Archive for September 11th, 2009

11th September 2009, Friday

The tall and the short of it!

Last spring I stood in a drying heavily grazed wetland, fascinated by the small plants and animals associated with bare ground.  My companion, who was responsible for a reed-bed nature reserve, was not so impressed.  Appreciation of nature is biased by the groups you have an interest in, and as a fan of ephemeral heavy grazed ponds I was at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Well something of this debate can be had in one of the natural pits on the RSPB reserve. Unmanaged the pit would be dominated by tall reed or grey willow.

There is, though any amount of this habitat in these pits, unlike the situation 60 years ago. Conversely when Read the rest of this entry »

11th September 2009, Friday

RSPB Dungeness recent sightings

A black-necked grebe was on the ARC pit on Tuesday and a bittern was seen from the Denge Marsh hide. A spotted crake has been seen on and off all week but a good deal of patience is required to glimpse it on one of its rare forays from the reedbed in front of the Hanson-ARC hide. The great white egret remains on Denge Marsh and is a lot easier to see!

11th September 2009, Friday

Oak Lutestring among North Salts moths

I put the moth trap out again last night after a gap of several weeks due to holidays and trap repairs. The first moth I saw this morning, on the house wall, got me very excited, as I thought it was my first Clifden Nonpareil for the garden. Unfortunately on closer inspection it turned out to be a very large Red Underwing (still a good moth!). Going through the catch, the total was 102 moths of 24 species, though 69 of those were Large Yellow Underwings, Setaceous Hebrew Characters and Square-spot Rustics. Lurking among these were 3 L-album Wainscots, 2 Frosted Orange, 2 Copper Underwings, a Pretty Chalk Carpet and the Oak Lutestring shown in the photo. While not on a par with the huge Clifden Nonpareil, this was actually my first ever Oak Lutestring, a species of mature oakwoods that had presumably come down from the trees along the old Rye Hill cliff-line. The only predictable thing about mothing is that you never know what’s going to turn up next!

11th September 2009, Friday

Beach Reserve

Highlights this morning included 300 Curlew, 3 Green Sandpiper, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and 6 Knot on Harbour Farm pools. 115 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin and 130 Oystercatcher were roosting along Shore Ridges and a Buzzard gave great views flying low over the Wader Pool.