Archive for September 3rd, 2007

3rd September 2007, Monday

Brede Valley

An afternoon walk around the Gateborough / Eastborough area proved a little quieter than of late, with just a scattering of sylvia warblers in the hedgerows and a small number of hirundines overhead, but it was apparent that Yellow Wagtails were making use of the stubble fields close to Rye; farmhands working on new gates on the footpath commented on there being a ‘sizeable flock’ there when they had arrived, and certainly birds could be heard calling all the time.

Sadly for wildlife watching a small platoon of ‘infant infantry’ had spilled off the footpaths and into the fields below Cadborough. The children’s manoeuvres were monitored, unobserved, by a wary local fox.

It was pleasing to find Marsh Mallow growing at a couple of sites along the walk. Resembling a pale coloured small flowered hollyhock, the plant is now very local, favouring drainage ditches around Rye and Walland Marsh. The root used to be soaked until it became jelly-like; the original marshmallow sweet, and it was also a good local remedy for stomach and kidney upsets, and even sunstroke.

Nowadays it is vitally important for a nationally rare moth, aptly called the Marsh Mallow Moth, which has its U.K. stronghold in our RX area and should be on the wing just now – a good excuse for an early evening walk in the near future…

3rd September 2007, Monday

Pannel Valley NR

A quiet day for nocturnal migrant passerines in the valley – strangely it always seems we record our biggest numbers after clear nights – presumably the cloud cover to the north deters birds from moving this far overland, unlike Dungeness or the north Kent coast where cloud cover can confuse migrants and lead to ‘falls’.

During the morning the Osprey was back (or was it another??), while two Marsh Harriers quartered the reedbeds, and, in the absence of any hirundines for breakfast, the local Sparrowhawk and Hobby decided to chase each other around the site instead.

Wader numbers on the Scrape and Flood continue to increase, and seven Little Egrets were roosting by the Flood. Duck numbers are a little lower than of late, perhaps due to a small amount of disturbance on the Levels over the weekend at the start of the shooting season, but the eclipse Garganey is still around.

Two ‘Greenland-type’ Wheatears were apparent today, big, bold and brash, and several Yellow Wagtails and Tree Pipits passed down the valley.

3rd September 2007, Monday

Unique visitors…

… to this website numbered 11,195 during Agust.

3rd September 2007, Monday

Friends Autumn Birds

Twenty people turned out yesterday for our annual autumn bird foray. A good day for raptors with, in addition to the Osprey, a juvenile Peregrine hunting in front of Parkes hide, a Hobby over Harbour Farm and a Buzzard seen distantly over the Beach Reserve. Other interesting birds here included around 40 Golden Plover roosting on Flat Beach, seven Knot on the Quarry and small numbers of Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear. On Long Pit, the highlight was an eclipse male Red-crested Pochard (below), while at Castle Water a juvenile Pintail was visible from the hide.
rxRed-crested Pochard 07.jpg

3rd September 2007, Monday

Castle Water Osprey

At Castle Water the Osprey continues to entertain for it’s fourth day, sitting on prominent branches and regularly out fishing over the clear water. Yesterday it gave good views from the hide for the Friends guided walk.
Osprey
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