Today’s high tide looked higher than the predicted, so I looked for a website that might give some more information. The Dover Tide Gauge page shows that the tide was almost a metre higher than predicted and this was partly due to the very low air pressure of 988mb. You can see predicted tides for Rye Harbour on the Environment Agency’s website.
Archive for March 21st, 2008
Thursday 20: A bittern was seen from the viewpoint at Hooker’s pits, a black redstart was by the path to Hide 1 and chiffchaffs were still present in good numbers.
Friday 21: The day started well with a male garganey seen from the Visitor Centre but unfortunately it soon disappeared and was not found again until 15.45 when it put in a brief appearance at Makepeace hide.
The Slavonian grebe that has spent most of the winter on the New Excavations made the brief trip to Burrowes pit where it could be seen from Scott hide. It is starting to gain its summer plumage so is well worth a look. Other highlights on a blustery but fine day included a peregrine over Burrowes pit, snipe seen from Firth hide and wheatear by the access track.
Ragwort, Senecio jacobaea, is being dug up at Rye Harbour to enable organic grazing of the fields along the new sea defence. The most obvious insect associated with this poisonous plant is the Ragwort Flea Beetle Longitarsus jacobaeae, a 2.5mm long flea beetle that has swollen hind legs that enable it to jump. It has been used as biological control of Ragwort, but it doesn’t seem to have a big impact here!
Yesterday at dusk the female Sparrowhawk in the picture below caught a Collard Dove in my front garden. After dragging the prey into cover she proceeded to pluck the dove but was flushed away by a cat. The cat showed no interest in eating the dove and just strolled away. It seemed such a waste, so I decided to leave the corpse overnight and if it was still there in the morning take it away. At first light this morning I was surprised to find the Sparrowhawk had returned and was busy consuming her meal. This took at least an hour and twenty minutes to my knowledge and prevented me from leaving the house.