After the Deluge

1st May 2012, Tuesday

Yesterday I took the opportunity to carry out my first butterfly count of the year, and after the wet weather it was good to get out in the sun! Truth be told there was little in the way of butterflies, with several peacock, a speckled wood in the scrub around Castle Water hide and a green-veined white the only species recorded, though there were plenty of other things to see. Highlight for me was the rare jumping spider Marpissa muscosa at Castle Water Hide, a species only recorded for the first time on the reserve in 2007 and now seen annually. Also seen on the the route were several hundred St Mark’s fly – every bush seemed to have its attendant group flying lazily round the branches – the spring hoverfly Epistrophe eligans and red-tailed bumblebee, buff-tailed bumblebee and common carder bee (the first ones I have seen at Rye Harbour this year).
Common carder bee

Bird highlight was a little ringed plover displaying at the northern end of Castle Water, while there were also many singing warblers with lesser whitethroat, sedge warbler, whitethroat, chiffchaff, reed warbler and willow warbler all heard in song between the viewpoint and the hide.