Post Archives

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.

Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.

From the Clifftop

Mixed weather over the last few days has affected moth trapping, with almost 60 species one night, followed by "too windy to put it out " the next. Yesterday morning a modest catch included some nice ones though-Lunar Thorn, Latticed Heath [new for the garden] and Gold Spot; my garden year list is now a hefty 291.

After dealing with that [and delivering some prize-winning exhibits to the Fairlight Garden Show !], we helped out with a Friends of Hastings Country Park event-an experts walk on the Firehills. Not much for this  "bird expert " to do at this time of year, but 29 people appreciated the increasing botanical interest of the Firehills following gorse clearance, including Dwarf Gorse in full flower unlike its larger relative, lots of Bell Heather and Dodder. My favourite was this Grey Bush Cricket , found  while we looked at the plants growing around the wet flush at the East end.  I've previously looked for  these at base of the cliffs,  without success,




Rye Harbour Moths

Not a huge number of species in the Lime Kiln moth trap morning, with the main species being dusky sallow and dark arches, though there one or two 'goodies' to brighten up my morning. Four rosy-striped knothorn (below) were my first this year, a species which regardeless of how many times I see it still makes me smile, while similarly two gem, a less than annual migrant, were also new for 2017. Also new for the year was a single brown-tail, a forerunner of the usually larger numbers later in the month. I also had a single Scaeva pyrastri, (see here) a rather splendid looking hoverfly. One of the English names for this species is 'pied hoverfly', though I think 'iced' would be better as the white marks on the abdomen always remind me of icing on a cake! Always did like cake more than pie.



Rye Harbour

Today, I carried out this weeks butterfly/dragonfly count. Dragonflies were surprisingly thin on the ground at Castle Water, though I did have a few emperor and quite a few black-tailed skimmer, as well as both ruddy and common darter. Lots of butterflies though, mainly meadow brown and gatekeeper, including a couple of marbled white at the colony near the viewpoint, brown argus, red admiral and small copper near Castle Water Hide. Near the viewpoint I also had flecked general (see here), a big wasp-mimicing soldierfly the larvae of which live in pools and ditches and a pantaloon bee (below) on fleabane near the office as I was parking up on my return.


Castle Water

Wader highlights from the hide this week...... 5 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Common Sandpipers, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, 4 Ruff, 180 Lapwing, 22 Curlew and 11 Black-tailed Godwit. The pair of Marsh Harriers have fledged two young.


Tiny Flies

It's now widely recognised that insect numbers in this country have greatly decreased in recent years, insect photo-safaris have become much harder work. However, yesterday at Dungeness , I checked the first big burdock plant I came across as these reliably host tiny "picture-winged "flies-and there they were. There were about 30 on this one plant, they allow close approach with the camera to reveal their beauty.

Internet searching suggests they are Terellia tussilaginis