Archive for September, 2009

25th September 2009, Friday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

The five glossy ibises started the day on the ARC pit, moving to the lake near Boulderwall Farm (to the right of the access track) in the afternoon. Also at the ARC site this morning were four blackcaps, two reed warblers and numerous chiffchaffs.

25th September 2009, Friday

Red-veined update

Earlier this week several Red-veined Darter larvae were found in a small pool at Castle Water, the pool has obviously been checked daily and today the first emergent was found still clinging to the exuvia. Two additional exuviae have also been found but these were not at the current water level so are probably four or five days old so predate the larvae discovery.

24th September 2009, Thursday

End of the Season

Today saw the last of the weekly butterfly/dragonfly transects for the year, so as you might expect numbers of both species and individuals were somewhat limited. Butterflies consisted mainly of Large White, with a few Small Copper, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoishell, Peacock and Painted Lady thrown in for a bit of variation, while the best of the bunch was a Clouded Yellow in the Barn Field. The commonest dragonflies today were Migrant Hawker and Common Darter (large numbers egg-laying in the ditches), with damselflies represented by a single Common Blue.


24th September 2009, Thursday

Rye Harbour

Highlights over the past few days from the Beach Reserve and Harbour Farm farm have included 322 Curlew, 600 Golden Pover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Grey Plover, Merlin, 200+ Meadow Pipit and 2 Stonechat. At Castle Water a Garden Warbler and Ring Ouzel were in scrub around the hide, 4 Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper and 2 Black-tailed Godwit were on the new excavations, 2 Marsh Harrier, Peregrine and several small flocks of Bearded Tit complete the pick of the bunch.

Bar-tailed Godwit at Wader Pool Read the rest of this entry »

24th September 2009, Thursday

RSPB Dungeness recent sightings

Black necked grebe – two seen on 19th from the Hanson-ARC hide. Bittern – one at Denge Marsh on 23rd. Glossy ibis – five flew west past Boulderwall Farm just before 9 am today and appeared to land at edge of lake to right of access track. They have been in the area since 21st. Honey buzzard – one near Boulderwall Farm on 22nd. Black kite – a moulting bird (very difficult to identify and initially thought to be a dark-morph booted eagle) flew over the reserve late morning on 22nd and remained in the local area for several hours. Merlin – one near Hooker’s gate on 21st. Avocet – one on ARC pit on 21st and Denge Marsh on 22nd. Golden plover – 200 plus seen on the 19th from Hanson-ARC hide. Grey plover – one on ARC pit on 20th. Knot – 60 seen on the ARC pit on 23rd. Dunlin – 21 on ARC on pit on 23rd. Ruff – four on ARC pit on 22nd. Snipe – four on ARC pit on 22nd. Curlew – four on Burrowes pit on 21st. Black tern – one at the ARC site this morning. Kingfisher – two at Denge Marsh on 23rd. Wryneck – seen in scrub at edge of access track, from the 20th to the 22nd. Yellow wagtail – 10 near access track on 22nd. Common redstart – one near access track on 22nd. Whinchat – two near access track, 20th to 22nd. Wheatear – seen daily near access track. Ring ouzel – one on return trail on 23rd. Reed warbler – one near Hanson-ARC hide on 19th. Sedge warbler – one near access track on 23rd. Lesser whitethroat – two in scrub near access track from 19th to 22nd. Blackcap – up to six birds seen at ARC site from 19th to 22nd. Raven – two over Denge Marsh on 23rd.

23rd September 2009, Wednesday

Dog Rose Galls

Today I found three different species of gall on Dog Rose, each the result of a different species of hymenopteran gall-wasp of the family Diplolepis. This one is the familiar Robin’s pincushion (or moss gall or Bedeguar gall) caused by D.rosae.

Read the rest of this entry »

23rd September 2009, Wednesday

Reed Dagger

The Reed Dagger moth has become more common in recent years, but I was still surprised to see hundreds of caterpillars feeding on the leaves of Greater Reedmace yesterday. Only one caterpillar per leaf, and they may also have been enjoying the afternoon sunshine. This was along the ditch just north of the hide at Castle Water.

22nd September 2009, Tuesday

Rare birds update

No sign at Scotney up to 6 p.m. today of yesterday’s Buff-breasted Sandpiper, but 3 Glossy Ibises have been at the ARC pit at Dungeness all day, while a dark raptor showing some characters of a Booted Eagle has been seen intermittently in the Scotney/Lydd/Lade area at various times during the day.

22nd September 2009, Tuesday

Rare birds at Scotney GPs

Yesterday afternoon at Scotney a juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper was found among a flock of Golden Plovers and 7 Ruff feeding on the pasture by the road east of the Kent boundary, but the whole flock (except for 2 Ruff) flew off NE just before 6 pm, possibly disturbed by a female Merlin that was in the area. This morning at 7.18, people hoping to see it return were surprised to see 2 Glossy Ibises flying over west – possibly from Dungeness where the species was seen yesterday I think at the ARC pit.

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.