Plenty of passerine activity on the Beach Reserve and Harbour Farm today, with around 100 Yellow Wagtail foraging along the beach road, several Wheatear near the river mouth, about 100 Sand Martin feeding over the pits and pools, and at least three Whinchat along the fence near Harbour Farm Barns. In addition, the Quarry held a Greenshank, three Knot and a Little Egret while a Green Sandpiper, a Snipe and two Grey Partridge were seen from the Crittall Hide (Ternery Pool)
Archive for August, 2010
There seems to have been quite a bit of migrant activity over the last few days, with several species of immigrant turning up in my moth trap. The majority of these seem to be the (largish) micro Rush Veneer, with quite a few White-point (which probably also breeds on this part of the south coast), Dark Sword-grass and Silver Y. Highlight however was the attractive micro Marbled Yellow Pearl (Evergestis extimalis) another scarce resident more usually found as a migrant in southern Britain.
Marbled Yellow Pearl
The tides are just right now for catching the roosting Curlew on the shingle ridges of West Beach before they disperse at dawn, 380 left this morning, a few Whimbrel were also present. Late news from saturday afternoon was an Osprey flying over Flat Beach and then the shore heading west.
A peacefull and enjoyable visit to Bixley Wood yesterday provided a great selection of hoverflies, I found 24 species along the pathways and woodland clearings, several were new to me but one that stood out was Eriozona syrphoides. Information available on this large bumblebee mimic is several years old and a rather tedious trawl through the web found nothing new. It was first reported from Snowdonia in 1968 and recent records are spread acrosss northern and western Britain, I can’t find any reference to records in East Sussex? I can’t believe that such a big and distinctive hoverfly has gone unnoticed. Anyway, additional highlights were provided by Sericomyia silentis, Ferdinandea cuprea and Baccha elongata. Sadly it was a bad day for taking pictures, the best of the bunch are below.
Large bumblebee mimic Eriozona syrphoides
Although rather distant, a small sandpiper with a short straight bill and a white rump was seen by Bob Greenhalf, Mary B. and me this morning near the hide at Castle Water. Definitely not a Curlew Sand, even less Green or Wood. We lost it after a few minutes but it could still be about, so worth looking out for.
Natural England is holding a pre-consultation on the Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay proposal to extend the Dungeness to Pett Level Special Protection Area and to designate a new Ramsar Site. Click here for more information.
Highlights from the main pit at day break included 91 Little Egret leaving the roost, Wood Sandpiper, 7 Greenshank, 8 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper and 15 Snipe. From the viewpoint Bearded Tit, Kingfisher, calling Cetti’s, lesser Whitethroat and a single Turtle Dove.
Highlight this morning at first light was an impressive 26 Black Terns split between Ternery Pool and the Quarry, the group of birds also gave great views in flight over the low water sand heading towards the River Mouth, additional interest was provided by 5 Little Tern (2 immatures) and 8 Black-tailed Godwit.
If you have been growing Marshmallow plants from seed collected at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve it is now time to be thinking of returning them so that they can be planted out… There will be 2 collection times at Rye Harbour car park - Tuesday 7th Sept 9-10am or Saturday 11th Sept 10-11am, or you can bring them to Lime Kiln Cottage by arrangement. We have already recieved about 300 plants and we took the opportunity of some wet weather to get them planted. A big thank-you to all who have tried.
Desite the cold weather overnight, the good run on migrant moths continued this morning with The Vestal (Rhodometra sacraria). This species breeds in southern Europe and North Africa, and turns up irregularly in Britain as a migrant, sometimes in large numbers (the last one at Lime Kiln was in 2006).
Vestal (Rhodometra sacraria)