Archive for December, 2011

31st December 2011, Saturday

Early Purple Orchids too!

Though not yet in bloom. But five prominent clusters of waxy, dark-purple-spotted green leaves in Knelle Woods, Beckley, today were in exactly the same small area where I counted 31 in flower last April. I never expected to see them before the New Year.

31st December 2011, Saturday

More December Blooms

Bur Parsley (or Bur Chervil – above) was flowering this morning in a sheltered spot on Rye Harbour Farm – the Collins Flower Guide flowering period is May-Jun! In my garden there was also Lesser Periwinkle flowering (the guide says Mar-May).

31st December 2011, Saturday

Beach Reserve

Two Slavonian Grebe and 11 Red-throated Diver close inshore provided the highlights this morning.


Red-throated Divers

30th December 2011, Friday

Winchelsea Beach Waders

At high tide this pm 200 plus Knot, 39 Sanderling, plus 15 Grey Plover and 11 Dunlin all in 1 flock on the beach about 400 mtrs east from Dogs Hill Road. Andrew Killick by e-mail

30th December 2011, Friday

Rye Harbour

Highlights since monday have included at least 3000 Golden Plover and 1500 lapwing roosting on Flat Beach, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 51 Knot along the shore, 39 Turnstone frequented the River Mouth. At Castle Water four Marsh Harrier were present on several days, a Bittern gave flight views from the hide and the viewpoint, two Jack Snipe gave incredible close views at the nortern end of the main pit and 5 Cetti’s Warbler were calling from various locations.


Cetti’s Warbler

28th December 2011, Wednesday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

Two much sought-after birds – the long-tailed duck and the penduline tit put in appearances at the ARC site today where three smew and a bittern were also seen. Two black-tailed godwits and a single knot were seen on Burrowes pit and late in the afternoon a firecrest was spotted from Firth hide. There were additional sightings of bitterns at Christmas Dell and Denge Marsh and a kingfisher was seen at Hooker’s pits. We think we have probably got three great white egrets on site now although we have yet to see them all at the same time!

27th December 2011, Tuesday

Winter blooms

The primroses are still in bloom and there are buds just opening. They have now been in flower in the same small spot continually since October. Unless we have some cold weather to kill off the flowers they will be blooming well into January. Also found a couple of ragged robin blooms and more white dead nettle today

24th December 2011, Saturday

Beach Reserve

Highlights from the Beach Reserve over the past two days have included 250 Gannet, 150 Great Crested Grebe and 35 Red-throated Diver offshore, two Merlin along Shore ridges, Spotted Redshank on Harbour Farm Pools nearest the barns,  340 roosting Curlew were split between Flat Beach and Harbour Farm, roosting Golden Plover numbers peaked at 2500 yesterday around mid morning and 1100 roosting Lapwing were split between Ternery Pool and Quarry Ridges. 
Today there was a Great Skua on the flooded Flat Beach.



22nd December 2011, Thursday

Castle Water

Highlights from Castle Water this morning included a ringtail Hen Harrier, a Dartford Warbler in the gorse and bramble scrub nearest the hide and two female Red-crested Pochard out from the hide. 


Dartford Warbler

20th December 2011, Tuesday

December Flowers

Our monthly mean minimum temperature was 2degC higher than average in October and 3.6 higher in November, so there are many unseasonal flowers in bloom – more weather detail here
Rye Harbourdaisy, feverfew, teasle (above), wall germander, gorse, viper’s bugloss, fennel, ragwort, annual mercury, shepherd’s purse, scarlet pimpernel, autumn hawkbit, bristly ox-tongue, common mallow, bramble, red valerian, alexanders, black mustard, charlock, bur parsley, lesser periwinkle.
Pett Level corn marigold, ragged robin, purple viper’s bugloss (Phil Jones), Scentless mayweed, perennial sowthistle, hogweed, a hawkweed sp., bristly ox-tongue, red clover, buttercup sp., blackberry, yarrow, common knapweed, gorse, dandelion (Ian Hunter)
Peasmarshprimrose, white dead-nettle, winter heliotrope, red campion, a buttercup, selfheal, common dog violet, prickly sow thistle (Gordon Jarvis)
Brede Valleyprimrose, common knapweed, dyers greenweed, ox-eye daisy, bramble (Philip Newton), yarrow (Cliff Dean)
Seddlescombe nipplewort, bramble, red campion, herb robert, petty spurge, annual meadow grass and hairy bitter-cress. These quite often have flowers in the colder months. Two more interesting manifestations of the milder weather are open flowers on spurge-laurel (Daphne laureola) and butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) both of which do not normally have flowers out until January or February. (Patrick Roper)
Westfield corky-fruited water dropwort and betony (Ralph Hobbs)
Fairlight honeysuckle (John Pryor)

Have you seen any wild flowers in bloom during December? Let me know if you have seen any in the RX area and I will add to the list. E-mail me