Archive for February 18th, 2008

18th February 2008, Monday

Good time for Divers

Pett Sea Wall Sunday 17 FebuaryArrived at Pett at first light around 7am ,it was minus 2 and the whole marsh was frosty ,and ice was forming around the edges of the pool. High tide was about 6.30am. When I got out of my van, the first bird of note was a singing Cettis Warbler the next was an Med.Gull nearly in full summer plumage,later in the morning there was another one at the same place as last week at Winchelsea end of the marsh.There was good numbers of  Red.T.Divers with around 200-250 birds flying into Rye Bay towards Rye Harbour , they were disturbed by a speedy fishing boat,but all morning  there were parties of 3 and 4 birds just off shore all along the sea wall.  W.F.Geese were again present with a flock of 55 on the marsh and later on the pools ,there was a single Barnacle and a Brent Goose with them , with a further 12 Brents moving east over the sea. Three Marsh Harriers were in the air together ,and looked like they were moving off for other parts when they started to use the thermals ,climbing and moving off over the sea, a fourth flew east over the marsh towards Rye , all the birds were cream heads.

18th February 2008, Monday

A life in a day for a broom

Walking across the false oat-grass dominated shingle yesterday I found a tiny broom plant on the ninth ridge in from the sea, trying to establish itself on relatively bare shingle. Despite its size it will have taken a number of years to get to this big. Some winters the shoots are almost totally blackened and set back to the base of the stem by salt spray, sculpting the prostrate shape of the bushes on Dungeness. This plant was probably at least five years old. 

Young broom

Let us try and imagine how this plant might develop in the future, if it avoids the perils of being trampled to death, driven over by quadbikes, or gravel extraction! Read the rest of this entry »

18th February 2008, Monday

Firecrest – and now 2 Blackcaps!

This afternoon the female Firecrest in Saltcote Lane, Playden, was showing well, her bronze-green back gleaming in the sun and the bright yellow crown stripe well visible at times. While watching it, I noticed a female Blackcap in the same spot just before the Mews, my first of the year. Crossing quickly into the cemetery, I could hardly believe it when another female Blackcap appeared by the iron gate into the cremation plots, at exactly the spot where I found 2 Firecrests on 2/11/07. A pair of Bullfinches by the steps down at the end of Love Lane provided the icing on the cake in such a short walk.

(Note: the Saltcote Lane public footpath is confined to the tarmac drive – please don’t walk off it into the private gardens either side.)

18th February 2008, Monday

Events at RSPB Dungeness

Thursday 21st February
Christmas in Sri Lanka – an illustrated talk by Bob Gomes, Dungeness Site Manager.
Doors open 7 pm, talk starts 7.30 pm
RSPB members £1.50, non-members £3

Friday 29th February
Join us for a general knowledge Quiz night
Doors open 7pm, quiz starts 7.30pm.
Maximum of six players per team (£2 per head). Bring your own refreshments.
Booking essential. For more details and to register please phone 01797 320588.

18th February 2008, Monday

Tree Sparrows

This species needs your help and the RSPB are waiting to hear from you. If you have any sightings during the last year in the RX area please can you e-mail details to Eleanor Burke by clicking here. She wants to aid the current population by providing nest boxes and in some cases setting up feeding stations over the winter/early spring with a view to implementing more sustainable conservation measures in the future. ( if the link doesn’t work!)


18th February 2008, Monday

Rye Harbour

Roosting waders have been the main feature this morning, Flat Beach and the new pools by Lime Kiln Cottage attracted 1400 Golden Plover, 600 Lapwing, 98 Curlew and 120 Dunlin. On the new excavations at Castle Water a further 800 Lapwing, 11 Ruff, 39 Redshank (pictured) and 14 Knot. A flock of 30+ Fieldfare also passed overhead.