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From the Clifftop

Quite a good morning today, including a good moth catch for the time of year-14 species, of which four [Green -Brindled Crecent-pictured, Feathered Ranunculus, Brick and Dark Chestnut were new for the year. After early morning gloom and rain the weather stayed quite pleasant for about 4 hours [then strong winds, followed by  rain], so I made the most of it. A two hour migration watch from home was quite busy, highlights being a group of 6 Ring Ouzels up and west,and  5 Bramblings east, 150 Gannets were fishing below.

I then made my first visit to East Guldeford Levels for some time.  Here were a late Yellow Wagtail, a Merlin, a Black Redstart around the farm buildings, a site first; just 6 Corn Buntings and one Tree Sparrow, but there is a good area of stubble for farmland birds later on.

Bad forecast for tonight and tomorrow, raining now, so no moth trap tonight. 


Walking in the rain.

On Saturday the Friends of HCPNR Autumn Migration walk attracted about a dozen stalwarts, and although it rained all the time [and in fact all day] , we managed to find a few things. A very brief view of a Ring Ouzel maintained the tradition of recording this species on our event, though more unusual was a group of 4 Snipe flying east along the cliffs. A couple of Redwings and several Song Thrushes were taking cover below Coastguards, and there were still 20 Swallows and a couple of House Martins around.

Rather more daunting was the prospect of an 11 Hour Slow but Sure walk as part of the 9th RX Birdrace in forecast wind and rain on Sunday.

However it wasn't too windy, and , it only rained for a couple of hours as we walked along Pett seawall with the wind behind us. We came second this time , with 97 species on the 15.2 mile walk, highlights being another Ring Ouzel in the Counry Park, Spotted Redshank on Flat Beach  and 10 late Sand Martins at Castle Water, we got most of the expected species, but failed to find Yellowhammer in the eastern part of HCPNR, and nobody got any Fieldfares.


From the Clifftop

We have been away in Brittany for a couple of weeks, as last year some entertaining moth trapping, more species and individuals than here. I managed to put the moth trap out at home  last night, [too wet the night before], catching up on the autumn species. In the picture are three species of Sallows, showing their autumn leaf camouflage; from left to right : Pink-barred Sallow, Barred Sallow and The Sallow.  also typical of autumn were Red-line and Yellow-line Quaker, Red-green Carpet, and  Black Rustic .

Rain set in after I sorted the trap, but passed and I spent nearly 3 hours wandering around HCPNR- there will be a Friends of HCPNR walk on Saturday [0800 at the VC], and the RX Birdrace has come round again. I just missed 11 Ring Ouzels which seemed to leave when the rain cleared, but got a late Hobby and my first Dartford Warbler of the autumn.


From the Clifftop

There really hasn't been a great deal to report of late .

The moth trap has mostly just produced the common autumn brown moths, commonest being Square Spot Rustic, the first Lunar Underwings turned up three days ago, but it's just too cold at night. The Hastings Autumn Migration Watch has been underway since early August, but that too has been slow here  with just one decent  movement,  of 1300 House Martins a few days ago, Remarkably few Meadow Pipits have come through so far. Things can only get better !


Local Events 4

Guyana - The Last True Wilderness?

Saturday, 16th November 2019 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

of the Friends’ Winter Talk series: by Mike Russell

Mike’s interest in natural history was kindled in the 1950’s armed only with The Observer’s Book of Birds. From his mid- twenties Mike took on an assortment of countryside related jobs before spending 32 years at SWT Woods Mill in various roles. Now retired in name only, Mike still leads wildlife tours abroad and also courses for Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Winchelsea Beach Community Hall, Sea Road, Winchelsea, TN36 4NA

Organised by the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve but open to all.

Donations appreciated