The ARC hide on the reserve has been good for watching waders this week as the water levels have dropped, exposing islands and mudflats. Todays sightings include common sandpiper, wood sandpiper, green sandpiper, spotted redshank and greenshank. Other sightings around the reserve include black tern, hobby and spotted flycatcher.
Archive for August 22nd, 2008
A visit yesterday afternoon to the Hanson-ARC Hide to look for newly arrived migrant waders resulted in the discovery of a rare migrant of a different sort. On the outside wall of the hide was a large brown moth which, on closer examination (and after checking in reference books) was identified as a Rosy Underwing (Catocala electa). This resident of central and southern Europe was first seen in the UK in Sussex in 1875, with the first Dungeness (and Kent) record on 24th August 2004. This latest find represents the 2nd Dungeness and Kent records and the 8th UK record. The larval foodplants of this species are poplars and sallows.
Highlights from Castle Water today included a Curlew Sandpiper and 2 Ruff which dropped in amongst the 400 Lapwing roosting on the islands out from the hide, Green and Common Sandpiper, Marsh Harrier and Peregrine were also seen from the hide. Five Wheatears were presents around the fields near the Castle, from the viewpoint 3 Bearded Tit showed well in the nearest reeds.
This attractive moth was in my trap in Rye today, a “first”. Although common on calcareous soils, it was quite unexpected here. The wild foodplant is Traveller’s Joy or Old Man’s Beard (Clematis vitalba) and there’s masses of cultivated clematis here, so maybe it’s not so fussy and it came in with a garden plant.
One of the less common butterflies locally is the little Brown Argus. From 1st to 14th one was patrolling a rough field off Military Road in Rye, with a few Common Blues and other species, including 3 Small Coppers on 1st and a Painted Lady on 7th. The photo of the under-hindwing shows the two dark spots together at right angles to the leading edge, breaking up the long arc of spots. In the female Common Blue these are in line with the arc, so that all the spots form a complete horseshoe. Also, the Common Blue’s under-forewing has an extra dark spot near the leading edge, just out from the thorax, which the Brown Argus lacks. The wings need to be well separated to be sure of this, and in my photo the forewing is largely covered by the hindwing, though it was seen well in the field. Both species have two generations per year, in May-June and August, the Brown Argus coming out first in the spring.