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An Unusual Weevil

Over the last couple of years we have been carrying out pitfall trapping for invertebrates on the new saltmarsh on Harbour Farm to track the changes that occur in this new habitat as it matures. Yesterday I was going through some specimens from last year when I came across this unusual looking weevil. Turns out it is a granary weevil (Sitophilus granarius) also known as grain weevil or wheat weevil, and as the name suggests this species is actually a pest of stored grain! Apparently it's not unprecedented for this species to turn up outside, but it's still not usual, particularly when it is in the middle of a (re-created) saltmarsh!  


Rye Harbour

Highlights over the last couple of days on Flat Beach Level have included around 1000 golden plover, over 500 wigeon, 300 lapwing, 60+ dunlin, two pintail, ruff and brent goose. Elsewhere on the reserve 180 pochard were on Long Pit yesterday (along with a ferruginous duck lookalike hybrid), small numbers of rock pipit have been present on the saltmarsh near Lime Kiln Cottage and there have been two sightings of bittern at Castle Water (probably the same bird).  In addition, a black swan was present on Harbour Farm this morning.



Today the postman brought my copy of the report for the Wetland Bird Survey 2010/11 and it's a fascinating read. You can download it from the BTO web site by clicking here. The counts from the RX area are listed together under Dungeness and Rye Bay and here there are many species listed of national importance, including the three species in this photo taken this morning at Rye Harbour ...

Golden Plover, Lapwing and Wigeon.


Castle Water evening

A lovely sunny and calm evening at the Castle Water hide with hundreds of common ducks - Gadwall, Shoveler, Mallard Pochard, Tufted and Teal - including some courtship from the newly feathered males. Also, a few late Swallows and hunting Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier and Barn Owl (photo). All close to the hide. This hide is showing its age and will soon be refurbished - keep an eye on for notification on dates of closure.


Rye Harbour

Apart from the usual suspects that have appeared in recent posts highlights over the past few days have included 2 Red-breasted Merganser flying low over shore ridges, a Slavonian Grebe gave close views sitting on the sea out from the old lifeboat house. At least 80 Skylarks have been present feeding around harbour farm, 3 Swallows passed overhead at the wader pool and 25 Brent Geese were lingering on the new saltmarsh area. At Castle Water several small flocks of Fieldfares and a few Redwings have been present around the hide and the southern end pf the main pit. The fields at the nortern end of the main pit (castle farm) have attracted 6 Ruff, 400 Lapwing, a Wheatear and a few Brent Geese.