Archive for September 17th, 2007

17th September 2007, Monday

Dungeness Bird Observatory

Birds of the day were two juvenile Sabine’s Gulls which flew west along with a Shag, two Balearic Shearwaters, two Pomarine Skuas, 22 Arctic Skuas and two Great Skuas. There was also a first-winter Caspian Gull and three Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch and 20 Little Gulls and 40 Arctic Terns feeding offshore.
A Hobby flew over the Observatory in the evening and 1200 House Martins flew out to sea during the morning and three Great Spotted Woodpeckers and three Blackcaps were of note in the area.
David Walker from DBO website

17th September 2007, Monday

Stinking Hawksbeard in Northiam

You expect nationally rare plants to be fussy. A few years ago I acquired three young stinking hawksbeards (Dungeness-origin, but herbarium seed) so that I could identify the seedling stages of the plant. They were placed in my gravel garden with the expectation that they would not thrive. Within 3 years we had an embarrassing 1225 plants growing in our street, spread across virtually all our neighbours gardens. This year the population declined slightly to a minimum of 973 plants, although its difficult to count the numbers of plants accurately in other peoples gardens without attracting the attention of Neighbourhood Watch! Despite the embarrassment I have used this as an opportunity to study the requirements of this plant. Interestingly it is not fussy where it grows, in limestone chippings, flint gravel, my neighbours lawns, flower beds, cracks in the road….
Stinking hawksbeard in limestone bed at Northiam

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17th September 2007, Monday

Rye Harbour

Highlights this morning have been, 3 Little stint and Curlew Sandpiper on the new pools behind Ternery Pool. At Castle Water the long staying Osprey (pictured) was again giving superb views from the hide, it stayed perched on the branches of a dead willow for sometime before it was chased off by a gang of Crows. 33 Black-tailed Godwit (pictured), 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 7 Snipe, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine and Kingfisher also gave good views from the hide. A good selection of wildfowl can also be seen at Castle water,72 Gadwall, 34 Wigeon, 30 Shoveler, 45 Teal, 57 Tufted Duck, Pintail and 150+ Mallard.
rxosprey cwDsc07945.jpg
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17th September 2007, Monday

Powdermill Reservoir, Sedlescombe

2007-09-16 powdermill mist.jpg

First WeBS count of the autumn and the early mist was so dense I couldn’t see a thing. A chorus of invisible woodland birds echoed out of the shadows: WP, PH, G, GS, BT, GT, CT, MT, R & CH, all responding to the arena of light around the water. (BTO 2 letter codes for birds can be found by clicking here!)
At close range, little silhouettes flitting along the dam turned out to be a dozen or so Pied Wagtails. I rarely see these here but wondered if they might have roosted in the small reedbed. This was confirmed by Vic the bailiff, who told me that up to 50 come in at dusk, but by the time I arrive on my monthly visits they have all dispersed to the surrounding farmland. A single Grey Wagtail was with them and a Reed Warbler peeping out of the base of the reeds.
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