Archive for September 13th, 2008

13th September 2008, Saturday

Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve News

There was some raptor movement visible over Warren Glen late morning with two marsh harrier and a hobby flying west. Seven sparrowhawk were counted either coasting along the cliff-top or soaring over the farm fields. Two peregrine also flew west low over Rock-a-nore Beach in the afternoon, probably local birds flying into town to hunt.

A few hundred hirundines, mainly house martin, were feeding over the farm fields and a flock of 30 yellow wagtail and 50 meadow pipit gathered feeding around the Highland cattle in the Coastguard fields. Hirundines were also on the move flying west as well as a few siskin, yellow wagtail, meadow pipit and goldfinch. A few chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap and garden warbler were present around Warren Glen late morning/early afternoon but a lot more migrants were present early morning as the ringers had a record morning in the quarry with good numbers of chiffchaff and willow warbler ringed and an unusually large number of house martin caught and ringed in the arable margin nets.

Colletes hederae, Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve

The ivy is in flower along Barley Lane and was attracting large numbers of the ivy bee, Colletes hederae. This recent colonist nests in huge colonies at Castle Rocks and on the HCPNR cliffs. The species is moving further east each year so it’s worth looking for the species at Cliff End. It’s an impressive bee, females being honey bee sized, with it’s rich brown thorax and pale brown ‘painted’ stripes on the abdomen. It specialises on collecting ivy pollen and times it’s nesting activity during September and October while ivy is in flower.

13th September 2008, Saturday



No, not the bird at Rye Harbour, but  another at Pett Level (possibly the same one?) It was present at mid-day on the sea wall, just west of the roadside pool. It was very confiding.

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13th September 2008, Saturday

Beach Reserve

Lots to see this morning compared to the last few days on the Beach Reserve, the highlight was finding a Dotterel roosting with 41 Golden Plover on Flat Beach Level. Shore Ridges provided lots of interest with 150 Linnet, 29 Meadow Pipit, 11 Wheatear, 14 Greenfinch and 45 Yellow Wagtail. A Merlin passed over head at Ternery Pool and a young Peregrine gave fine views making a low sweep over Harbour Farm.

13th September 2008, Saturday

Walk tomorrow

This Sunday (14th September) Paul James will be leading a ‘Rye Bay Bird Safari’ as part of his Sussex Wildlife Walks programme. Areas which we will visit include Pett Level, Rye Harbour, Scotney Pit and Dungeness. Yesterday the two Common Cranes were still at Dungeness and also two White-winged Black Terns, Hoopoe, 2 Ospreys, Black-necked Grebe and Little Stint so hopefully we should see some good birds. If you are interested, please visit his website for further details. To book please phone 07709 059181.

Paul James