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Beach Reserve

Great selection of waders (20 species) around the Beach Reserve and Harbour Farm pools this morning highlights included Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 3 Wood Sandpipers, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Whimbrel, 60 Curlew, 36 Turnstone,18 Snipe, 21 Golden Plover, Dunlin, Knot, Sanderling and Little Ringed Plover. Also of note 65 Sandwich Tern, 5 Little Tern, 200 Common Tern, 12 Little Egret, 70 Linnet, Marsh Harrier and Peregrine.


Harbour Farm Pools

No moth traps set last night, so enough time to head down to W end of the reserve [Rye harbour] in search of waders, walking E from the Dogs Hill Road carpark.

For the first time this autumn I saw a decent selection, with at least two each of Green, Common and Wood Sandpipers, 15 Snipe and a Black-tailed Godwit all on the western harbour farm pool- very flighty though. Also 2 Whimbrels on the shingle seawall, a Garganey flying past with a group of Teal, and a Peregrine.


Beach Reserve

Good selection of waders feeding along the shore this morning highlights included 42 Sanderling, 13 Knot, 180 Dunlin and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit. Numbers of Golden Plover have slowly increased since the first few arrived on the 12th, 47 birds were on Flat Beach at day break. There has been a regular Peregrine hunting over the Beach Reserve during the past week, two birds were present this morning and of course both managed to create havoc, (it's always surprising to see how many birds are actually hidden away). Harbour Farm pools attracted 5 Little Ringed Plover, Green and Common Sandpipers. Later at around 10 ish I flushed four Wood Sandpipers while checking the pools at the western end of Harbour Farm.



West End

Beach Field is very interesting for birds & plants but is not part of the Reserve.

During a hot walk from Dogs Hill to Castle Water I found 73 bird species. A single Crossbill flying north was the first I had seen for quite a while though in many years there are frequent from May onwards. You have to know the call - distinctive enough - to pick them up as they go over. The first migrant Willow Warbler of the autumn was singing by Castle Water. There were a lot of young Whitethroats about and 3 Blackcaps singing in The Wood (where there was also a Treecreeper - about your only chance of seeing one on that walk).

Water levels are now dropping quickly on Castle Water so that there's room among throngs of bellowing Greylag Geese for numerous Lapwings and the odd Green Sandpiper & Ruff.

A disturbance in the long grass towards the Castle tuned out to be a Carrion Crow disturbing a Sparrowhawk which had caught what seemed to be a Starling. With the hawk unwilling to relinquish its breakfast, corvid reinforcements soon arrived to initiate a campaign of harassment which shortly attracted the attention of a Brown Hare.

Record shot of Crow & Sparrowhawk

Peacocks, Gatekeepers & Small Tortoiseshells were very numerous and one Clouded Yellow was by the old lifeboat-house.



Recent Moth trapping

The last week of hot weather has been ideal for moth trapping, though I've only just been able to use the Hastings Country Park trap again  due to electrical problems.

My small Fairlight garden trap has produced a steady stream of garden firsts, mostly tiny micros, but during the night of the spectacular thunderstorm no less than four new species  included a hulking Privet Hawk-moth.

By far the best came on July 23, when I almost overlooked a 5mm micro on top of the trap. Photographs of this suggested it was Epermenia aequidentellus, an identification confirmed by county recorder  Colin Pratt. This is the first time an adult has been found in  East Sussex, two larvae were identified on Moon Carrot near Beachy Head in 1996, in West Sussex it has been found around Walberton, but not since 2007.

Unfortunately I am unable to upload images at the moment, but see page 232 of the micro moth book -or google it !