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A special thanks to Sussex Wildlife TrustFriends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and Flag Ecology for their contribution to the funding of the new RX-wildlife website.

Website design and maintenance by Andy Phillips.

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RX Birdrace

Yesterday, five teams took part in the annual RX bird-race, trying to see as many species as possible between Hastings and Dungeness-and raising funds for Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and Mallydams Wood RSPCA.

All agreed that it was tough going, with windy weather and birds thin on the ground [our walking team, Slow But Sure, logged only Robin for the first 30 gloomy minutes !], though  the winning Team, the Pannel Beaters, managed a creditable 101.

The best birds recorded were 2 Red -necked Grebes on Scotney GP, the best we managed was a Garganey at Castle Water. Once again no team recorded Skylark, and Yellowhammer was only found in Hastings Country Park NR.



From the Clifftop

Rather windy across Fairlight Cliffs at the moment and little bird movement. I didn't put the moth trap out last night beause of this, but did the previous night. The trap was blown over and stayed alight, though the lid was half off at dawn. Not promising, but a Convolvulus Hawk-moth was sitting on the fallen vanes. Later, while wandering around the garden looking for the Pallid Harrier which Cliff Dean had just seen at Toot Rock heading my way [no luck], I checked the garage wall next to the trap for about the fifth time, and there was this immaculate Clifden Nonpareil. It looks obvious from this angle , but was very well camouflaged. Not a bad night then.


Rye Harbour

Great time of year and a cracking week on the reserve. Here are a few avian highlights since Monday, from the Beach Reserve: Meadow Pipits 500, 350, 200, Linnets 220, Wigeon 270, Teal 180, Pintail 7, Brent Geese 82, Arctic Skua 5, Merlin 2, Grey Wagtail 4, Grey Plover 26, Golden Plover 68, Curlew 245, Black-tailed Godwit 6, Turnstone 29, House Martin 450, Swallow 120 and 2 Kingfishers. At Castle Water: Spoonbill, Great White Egret, 250 Teal, 140 Wigeon, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Whinchat, 200 Lapwing, 7 Ruff and 33 Bearded Tit. In addition Chiffchaffs are everywhere from Shore Ridges to bramble scrub at Castle Water.



Friday Evening Winter Wildlife Talks


Marsh Mallow Moth

In Britain the marsh mallow moth only occurs at a few sites around the Kent/Sussex border in the Rye area and in North Kent, and so in 1999 we began a project to benefit this rare species by planting marsh mallow grown from local seed at Castle Water.  The flight period is quite late, running from late August to the start of October, so for the last few years I have been visiting Castle Water after dark during September to try to find this elusive beastie and last night I was successful for the first time, finding this fellow clinging to a marsh mallow stem. This is only second record from the planted area in recent years, so while breeding isn't proven it's promising that we are at least starting to find adults around the plants. Watch this space!