I have been searching for the first signs of some Hairy Dragonfly emergence over the last week and was hopeful today of finding some exuviae, but found none. There was however some teneral damseflies in the margins and most appeared to be Azure Damsefly. While checking out some potential emergence supports I came across a moth called The Spectacle. When looked at head on it’s obvious how it gets its name, the antennae also create a nice Jimmy Edwards style handlebar moustache.
Archive for April, 2012
The pools were again quiet with two tardy male Wigeon perhaps being the highlight mid afternoon. There were however 23 Whimbrel and four Black-tailed Godwit on the nearby felds. The only migrants seen from the sea wall were two Yellow Wagtail arriving in off the sea. On the old cliff line at the back of the levels there were 40+ Swift and two House Martin. The sea itself was also very quiet
I had a interesting chat with Roy Gardener (a regular visitor to the reserve) this morning and he reported at least 60 Whimbrel at Castle Water yesterday and at least 30 today. I had a drive around the fields mid morning and found 20 birds feeding. So it seems there are a few Whimbrel about, it’s just a case of finding where they are roosting.
Highlights over the past few days have included 16 Bar-tailed Godwit and 28 Knot roosting amongst 150+ Oystercatcher along Shore Ridges, an Arctic Skua also lingered offshore chasing terns. On Flat Beach flood and Ternery Pool at least 200 Common Terns and 600 Sandwhich Terns have been present at dawn, yesterday 67 Mediterranean Gulls were roosting along the margins nearest to Parkes Hide, obviously Black-headed Gulls are around in good numbers and are entertaining to watch from any hide at Ternery Pool. At least 6 Little Terns have frequented Flat Beach and Shore Ridges, 50+ Avocet are regular on Harbour Farm pools birds can turn up anywhere on the Beach Reserve. A Merlin is still present and gave good views at Denny Hide this morning. Whimbrel have been thin on the ground the past few days with no birds found leaving the roost on Flat Beach although odd birds have still be heard or seen. At Castle Water 50+ Swallow, 12 Swift and 2 Green Sandpiper were of note yesterday. Three Nightingale have been in song in the wooded scrubby areas at Narrow Pit, behind Rye Harbour Church and along Rye Harbour road.
A male Pied Flycatcher has just (5.30pm) been reported from the Wood at Winchelsea Beach, just south of Castle Farm barns – near the “Jeff Gates”!
The storms and high water levels gave the Beach Reserve a wintery feel this morning and this was supported by hunting merlin and the last eleven lingering golden plover. Then the sun came out and it was clear that all the plovers were in full summer plumage and then the skylarks, redshank and lapwing started displaying and it was spring again… At high tide there were about a dozen little terns including the first displaying pairs.
There were a lot of happy visitors around at the weekend as our booming bittern put on quite a performance. He was even seen briefly, as was another bird – presumably a female.
Pairs of garganey were seen both on the ARC pit and on Denge Marsh and the long-tailed duck was also seen at ARC.
There was a good variety of waders around, although not in high numbers. Two little ringed plovers could be seen well from Firth hide, four bar-tailed godwits were seen from the Visitor Centre, three snipe were tucked up in the vegetation on New Excavations and a ruff was on Denge Marsh. The first green sandpiper of the spring flew over Boulderwall Farm early on Saturday morning and eight whimbrel were in the field to the right of the entrance track. Late on Sunday afternoon a little stint was found at the ARC site.
There was some excitement on Sunday afternoon as an osprey flew north over the Water Tower. Sadly it appeared as little more than a dot when viewed from the main car park but this was more than compensated for by the two spoonbills that dropped into Burrowes pit a little while later.
Two little gulls, a few common terns and two pied flycatchers were also of note.
At dawn 52 Whimbrel left the roost on Flat Beach and most headed over towards Castle Water. A bit later while over at Castle Water I found a group of 26 birds feeding in the fields adjacent to the viewpoint, and a small group feeding in the fields at northern end of the main pit.
The pools were very quiet in a strong, cold breeze. A Swallow hawking over the water and at least three singing Reed Warbler were the only sign of summer. Later there were two Whimbrel on the beach. Most of the winter visitors have now gone with only one male Wigeon, a single Brent Goose and six Curlew present.