Several people have kindly contacted me since my report on the Golden-ringed Dragonfly in a wood at Udimore on the 5th, and I’ve been looking at the map in the book The Dragonflies of Sussex. It’s much more widespread in our area than I’d thought. There are clusters of 1989-2003 records in many 1 km squares in the Crowhurst and Etchingham-Robertsbridge areas (probable/possible breeding), plus presence widely in the Westfield-Sedlescombe area and in Coneyburrow and Pond Woods, and single-square records from Beckley Furnace and the Pannel valley. Singles were seen in Footland Wood in 2002 and 2007, and in Pond Wood only two weeks ago. The main colonies are in the upper Rother, Brede and Filsham valleys but it seems that it could turn up anywhere in sunny clearings by secluded woodland ponds, especially by outfalls, and along deep-cut flowing streams with gravelly or silty beds.
Archive for July 9th, 2008
Wader sightings have increased over the past week with ruffs, dunlins, common, green and wood sandpipers all seen in small numbers. Swifts, sand martins and house martins have been feeding over Burrowes pit on most days. Peregrine, hobby and marsh harrier have been seen regularly. A female golden oriole, seen at the ARC pit on the 1st, was the highlight of the week.
Highlights this morning included three Little Tern on the shore, Little Ringed Plover on Harbour Farm and at least 500 Swift moving through over Harbour Farm and the Long Pit. On Ternery Pool young sea-birds continue to give excellent views in front of Crittall Hide, this morning including around 150 Sandwich Tern (see below), 32 Mediterranean Gull and small numbers of Common Tern.
Mediterranean Gulls have expanded out of Europe in a dramatic way and because many have been colour ringed it is possible to see how this has happened. Red 47K was ringed on 29 June 2002 as a chick at Szeged, Csongrad, Hungary, it was then seen twice near Calais in October 2002, then six sightings at Hayling Island April 2004 then it wintered on the Hampshire coast, including the Isle of Wight. Then it was back at Hayling Island in March 2007 and then on to Pett Level in April 2007. Yesterday it was seen at Ternery Pool attending a fledged chick. It is an interesting and unusual strategy for a bird to nest so far from the place where it hatched.
A great advantage of Pett Pools is that waders can be seen there at very close range from the roadside. This is particularly advantageous to those of limited mobility, to photographers, to dedicated scrutinisers of plumage and, on a day like today, anyone who prefers sitting in a nice dry car rather than getting blown about and soaked.
Busily probing the mud this morning were 6 Black-tailed Godwits, most in sumptuous rust,gold and black breeding plumage. With outbursts of cackling, they announced the arrival of another 6, then 4, gliding in out of the rainy sky.
Nearby were 2 Avocets and 2 Redshanks, while towards the east end of the pool 9 Little Egrets were feeding on prey items trapped in the shallows. Read the rest of this entry »