As the various postings of the last week or so illustrate, the freezing weather has led to an influx of Bittern into our area. These birds have been easier to see as they struggle to find food, particularly at Rye Harbour and Dungeness. On Sunday one spent the whole day standing in a grassy field in Pett. One has also been observed several times in the Pannel Valley.
Archive for the 'Pannel Valley Nature Reserve' Category
Although there was not a huge catch this morning, several species put in their first appearance for the year. These included Elephant Hawk-moth, Straw Dot, Small Magpie, Burnished Brass and Large Yellow Underwing. Thirty two species were present with Flame Shoulder and Angle Shades being the commonest.
At last, a catch of over a hundred moths with forty species represented. New moths for the year included Mullein Wave, Silver-ground Carpet, Clouded Border Brindle, Cinnabar and Obscure Wainscot. The commonest two species being Flame Shoulder and Nettle Tortrix.
Yet another disappointing catch. We really do need the warm nights back. The trap held only 18 moths of which the commonest were seven Green Carpet. Two Small Square Spot were new for the year.
At 09.50 a Red Kite floated over the reserve. The bird was immediately attacked by a male Marsh Harrier which allowed stunning views of both birds.
I would like to re-unite some lost property found last week in one of the hides on the reserve. If the owner of a bag and the accompanying binoculars would like to contact me with a description, I have them and would love to return them to their rightful owner. My office number is 01797 226374. In addition I have a telescope attachment also left in the hide and the above applies to this item as well.
Over the last week or so there has been some draining of the pools. This has made them more attractive to some of the dabbling duck and also some waders. This morning there were 48 Avocet feeding on the two eastern pools and 12 Teal feeding on the roadside pool.
Pannel Valley had its first singing Reed Warbler this morning.
Amazingly after the snow, there appears to have been a movement of Willow Warbler into the reserve with at least three in song. Fifteen plus Swallow are also present. A surprise was a brood of seven very small Greylag Geese which were probably hatched yesterday in the poor weather.
There have been up to four Marsh Harrier in the valley during the last month or so with a male hunting over the reeds this morning. The first Mediterranean Gull, of the year, an adult, was bathing with a mixed group of Common and Black-headed Gulls and yesterday a Dartford Warbler was present.
The red sunrise over the sea was very impressive this morning. The lack of wind encouraged me to walk through the setaside fields near the windmill. Reed Bunting were the only species in any numbers with just a few Chaffinch and Meadow Pipit. The highlight was a Dartford Warbler that stayed low in the cover crop.