Archive for October, 2010
Migrants today included Skylark, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Brambling, Linnet, Siskin, L Redpoll, Tree Sparrow. 1 Chiffchaff, 10 Swallows.
c580 Coots on the Pools + many Little Grebes.
Peregrine, Buzzard, Kingfisher.
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Highlights over the past few days have included 5 Rock Pipit at the Wader Pool and nearby saltmarsh, Short-eared Owl and Merlin along Shore Ridges, 360 Curlew departed the overnight roost on Harbour Farm. At Castle Water 25 Fieldfare and 12 Redwing were in willows near the viewpoint and a Dartford warbler was a nice surprise in the gorse scrub around the hide, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Gadwall and Mallard are around the main pit in good numbers and upto five drake Pintail.
The land south of Rye Harbour village only built up since the Martello Tower (at the car park) was constructed on a shingle spit 200 years ago. As the next shingle ridge developed along the current shoreline the sheltered intertidal area became a large and remote area of saltmarsh. During the last 60 years it has changed dramatically as the land was claimed for agriculture during the post war years, first grazing and then intensive arable. Now the saltmarsh is being re-created as part of the Environment Agency’s see defence works – click here for more detail.
These aerial photos show some of the changes that are being reversed – loss of saltmarsh creeks and shingle features in the fields.
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Sunday 24th October 2010. Arrived just after first light, with the Moon bright in the western sky and the Sun just appearing red low in the eastern sky. The tide was low, and the light was not very good, so I watched the marsh and the pools , where the light was much better. The best bird was a Bl.N.Grebe on the third pool, along very good numbers of Coot, and around 15/20 Little Grebe,the numbers of ducks are slowly building up on the marsh and the pools. But this morning was about birds of prey with the best view of a Short.E.Owl which came up from the rough grass from one of the fields near the road just past the pools, and two sightings of a Merlin which may have been of the same bird through the morning, but there was three different Marsh Harriers ( all cream heads) one adult female, and two imms. The other raptors were much later than normal with the three Buzzards not in the sky until after noon, which is a good hour later than normal. The only thing of note on the sea were 120/150 G.C.Grebe which were spread out along the bay. Good bird watching Pete.
Interesting species in the last few days have included Black-necked Grebe & Short-eared Owl (seen by Pete Rouse), Peregrine, Merlin, Marsh Harrier, Rock Pipit, Raven, Bearded Tit, Barn Owl and continuing migrants such as Stock Dove, Goldfinch, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Song Thrush, Redwing, Fieldfare, Blackbird, Skylark and Starling. A good range of waterbirds at the Pools is dominated by an exceptional c500 Coot.
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Just thought you might like see this photo of the many Goldfinches that have recently visited my feeding station in Westfield. Last year the max count was 66, highest count recently was an unbelievable 180 birds – costing a fortune! Still they may go soon (must have enough fat by now) feeding them on Niger seed and sunflower hearts. Dave Pankhurst by e-mail.
Highlights this morning included a male Scaup and a Water Rail on Long Pit, while at Castle Water, four male Pintail, two Marsh Harrier and a Snipe were visible from the hide, while two Ruff were present among 400 Golden Plover and 130 Lapwing on Castle Farm. On the Beach Reserve around 200 Linnet, 50 Greenfinch and small numbers of Goldfinch were feeding along the fence line, while five Grey Partridge were present on shore ridges.
Pintail – three on the ARC pit on 22nd. Goldeneye – two on the ARC pit on 22nd. Black-throated diver – one on New Diggings on 19th. Bittern – one or two seen at Denge Marsh on most days. Great white egret – one on Denge Marsh or Burrowes pit all week. Golden plover – several around the site all week. Black-tailed godwit – several at the ARC site on 22nd. Snipe – one near Scott hide on 22nd. Curlew – one at the ARC site on 22nd. Short-eared owl – one at the ARC site on 17th. Kingfisher – one near the access track on 18th. Swallow – several passing through on 22nd. House martin – one on 17th. Water pipit – one near Firth hide on 21st. Ring ouzel – one near the access track on 20th. Whinchat – one near Scott hide on 22nd. Fieldfare – at least 200 passing through on 20th. Redwing – at least 150 passing through on 20th. Chiffchaff – several around the site on 19th. Brambling – several flying over on 22nd. Goldfinch – several flocks around the site all week. Siskin – several flying over on 22nd. Redpoll – six flew over on 22nd.