Archive for September 7th, 2009

7th September 2009, Monday

Benign neglect

Garden ponds can be great wildlife habitats, but with their butyl liners and plastic plant containers can look horribly artificial.  They don’t have to be that way though as this photo shows. This believe it or not is a pond with a butyl liner and under the mound of moss is a planting basket that was established in 1986. It became covered in a layer of moss that has been allowed to grow since then to form a natural looking hummock, through which lesser pond sedge and purple loosestrife grow.

I’m so taken with this mound that on the two occasions Read the rest of this entry »

7th September 2009, Monday

RSPB Dungeness – weekend sightings

Saturday 5th: It was an excellent day for raptor watching with at least 20 sparrowhawks, five common buzzards and an osprey passing through. Peregrine and hobby were also seen and a honey buzzard flew over yesterday. Other sightings of note were six garganey at Denge Marsh, a curlew sandpiper at the ARC site and a spotted flycatcher near Scott hide.

Sunday 6th: Highlights included the great white egret and the red-backed shrike, still present on Denge Marsh and the return trail respectively. Three whinchats and a common redstart were also seen near the return trail and another two redstarts near Makepeace hide. A black-necked grebe was on the ARC pit where two black terns and a kingfisher were also seen. Late in the afternoon a spotted crake was seen from the Hanson-ARC hide and it is still present this morning.

7th September 2009, Monday

Pett Level

In a sheltered corner behind Toot Rock, Sand Martins are whirling after airborne insects above a small pond.
From the dark and berry-laden hedgerow issue calls of Blue & Great Tits and the ticking of Robins, sometimes bursting into song. From beyond them come the cries of campers’ children, the bleating of lambs and the rumble of a London-bound jet.
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7th September 2009, Monday

Rye Harbour Sightings

Lots of flocking passerines around this morning, mainly on the shingle immediately to the west of the old lifeboat house. This included at least 75 Meadow Pipit and 20 Yellow Wagtail, with small numbers of Reed Bunting and Linnet mixed in, while the occasional Wheatear also put in an appearance. On the shore, 50+ Curlew and a couple of Sandwich Tern were present, while Harbour Farm held at least nine Whimbrel and four Grey Partridge, and at least one Whinchat and two Green Sandpiper were present at Castle Water.

Whimbrel on Harbour Farm

7th September 2009, Monday


A press release today from the RSPB.

One of the UK’s most threatened birds has been heard in East Sussex for the first time in over a hundred years and is continuing to increase in Kent. Research by Natural England and the RSPB shows the number of male bitterns performing their ‘booming’ mating call in the South East has gone from two in 2008 to four this year.
A booming male has been recorded at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, in East Sussex, the first in the county for at least 100 years. The other three booming males were recorded in Kent, one more than last year. The new boomer was heard at RSPB Dungeness, the first in the reserve’s history. [The other two Kent sites cannot be named.]
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