Archive for September 11th, 2007

11th September 2007, Tuesday

The rise of the stinking hawksbeards

What a year for stinking hawksbeards at Rye. An earlier report (29 May 2007) noted that the 69 plants then in bud was a reserve record (up from a previous best of 47 plants in 2006). There was more to come however and the final count was 353 plants. This is probably an under-estimate. Why has this plant suddenly boomed? The answer may lie in the rabbit-proof fence put up around them three years ago. It was notable that only two plants managed to survive to flowering outside of this fence, and one of these had all its inflorescences nibbled off. This makes the Rye LNR easily the best semi-natural site for this plant in the country, although there is a larger more artificial population at Northiam, but that is another story!
stinking hawksbeard seeding

11th September 2007, Tuesday

Temnothorax albipennis

This tiny honey coloured ant occurs on the shingle at Dungeness, and I found four nests this afternoon on the shingle beach at Rye Harbour – the first records since 1989. Although they nest under ground they can also be found within the dead stems of plants such as sea kale and vipers bugloss. It is a nationally scarce species.
Temnothorax interruptus

11th September 2007, Tuesday

Stranded Jellyfish

Whilst walking the dog along the edge of the saltmarsh close to Lime Kiln Information Centre, I came across a Compass Jellyfish, that had been washed up in the high tide earlier in the day.  It measured 16cm diameter, but they can be up to 20cm.
Compass Jellyfish