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"Nightingale Alley"

This is a name used locally for a path through some dense scrub in Brede High Woods. Yesterday we found 3 singing Nightingales (great views of one) and 2 Garden Warblers there. You can download an excellent map of the woods from – the map's on page 2. Nightingale Alley is the straight east-west path between two of the reservoir streams south of Brede High Heath. We also checked this heath and other possible clearings for Tree Pipits, without success despite ideal conditions.


Off the beaten track

Yesterday, four of us visited part of the Dungeness area that most visiting  birders never see- the evolving landscape of newly created [and  still being excavated]   gravel pits and arable farmland behind Scotney gravel pit.

We accessed  this area by starting from the small car park off Dennes Lane, Lydd, walking  west along the footpath network, heading for the new gravel pits behind Scotney GP that you can just see from the road.

The arable fields-Wheat, Linseed and [for the furrow enthusiast] Potatoes are  good for farmland birds, we saw perhaps 20 Yellow Wagtails, and three singing Corn Buntings; we usually see a few migrant Wheatears-2 today. Plenty of birds on the pits, including one that I don't note down all that often-Mute Swan-an impressive herd of 150 non-breeders . Also a male Pintail, 2 Egyptian Geese, c20 Avocets including one defending 3 tiny chicks- I've not seen these  in April before-, 4 Greenshanks, a Green Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper together, and 3 displaying Little Ringed Plovers.

A quick walk around part of the RSPB reserve from Springfield bridge in the afternoon provided excellent views of our first two Hobbies, a booming Bittern and the two faithful Cattle Egrets, now developing some summer plumage. A good day, with 80 species recorded.



Cuckoos are back

There seem to be excellent numbers of Cuckoos this year, with many reports coming in across the RX area. At Rye Harbour there have been several groups noted including 4 feeding from the fencing on the beach. Their main food is hairy caterpillars and there are very high numbers of Brown-tails in the Brambles and Drinker and Pale Grass Eggars for them to feast on. So Reed Warblers beware, the Cuckoos are back.


Beach Reserve

Highlights this morning, 2 Spotted Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 45 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Little Ringed Plover and 2 Little Terns.



Hastings and Rye

Sussex Wildlife Trust is using this General Election to give every Parliamentary candidate who aims to represent a Sussex constituency a public platform to demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding nature. Each constituency has an outline description and it has been sent to all candidates. 
Click here for the Hastings and Rye one, or click here for links to all the Sussex constituencies.
We await their response...