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Rye Harbour Moths

I had a good morning today, with the first moth out of the trap this splendid Jersey tiger, less than annual here and always nice to see. The commonest species at the moment is still  dark arches, though there were almost as many dusky sallow, smoky wainscot and 'Hoplodrina' (either uncertain or rustic) making for a much more balanced feeling catch. Apart from the tiger other notables included rosy-streaked knothorn, gorse knothorncrescent-striped and starry pearl, while the bookend to the good first moth was an oblique striped, not at all common in Sussex though more or less annual here.


Pirate Day !

News from the clifftop is rather limited at present as my moth trap has packed up, awaiting a new one. However we were delighted to find  35 small Cinnabar Moth caterpillars on one of the Ragwort plants we have been nurturing in our garden.

Yesterday was Pirate Day in Hastings, and very good it was too. Although there were huge numbers of people enjoying the sunshine, I was able to make a couple of interesting observations. At Swan Lake I saw my first fledged Herring Gull chick of the year, attempting to land on the island in Swan Lake-and falling off. On the seafront were two chaps dressed in gull suits-but  they had been made with yellow legs....While resting in the top garden of the Jenny Lind, we were entertained by a screaming party of no less than 17 Swifts low overhead-that's more like it.


Rye Harbour

Today was the monthly WeBS (Wetland Bird Survey) and if wasn't for large numbers of cormorant and mute swan it would have been a very short affair indeed! Still the odd interesting record though, particularly at Castle Water where three great white egret, spoonbill, common sandpiper and several little ringed plover were present, as well as a flock of around 20 sand martin and bearded tit from the viepoint and at the northern end of Castle Water. The most interesting sightings on the Beach Reserve were reported pre-webs, with grey plover and ruff on Flat Beach during the morning.  


Pett Pools

It has been a great year here for duck broods. Both Tufted Duck and Pochard have done well with additional broods of Shelduck, Mallard and Gadwall. Both Great Crested and Little Grebes have also bred.

The Bearded Tit were again very vocal and can be seen relatively easily in the reeds at the roadside pool. Pete Rouse had recording Swallow and Sand Martin moving through the area in small numbers.

As the water at the pools recedes there is feeding opportunities for migrant waders. This morning there were single Ruff and Common Sandpiper plus Whimbrel and Curlew.


Brown Argus, Essex Skippers

Thanks, Alan. We dinosaurs plod on while others whip out their smartphones!  Here's a photo of a Brown Argus yesterday on the flood bank right by the RH visitor centre, showing the diagnostic two spots at right angles to the leading edge of the under-hindwing. There were at least 6 Brown Argus, all looking very fresh with rich dark brown upperwings all edged with orange spots, no doubt second-brood in this hot weather. I was really looking for Essex Skippers and identified two fresh females from their black antennae tips, though lacking the male's scent mark. I also found three very faded Small Skippers which probably emerged some time ago compared with the later Essex.