Archive for October 3rd, 2007

3rd October 2007, Wednesday

Dungeness Bird Observatory

Another decent arrival of grounded migrants with notable records of at least 30 Ring Ouzels, 100 Chiffchaffs and a Lapland Bunting and good backup in the form of 45 Robins, a Redstart, 40 Song Thrushes, 27 Redwings, 15 Blackcaps, six Firecrests and two Spotted Flycatchers. There was also a good movement of birds overhead including at least 4000 Swallows, a Tree Pipit, seven Rock Pipits, eight Grey Wagtails, 65 Chaffinch, 85 Goldfinch, 80 Siskin and 19 Reed Buntings. Offshore, 400 Brent Geese and 160 Wigeon flew west and four Arctic Skuas and a Little Tern were feeding offshore.

David Walker from DBO website

3rd October 2007, Wednesday

Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve Project Newsletter No. 2

Download the latest Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve Project Newsletter (Size 790kb). This edition highlights the management carried out over the last year and habitat management to be carried out during winter 2007 and 2008.

HCPNR News02

3rd October 2007, Wednesday

West Hill and Hastings Country Park NR Migration Watch

Very warm – mist and fog banks over – west hill 0750 – 0830

Most birds heard at first but not seen as it was murky and migrants seemed to be passing above the low cloud. However, 65 meadow pipit east, 3 siskin and several hundred hirundines. 1 redpoll, 1 reed bunting and a dozen Chaffinches with them. 3 Redwing in.

North’s seat and Paul’s paddocks.
Highlight a Woodlark up from the grass field and flew north calling at 11.30 am. And 4 Stonechats and 2 Redwings.

At the helipad night migrants seemed easy to see – a Common redstart, a tree pipit, Whinchat. Also 2 more Stonechats while 3 Mistle thrush over.

In the fallow fields nearby 100 Goldfinch. A flock of 7 Lesser redpoll in a hedgerow tree departed eastwards. Another 14 Stonechats counted there.

2 Wheatears at East Hill.

From Andrew Grace via email.

3rd October 2007, Wednesday

Devil’s coach-horse

I surprised this familiar black beetle today when climbing some wooden steps and it immediately adopted this aggressive posture in which you can see a pair of white glands at the end of its abdomen which can emit a foul smell and also some brown fluid from its mouth. To read more about this animal click here.


3rd October 2007, Wednesday

Northiam stinking hawksbeards 2007-8

The stinking hawksbeard Crepis foetida is a very rare plant in the UK, and the accidentally established population at Northiam is being monitored on a monthly basis to help understand the requirements of the species. Germination of next years plants began in August this year, but so far we have very few plants on the gravel in our garden – around 50. In the last two years at this time there have been thousands. Is this due to the wet summer affecting seed viability, or has a dry August/September delayed germination? Some of the resultant seedlings though are very large – the largest one on the photo below, actually a pair of plants growing side by side, are 28cm across (and any of these plants would dwarf the plants at Rye see entry on the 4 February 2007 for a thumb-nail sized Rye plant 5 months on!). It will be interesting to see how they fare over the winter – big does not always equal survivor in this species.

3rd October 2007, Wednesday

Pett Level

Lots of action on this gloomy morning. 93 species seen in just over 3 hours at the western end of the level.

Overhead: Sparrowhawk, Merlin, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Pied, Grey (3) & Yellow Wagtails (1), Chaffinch, Brambling (3), Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Siskin, Redpoll (lots – but most of the time I couldn’t see them, same with SK).

In the bushes: Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing, Ring Ouzel (1), Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Firecrest (1), Coal Tit.

On the Wader Pool: Avocet (2), Little Stint (2), Curlew Sandpiper (2), both Godwits, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover (a very vocal bird you could hear all over the marsh), Snipe (15).

On the seawall: Wheatear (2), Rock Pipit (3), Linnets, Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails.

On the sea: Sandwich Tern, Gannet, Common Scoter, Guillemot (& a few other auks too far out for me)

Around the ditches: Reed Warbler (2), Reed Bunting, Stonechat (12), Blue & Great Tits, Chiffchaffs.

And those things which used to be exciting but now no-one cares: Bearded Tit (10+), Cetti’s Warbler, Little Egret, Raven.

Evening Update: An hour and a half at the Pools at dusk added Pochard, Ruff, Marsh Harrier and Barn Owl on the marsh, while both Guillemot and Razorbill were close inshore (they’re usually dots on the horizon), 8 Little Gulls flew west and over a hundred Brent Geese were circulating in the bay.

The total ended up at 102 species.

Birds of Shame:  BF, BC, CG, TU, PH.

3rd October 2007, Wednesday

News from RSPB Dungeness

A ring ouzel was present in the Denge Marsh gully first thing and a grey wagtail and six redpolls flew over. Small numbers of willow warblers and chiffchaffs could be found around the trail and two firecrests were spotted in the car park bushes.