Archive for September, 2010

30th September 2010, Thursday

Not one but two (again)

This time, not moths but birds. Two Buff-breasted Sandpipers have been present at Scotney GPs since at least Tuesday, still there at 11.15 today. Sometimes they’re together, at other times separate. Although usually with the hundreds of Golden Plovers and a dozen Ruffs a short way east of the Kent boundary, they may feed outside the plover flock in short grass, as one was yesterday afternoon, near the layby on the Lydd road. Is it just coincidence that a Buff-breasted turned up at the same place on 21 September 2009, or could that bird be one of these on another stopover?

30th September 2010, Thursday

Habitat Creation update

The Environment Agency’s project at Rye Harbour has made progress and here is some video of the work – speeded up 8 times.

30th September 2010, Thursday

Beach Reserve

Highlights this morning included 35 Golden Plover on Flat Beach, waders feeding along the shore 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 9 Knot, 35 Dunlin, 5 Grey Plover and 150 Curlew. At Ternery Pool 2 Grey Wagtail passed overhead and 140 Linnet were on the shingle ridges. Yesterday 2 Arctic Skua were offshore.

27th September 2010, Monday

Pett sea wall and pools

Sunday 26.09.10, Began the morning with a trip to the Sand Quarry at Fairlight, but the only birds of note was 1 Raven, 3 Stonehats and a Wheatear. Although the tide was out, I left for Pett Pools, where there was a good selection of birds with 15/20 Little Grebes and a large number of Coots  with around 200/300 birds mainly on the middle pool. It was a good morning for ducks, with 20 Wigeon, 15 Gadwall, and smaller numbers Mallard and Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, 1Ruddy Duck. On the seaward side there was also duck movement with 10 Wigeon east, 40 Shelduck ( adults) in two flocks of twenty, heading west, and my first for a while 6 Common Scoter on the sea. Waders were also in better supply with 3 Knot, 11 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 3 Dunlin, 15 Turnstone, 200/300 Lapwing, 200 Curlew, 1 Golden Plover and 10 Br.T.Godwit.Good watching Pete.

27th September 2010, Monday

Castle Water

A murky dawn today so it was hard to get a full count of Little Egret leaving the roost, at least 35 were seen, other highlights included Short-eared and Barn Owl, 2 Marsh Harrier, 3 Greenshank, 15+ Bearded Tit, Kingfisher and 2 Stonechat.

26th September 2010, Sunday

Highlighs this week at RSPB Dungeness

Red-crested pochard – one on Denge Marsh from 19th. Red-breasted merganser – two on Burrowes pit on 26th. Black-necked grebe – one on Denge Marsh on 21st. Bittern – one seen at Denge Marsh on most days. Great white egret – present on Denge Marsh on most days. Merlin – one flew over on 26th. Hobby – seen on most days. Avocet – six at the ARC site on 22nd. Golden plover – 50 on the ARC pit on 21st. Little stint – two at the ARC site on 26h. Pectoral sandpiper – one seen at the eastern end of the ARC pit on 25th and 26th. Ruff – two at the ARC site on 24th. Black-tailed godwit and bar-tailed godwit – several at the ARC site on 24th. Spotted redshank – two at the ARC site on 26th. Greenshank – one at the ARC site on 22nd. Little gull – two at the ARC site on 21st. Black tern – up to four over the ARC pit all week. Kingfisher – one at Hooker’s pits all week. Sand martin – a few through all week. House martin – 50+ over Burrowes pit on 26th. Common redstart – one near the access track on 21st. Whinchat – one on the return trail on 26th. Stonechat – one near Denge Marsh hide on 24th. Wheatear – one near the access track on 23rd. Redwing – one on the return trail on 26th. Willow warbler – one or two around the site all week. Chiffchaff – several all week. Yellowhammer – one on the return trail on 22nd.

23rd September 2010, Thursday

Not one but two

Clifden Nonpareil
It’s been a rather quiet few weeks for moth trapping, but the appearance of Clifden Nonpareils on consecutive nights of the 10th and 11th September near Staplecross was exceptional. There has been some speculation that maybe a small breeding population has recently become established in this area as such records are becoming annual, although the last confirmed breeding record for Britain was back in 1964. We can only hope. Sorry for the late posting of this record – better late than never.

23rd September 2010, Thursday

Beach Reserve

Highlights over the past few days have included two Honey Buzzard ,yesterday, which drifted over the Beach Reserve at around 11.45am and headed out to sea. The appearence of roosting Golden Plover on Flat Beach, around 330, has attracted a Peregrine which gave fantastic views around the Wader Pool and Flat Beach, a Merlin has frequented Shore Ridges were roosting waders have included 260 Curlew, 14 Knot, 25 Ringed Plover, 120 Oystercatcher and 17 Dunlin. The few Common Terns that have past offshore have attracted at least 3 Arctic Skua. Five Greenshank have still been present around Ternery pool and Harbour Farm Pools. 

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Oystercatchers on Shore Ridges 

22nd September 2010, Wednesday

Early Autumn Insects

I’m into the last two weeks of the weekly butterfly/dragonfly counts now, and as might be expected there hasn’t really been much to count! Dragonflies consisted of a few tens of Common Damsefly, about the same of Migrant Hawker and a few Common Darter and Ruddy Darter, while butterflies consisted of the odd Small White, Small Heath, Meadow Brown and Small Copper. One interesting invertebrate I did find today was a larva of the Cherry Slug Sawfly (Caliroa cerasi). Sawflies are relatives of bees and wasps, and these bizarre larvae do look like tiny slugs. This one was also doing exactly what it says on the tin and feeding on the leaves of a potted Cherry tree at Lime Kiln, stripping off the top layers of the leaf (you can see the bare areas in the photo below).
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Cherry Slug Sawfly larva at Lime Kiln Cottage this afternoon

21st September 2010, Tuesday

Field Penny-cress

Field Penny-cress seedpod
… is a common arable weed, but I have only seen it once before at Rye Harbour. During a workparty today there was a fringe of plants around Ternery Pool just above the Sea Aster line. The seedpods are really attractive, especially covered in dew and it has some interesting uses… click here.
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