Archive for September, 2007

30th September 2007, Sunday

Pannel Valley NR

Chiffchaff and Blackcap migration was in full swing this weekend,with three figure counts for both species noted. Stonechats (below) have become very obvious, and Meadow Pipits, Lesser Redpolls and Siskins are all being seen on visible migration. Reed Buntings are increasing as birds disperse from their breeding territories along the ditches on the Levels, and Bearded Tits can be seen and heard as they make tentative forays above the marsh, tempted by the urge to disperse to other reedbeds. Up to three Marsh Harriers have been roosting in the Valley during the week.

30th September 2007, Sunday

News from RSPB Dungeness

Ring ouzels continue to be seen with one in the bushes behind Scott hide this morning and two birds present yesterday, one near the return trail and another in Denge Marsh gulley. A whinchat in the gulley was the first for two weeks and a garden warbler near Scott hide was only the second autumn record on the reserve this year. The first firecrest of the autumn was also near Scott hide and the little owl was still present in the gorse bushes between Denge Marsh road and the trail. A juvenile curlew sandpiper flew over Burrowes pit and two rock pipits were on the outflow pipes at the end of Denge Marsh road. Two fly over ravens were only the 8th record for the reserve, and certaily looked out of place in the flat shingle landscape!

29th September 2007, Saturday

Brede Valley

A walk along the Cadborough Cliffs footpath turned up a Ring Ouzel this morning, and a Lapland Bunting was with one of the Skylark flocks near Winchelsea.

Visible migration included small numbers of Lesser Redpolls and Siskins, and Goldcrests were very obvious in the scrub alongside the footpath.

29th September 2007, Saturday

Gymnosoma rotundatum

I photographed the attached in Peasmarsh last weekend. I have now found it at 8 sites in a 2 km radius of Peasmarsh. According to my recording software it is a scarce species. I was wondering if it has been recorded in other sites in the area.


28th September 2007, Friday

House Martins, Hastings

Large numbers of house martins were feeding over the coast of Hastings. At least 2000 birds were feeding over West St Leonards Cliffs and a similar number were feeding or milling about over the town centre earlier.

House Martin over West St Leonards

Early morning about 1000 house martins were counted flying west over West St Leonards Cliffs as well a similar number feeding low over the trees on the cliffs and around the college.

28th September 2007, Friday

News from RSPB Dungeness

An arrival of song thrushes and redwings was accompanied by a ring ouzel at Denge Marsh gulley late yesterday evening and a single redstart catching flies from one of the bramble bushes. A second ring ouzel was present briefly in the gulley this morning, before flying off towards the reserve, along with two stonechats, a willow warbler and at least seven song thrushes. Elsewhere on the reserve, two bar-tailed godwits, 12 snipe and a peregrine flew over Burrowes pit and an avocet was resting on the islands in front of Makepeace hide. In addition to yesterday’s sightings a tree pipit flew over the car park late afternoon.     

28th September 2007, Friday

Pett Level

With a cool northerly blowing, the soundscape was more convincingly autumnal, as contact calls came from flocks of hirundines, Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Goldfinches and Siskins bowling along into the headwind. For the latter, it was the first time this autumn I’d seen them passing in numbers, with flocks of up to 30.

Though many followed the seawall, they were easier to hear and see along the RM Canal, out of the wind and away from traffic. A few Grey Wagtails were also moving along the canal and between Toot Rock and the Pannel Valley I counted 18 Stonechats, 14 of which were hopping about on a strip of recently spread ditch-spoil. 2 Skylarks flew up from one of the rough meadows where they always lurk in winter.
Many of the Meadow Pipits had alighted on the shingle, where they scurried about in the company of Pied Wagtails, the odd Wheatear and a few Rock Pipits – darker, greyer and squeakier.

A surprise at the Wader Pool was a pallid winter-plumage Sanderling alongside a summer-plumage Dunlin. Otherwise, there was the usual bunch of Black-tailed Godwits and at least one each of Curlew Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank. Small flocks of Wigeon were in circulation out at sea and over the marsh, where a Marsh Harrier was seen off by Rooks.

28th September 2007, Friday

Visible Migration Counts, Hastings

From Andrew Grace via email:

Friday EAST HILL 0650 – 0750am

Birds coming in off sea or coasting
Meadow pipit 95
Siskin 58
House martin 100 +
Swallow 100 +
Sand martin 1 at least
Chaffinch 27
Reed bunting 6
Redwing 3
Song thrush 2
Pied wagtail 2
Grey wagtail 1

Later at WEST HILL

Stonechat 1
Whinchat 1
Chiffchaff 4
Song thrush 6
Siskin 7

28th September 2007, Friday

Pink-footed Geese

There was a report yesterday of a flock of 20 Pink-footed Geese at the Beach Reserve.

28th September 2007, Friday

Road Closure

Travel through the RX area will be difficult for a month from 1st October, because the A259 bridge over the river Rother will be closed!!! For more detail click here.