Archive for October, 2009

31st October 2009, Saturday

Marsh arrowgrass

Today, whilst walking along the edge of the White Kemp Sewer  (one of the main Walland Marsh water courses)  I came across a piece of ground that was scraped out in the early 1990’s to provide shallow water for waterfowl.  This area is now well vegetated and I was pleased to find numerous spikes of marsh arrowgrass Triglochin palustre. Of course by now the plant had flowered and was in seed, and it is at this time of year that it’s name makes a little more sense.

When the seed is ripe the fruits remain attached to the end of the stem and open out to form the shape of an arrowhead, unlike Read the rest of this entry »

30th October 2009, Friday

Beauport Park


Oudemansiella mucida, the Porcelain Mushroom is specific to beech wood. It appears in autumn on dead trunks and on fallen branches, and occasionally it also grows on living trees. About 20 years ago scientists discovered that this fungus ( along with many others) produced a powerful anti-fungal agent which helps it to defend its timber from attack by rival species of fungus. This substance was later synthesised, and spawned a multi-million pound branch of the agricultural fungicide business, the development of the strobilurin fungicides. These have been responsible for the most dramatic improvements in crop yields ( an additional 1 tonne of wheat per hectare is common ). Nearly every single wheat crop in the world is now treated with strobilurin fungicides, which are now already in their 4th or 5th generation – www.aie.org.uk

A noisy flock of about 300 Lesser Redpolls was moving around the tops of the birches in the western end of the park today. This is the largest flock I’ve seen locally for years.
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30th October 2009, Friday

Speckled Bush-cricket

Only 3 days after the Dark Bush-cricket I reported here, this male Speckled Bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima), a common garden species, was in my moth trap in Rye this morning. Bush-crickets and true crickets are always told from grasshoppers by their very long and fine antennae.

30th October 2009, Friday

Camber Castle open on Saturday

Camber Castle will be open to visitors on Saturday 31st October from 1.00-4.00pm. New children’s book “The Ghost of Camber Castle” will be available to buy for just £7, and author Marian Mason will be there to sign your copy! Alternatively, people can take part in a guided walk taking in both the Castle and the wildlife at Castle Water. The walk leaves Brede Lock at 1pm and will finish at around 4pm. Donations appreciated.

29th October 2009, Thursday

Looking out from the new hide

The new Steve Denny hide at the W end of the Quarry, opposite Ternery Pool, opened two days ago, and this was the view out this afternoon looking towards Camber. Although the islands and far shore look very distant here, they’re well within binocular range, though with this amount of water a telescope is needed for very small waders and passerines. There’s quite a length of margin much nearer at the left and right sides. Midday to afternoons are best with the sun behind the hide. Waders today were c.100 Lapwings, 20 Golden and 2 Grey Plover, 3 Curlew, a Dunlin and several Redshanks, also a Little Egret, 4 Shoveler and a few Teal and Little Grebes. Early days yet but this hide is sure to turn up a few surprises.

29th October 2009, Thursday

Gossamer

gossamer-1

This afternoon’s warm sun and calm conditions produced an amazing display of silvery silk strands everywhere. It must have been ideal conditions for spiderlings to go ballooning. Find out more about gossamer here.

29th October 2009, Thursday

Rye Harbour

Highlights at Castle Water today included 3 Marsh Harrier, 15 Snipe, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Migrant Hawker from the viewpoint, a Firecrest and Clouded Yellow showed well at the hide were 6oo Lapwing and 250 Wigeon were also present. Along Narrow Pit around 80 House Sparrows were enjoying the puddles along the track, a Brambling was also present amongst the flock. Highlights from the Beach Reserve/Harbour Farm during the week have included 28 Corn Bunting, 2 Greenshank, 270 Golden Plover, 2 Brambling, 48 Siskin, 3 Crossbill and Clouded Yellow.

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28th October 2009, Wednesday

Rye insects

Yesterday here in Rye, a Dark Bush-cricket (Pholidoptera griseoaptera) was settled on my moth trap in the morning, and later a Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) was found on my car window (see Andy Phillips’s article and photo on RxWildlife on 1st September). Today the best moths were Dark Sword-grass (a migrant), Dark Chestnut and Green-brindled Crescent.

27th October 2009, Tuesday

Doomed pupa

About a week ago I noticed this attractive Painted Lady chrysalis on a wall.  Its bright golden colourings made it very obvious, as well as its location well away from any vegetation.  Luckily it has managed to avoid the attention of any birds so far.

But then this morning I spotted two wasp visitors Read the rest of this entry »

27th October 2009, Tuesday

New Birdwatching Hide

There is now a birdwatching hide overlooking The Quarry close to Ternery Pool. It is dedicated to the memory of Steve Denny, and will be wheelchair accessible in a few months.

denny-hide

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