Archive for September 21st, 2009

21st September 2009, Monday

Migrant hawker

By far the most common dragonfly in our garden at this time of the year is the migrant hawker Aeshna mixta. The nymphs of this species develop over one year, which is probably why it is the most regular hawker dragonfly that we have had breeding in our garden pond – it frequently dries out in late summer. This one very obligingly sat on the fence waiting to be photographed.

21st September 2009, Monday

Pett Pools and Marsh

Sunday 2oth September. After coming back from Dung where I was  more or less from the crack of dawn, hoping to see some sea movement ,unfortuantly there was’nt any to speak of. So I spent the  best part of the morning watching the ARC Pit, where there was a good selection of ducks but no waders. I arrived at Pett about 10.30 am, the tide was covering the shore, but high tide was’nt until the early afternoon. The pools had no water in them apart from a little area of water in the middle pool, and an area around the pool of damp mud ( with over 300 dead Eels in the mud scattered over the whole dried up pool). So when my first Little Stint flew in with 2 Dunlin it made up for my early morning start. Also 3 B.T.Godwit and Marsh Harrier (imm) 2 Raven seen. Good bird watching Pete.

21st September 2009, Monday

Brede High Woods Bulletin

A lot has happened at Brede over the past six months and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about it by clicking here.
David Bonsall

21st September 2009, Monday

Red-veined Darter

During the spring and early summer several small pools at Castle Water featured on many posts showing what species of dragonfly were emerging. Only one pool has any water at the moment so it was sampled for dragonfly larvae today, many Emperor larvae were found at various stages of development but three final instar Red-veined Darter larvae was a great find. This is a migrant species and regular breeding in Britain has only started recently, it has bred on the reserve before with exuviae being collected from one of the pools on Harbour Farm. It is likely that these larvae are the progeny of migrants that arrived in the UK during early summer when an influx of Red-viened Darter were recorded from various locations in the country. The selection of pictures below show some id features which help seperate Red-veined from Common and Ruddy Darter which could also be present in the pool.

Group of three larvae Read the rest of this entry »

21st September 2009, Monday

Walland Marsh drought

Many of the ditches to the south east of Rye are dry at the moment, a symptom of the run of dry weather we have had in recent months. Although water could be fed into them from the Royal Military Canal it would need to be pumped uphill, and the sandy/shingly ground means that it would be lost to the ground quite quickly. So is it better to pump water, generate carbon dioxide, and save wetland wildlife, or let nature take it’s course?

The answer rather depends on the ecology of the species concerned. Some are suffering. This is soft hornwort Ceratophyllum submersum, a fairly local water weed of slightly brackish coastal grazing marshes with a whorl of leaves around a central stem that divide up to three times, to provide a plant with the appearance of a bottle brush with an often reddish-green appearance. It’s commoner relative, rigid hornwort C. demersum, is a darker green colour, has leaves that divide only twice, and is more typically found in freshwater.

Both species require sections of ditch that retain water all year. If they get this they will dominate the open water next year.

Conversely the Read the rest of this entry »