Author Archive

28th June 2012, Thursday

RXwildlife has moved

RXwildlife has now moved to a new website.

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rxwildlife.info

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We also now have a facebook page and a twitter feed.

Please reset your bookmarks and rss feeds to the new domain. The original site will remain as an archive for the old posts as it’s a very useful reference of the wildlife seen in the region over the last few years.

The website has been running now for over 7 years since 2nd November 2004 when the first post was added. RXwildlife was one of the first community wildlife blogs, if not the first, and it was about time for a re-vamp and new look. Hopefully we will have another 7+ years of quality wildlife news and comment at the new website.

We hope you enjoy the new website but if you have any suggestions or ideas for improving the site please contact us.

13th July 2010, Tuesday

Bumblebee Walk at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, Saturday 10th

Nikki Gammans from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust ran a very successful bumblebee walk at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve on Saturday, organised by the Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve. It was well attended and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event and went away with new skills in bumblebee identification and learnt a lot about the bumblebee management at the nature reserve. Nikki highly praised the work we have already carried out at the nature reserve in creating large areas of bumblebee habitat.

Bumblebee Walk at Hastings Country Park NR

More information on Wild Hastings.

11th May 2010, Tuesday

Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve Website

Interested in being a Friend of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve? Check out their website for details on joining.

The Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve was formed in April 2007 by members of the Volunteer Rangers, as a means of involving the wider community in the management and enjoyment of the Reserve.

Our aim is to protect, promote and enhance the natural environment of the Reserve, and to encourage others to join us in this work, so that the value of the Reserve and its wildlife is protected for future generations.

To fulfill this objective, we will continue to support the conservation work set out in the management plan, assist in monitoring wildlife, and raise funds for projects within the Reserve that might not otherwise be possible.

To help visitors enjoy the Reserve to the full, we organise a programme of events throughout the year, and aim to enhance and assist with running the Visitor Centre.

19th March 2010, Friday

Hastings Records (18th March Update)

Records from the Hastings Weald Spring Migration Network throughout the day yesterday recorded good numbers of wildfowl moving east and some grounded migrants along the coast.

Seawatching from West St Leonards and Hastings Harbour produced c.1500 Brent Geese, 50 common scoter, 5 garganey, 17 teal, 13 shoveler, 5 wigeon, 2 pintail, 8 eider, 2 red-breasted merganser, 7 gadwall, and a shelduck. As well as wildfowl a little gull, a marsh harrier, a merlin and a red-necked grebe were recorded moving east, also small numbers of black-headed gull.

Grounded migrants recorded included a firecrest at West Hill and 3 wheatear at Glyne Gap. Three purple sandpiper were also at Glyne Gap.

18th March 2010, Thursday

Brent Geese – Hastings

There was a decent movement of brent geese early morning past Hastings & St. Leonards with 750 moving east between 6am and 8.30am. Also a marsh harrier, 2 red-breasted merganser, 2 wigeon and 2 teal were seen flying east.

1st September 2009, Tuesday

Western Conifer Seed Bugs

Western Conifer Seed Bugs are starting to turn up again, interestingly around the same time as last year.

One was found in a garden in Hastings on the 24th August and Derek Crawley had three in his moth trap last night in Bexhill. Also 2 were found at Dungeness Observatory, 1 at Tenterden in a moth trap, 1 at Hastings and 1 at Pagham on Tuesday.

This insect is native to north america and was introduced into Italy within timber. It has since colonised and spread throughout Europe reaching the south coast in numbers last year. Last year the first was recorded on the 30th August and records continued until the end of October. The records last year were considered to be due to natural immigration from the population that has colonised Europe.

So keep your eye out for this impressive insect!

Leptoglossus occidentalis, St Leonards, East Sussex

11th May 2009, Monday

Coastal Cliff Dormice

Soft rock coastal undercliff has now been confirmed as a dormouse habitat in the south-east. After a couple years of planning, a new dormouse monitoring programme has started at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve. Instead of just monitoring traditional woodland dormice habitats, the young regenerating open scrubby woodland and scrub of the cliff-top and undercliff of Warren Glen was also chosen to study.

Dormouse undercliff habitat

The woodland and scrub on the cliff-top and undercliff is in a constant flux of destruction and regeneration due to coastal erosion, and historical maps of the area show that this habitat has existed on the cliff-top and undercliff for long continous periods of time. Whereas mature closed canopy woodland was for long periods very much reduced to what is present at the site today.

It was assumed that the undercliff scrub and woodland was an important habitat for dormice at the site and linked the three gill woodlands creating a large continuous area of dormice habitat but until now this was not proven. Now that a dormouse has been recorded, on the first survey round, using an area of open regenerating scrub on the undercliff we are closer to understanding how dormice use the site. Also the numbers of dormice recorded in other areas of the survey area was very high for this time of year.

This has been a very successful start to the monitoring programme and thanks should go to Martin Newcombe who is supervising the work and to Hastings Ranger Alex Bayley, and volunteers Martin Usher and Ian Standivan for installing the dormouse nest boxes and survey tubes.

2nd May 2009, Saturday

Red-footed Falcon, Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve

An adult female red-footed falcon flew east over Warren Glen, Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve early afternoon today. It flew in low over Warren Glen before gaining height and drifting east.

18th October 2008, Saturday

Migrant Insects, St Leonards

Very few insects in my roof terrace light trap in St Leonards, the only migrants being a rusty-dot pearl, a Clancy’s rustic and yet another western conifer seed bug. The most interesting local moths were a grey pine carpet and a satellite.

16th October 2008, Thursday

Western Conifer Seed Bug Update

Since the records of the Western Conifer Seed Bug from Hastings and Dungeness on the night of the 30th/31st August, which were the first records of this insect in Britain since it’s first British occurrence at Weymouth College in 2007, there has been a number of subsequent records especially in recent days.

Below is a list of the records of this insect that have been published so far. The coastal bias would indicate a natural immigration of this species from the continent. The species was introduced into Italy but has now colonised most of Europe and is spreading north into Britain.

Hastings 30th August
Dungeness 30th August (x2)
Boulderwall 30th August
Portsmouth 6th October
Rye Harbour NR 12th October
Lydd-on-sea 12th October
Greatstone 13th October
Portland Bill Observatory 13th October
Rye 13th October
Dungeness 14th October

Icklesham 16th October

also records from the Isle of Wight, London, Kendal, Liverpool and Redditch in recent days.

Leptoglossus occidentalis, St Leonards, East Sussex