Archive for November, 2009

30th November 2009, Monday

RSPB Dungeness weekend highlights

Weekend highlights: The two glossy ibises showed well all weekend in fields close to the access track. The cattle egret was seen in the same area on Saturday only and the great white egret remained on Denge Marsh. A penduline tit was seen occasionally near the Hanson-ARC hide, two goldeneyes were on Burrowes pit and three on the ARC pit and single bitterns were seen at the ARC site and Denge Marsh.

27th November 2009, Friday

RSPB Dungeness Nature Reserve

Today two glossy ibis were seen in the fields near Boulderwall farm. For the lucky few there were two bittern, one on ARC and one flying between Scott hide and Christmas Dell. The great white egret remains in the Denge Marsh area. A peregrine and a raven flew over Burrowes pit and a penduline tit was found along the willow trail on the ARC site.

26th November 2009, Thursday

Huebneria affinis at Rye Harbour

On the 20th June 2007 I collected several parasitic flies from shingle to the west of Ternery Pool. Most of these were readily identified, but one left me stumped. I subsequently handed it on to Chris Raper, the national recorder for this group, and yesterday he came back with an answer. It is Huebneria affinis, an extremely rare fly in Britain (RDB1 – Endangered) with only two records, from Folkestone in 1866 and Deal in 1921. Larvae of this species are parasitoids of Arctiid caterpillars (‘woolly bears’ such as Garden Tiger and Cream-spot Tiger), so Rye Harbour is the ideal place for them.

Huebneria affinis

26th November 2009, Thursday

Rye Harbour

Highlights over the past few days have included 3 Eider (2 drake), 100 Common Scoter and 4 Red-throated Diver offshore. Two Black-necked Grebe on Long Pit, a Dartfrord Warbler (pictured) in scrub near corner pools and 24 Fieldfare in willows along Narrow Pit.

26th November 2009, Thursday

RSPB Dungeness Nature Reserve

Today two glossy ibis have been seen on the lakes near Boulderwall farm and a bittern flying at Hookers pits. Yesterday, as well as glossy ibis and bittern, the great white egret was at Denge Marsh and a raven was flying across the reserve. On the 24th we also had two penduline tits at the ARC site and a goosander on Burrowes pit.

24th November 2009, Tuesday

First newt

The amphibian breeding season has starting again in Northiam with my first male smooth newt tonight, earlier than last year (15th Dec) but later than in 2007 (3 November).  My pond is late compared to a record of all three newt species in a pond in Gloucester on 22 November this year, with male great crested newts displaying to the females!

Our first common frogs have also turned up too, and I expect more immigration into the pond if the weather stays mild and wet.

It would be worth checking ponds on the coast at Dungeness and New Romney from now on to see if the local record for the earliest great crested newt eggs (26 December) can be beaten this year!

23rd November 2009, Monday

Another windy day at Pett

Sunday 22nd November 09. Another very windy morning on Pett sea wall, it was not worth sea watching as the sea  was much to rough, even the Curlews were mainly on the marsh with about 2oo spread over the marsh. The Lapwing numbers seem to have gone down in numbers, but there was 120 Golden Plovers in two flocks, which is my largest number seen this winter at the moment. Still a good selection of ducks on the pools with at least 300 to 350 mixed flocks, with Shoveler being the most numerous with 120, next Wigeon 80, Teal 70, Mallard 50, Gadwall 20 and 2 Shelduck. There is still 2 Marsh Harriers which were hunting over reed beds at the pools, at different times, one male and one cream head. Good bird watching Pete.

23rd November 2009, Monday

Castle Water

Highlights from Castle Water yesterday morning included Bittern, 2 Marsh Harrier and 7 Bearded Tit all in flight from the viewpoint. 340 Wigeon, 180 Teal, 40 Shoveler and 9 Pintail were present on the two pits, 600 Golden Plover, 800 Lapwing, 5 Ruff and 34 Curlew were feeding in the fields at the northern end of the main pit.


Wigeon and Teal

22nd November 2009, Sunday

Whistling Wigeon

Despite the awful wet and windy weather, the Castle Water hide at dusk gave good, close views of hundreds of Wigeon. They seemed to be sorting out partners and there was a lot of whistling going on as the females were selecting the fittest males.


21st November 2009, Saturday

Responsible Fishing

RX60For anybody living near Hastings, the yellow wooden hulled RX60 Alfie Elliot is a familiar sight. Click here for an insight into responsible fishing.