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Rye Harbour Moths (and a spider)

Another brilliant morning today, with 16 species of moth in the trap (as good as I ever get at this time of year). The highlights were two vestal (below), another migrant and also another species I have not seen for a few years and a gem, while a cypress carpet was hanging around on the ouside of the building. There was also a single sallow hiding behind one of the garden chairs, the first one for the year

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Rye Harbour Moths

With the unseasonally warm weather we're having I'm getting a bit more than I'd normally expect at this time of year. The trap is still catching a few migrants, with delicate, dark sword-grass and gem in the last few days, while typically autumn fare includes feathered brindle (bit of a shingle speciality this one), red-line quaker, large wainscot, beaded chestnut, black rustic and feathered thorn (below, the first one since 2008!). The commonest species at the moment is the micro narrow-winged grey (see here), which at the moment is turning up in greater numbers than all the other species combined!


From the Clifftop

The National moth nights having finished, yesterday was a much better morning, with 15 species including The Vestal and The Delicate-both migrants- and  Grey shoulder-knot and Green Brindled Crescent . But just 6 moths of 3 species this chillier morning.

Autumn migration watching continues to be largely a matter of counting Goldfinches, hundreds passing daily, with Linnets and small numbers of Siskins and Redpolls. Yesterday there were still 130 Gannets fishing close inshore, with them an Arctic Skua and an adult Mediterranean Gull.  Early  this morning a flock of 8 Goldcrests came in off the sea and flew through our garden to the favoured pine tree next door-presumably this is happening unobserved all along the coast.


AES Meeting, Rye Harbour

Eleven souls turned out for an Amateur Entomologists Society field meeting yesterday and were treated to some almost Summer-like weather and some interesting invertebrates! Highlights were probably the spiders Lathys stigmatista, Sitticus inexpectus and the ant-spider Myrmarachne formicaria, all found by spider expert Evan Jones on the new saltmarsh, while Ralph Hobbs manged to find grey bush-cricket by the path leading from the caravan park towards Ternery Pool. A little bit quieter at Castle Water though we did turn up rather late meadow brown and small copper, speckled bush-cricket and sand-bear Arctosa perita (below), a camouflaged wolf-spider which lives in burrows in the sand.



Pett Pools

The highlight was a Great Skua found by Pete Rouse sat on the shingle. It was still present an hour later.

The pools held large numbers of duck particularly Gadwall with over a hundred present. Little Grebe and Pochard were also still here in good numbers.

A Marsh Harrier hunted at the back of the pools whilst a Kestrel dive bombed one of the local Buzzards. Both Curlew and Lapwing had increased in numbers from last week and there were at least six Ruff present.

The Goldfinches were heading west today with a few Linnets and Meadow Pipits. This was the expected direction as they like to fly into the wind.