are no previous records in Rye Bay. Look out for many other plant galls at this time of year.
Kiefferia pericarpiicola

28th August 2007, Tuesday

Slender Hare’s-ear

Bupleurum tenuissimum is a tiny member of the carrot family and the third rarest flower at Rye Harbour, it is now only known from 1 site here. In the last few years it has become increasingly difficult to find… perhaps reflecting my declining eyesight. However, today I found about a hundred plants at the west end of the Beach Reserve and most were already fruiting.
Slender Hare's-ear

27th August 2007, Monday

Ravens and migrants Bank Holiday Hastings

Post by Andrew Grace:

‘On Sunday I was very pleased to see a pair of Ravens fly low NW over the West Hill. I would have possibly missed them but for the steady croaking call from one of the birds. What was extraordinary was at 11.30 two Ravens came in high over the EAST Hill and also passed NW flying over the townscape.

I suspect a link between feeding areas in the Weald and the prominence of the sea cliffs here. I had also seen a single Raven over Fairlight Glen the previous day. Ravens have a wide territorial familiarity and presumably birds are developing routines with increased familiarity with the landscapes of East Sussex.

There has been a good passage of Whinchats and Wheatears with migrants sometimes dropping in during the afternoons – for instance Reed warbler and redstart were among the lobster pots on the fishing beach noted by one observer. redstarts, Spotted flycatchers and Willow warblers have been noted in smaller numbers – two Whinchats were even flying about on the West Hill among the holiday crowds on Sunday afternoon.

Overhead bands of Swallows, sand martins and a small passage of Yellow wagtails.’

27th August 2007, Monday

Hastings Country Park NR – Birds

Good numbers of grounded migrants were recorded at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve today including totals of 219 willow warbler, 131 whitethroat, 7 whinchat, 5 wheatear, a redstart and a reed warbler. Highlights of overhead migration were 10 tree pipit, 12 yellow wagtail, a curlew and a little ringed plover west and 2 grey wagtail east.

Two redstarts and 2 spotted flycatchers were recorded from the East Hill on Saturday and a honey buzzard flew over the Visitor Centre at about 10.30am.

At Stade Beach on Sunday a male redstart and a reed warbler were recorded amongst the lobster pots.

27th August 2007, Monday

News from RSPB Dungeness

Still small numbers of migrants around the reserve. A redstart and a spotted flycatcher were around the back of Christmas dell hide late yesterday evening, with 7 whinchat seen today (including 4 together in fields behind Denge Marsh). An eclipse drake red crested pochard was viewable from Makepeace Hide, and 3 avocet and a grey plover flew over the reserve. 3 little gull and a common buzzard were over Hanson ARC pit and an osprey seen flying over the reserve yesterday afternoon was the first record of the year.

27th August 2007, Monday

Pett Pools

Many waders and birdwatchers this morning at the roadside pool. Nothing rare, but a good variety – a close Wood Sandpiper (photo) was the best, but also 9 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ruff, 2 Avocet and many Dunlin and Lapwing. But the best birds were overhead, 3 Sparrowhawk circling a Raven, then an Osprey mobbed by a Peregrine, then a little later a Red Kite.
Wood Sandpiper