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Rye Harbour

Highlights this morning have included at least 2500 Wigeon at Castle Water and an impressive 850 Curlew left the roost on the new saltmarsh area at dawn. On Harbour farm 180 Fieldfare passed overhead and 210 Snipe and 5 Jack Snipe were flushd while checking the sheep. Ten Corn Buntings were again a nice find amongst the Skylark flock on the new saltmarsh area. As a point of interest the last Corn Bunting record here was in November 2009 with a count of 2 on Harbour Farm, the last big winter flocks were in 2005.


Rye Harbour

My pick of the bunch from around the reserve this morning, 235 Skylarks on the new saltmarsh area (a big increase from the normal 70+ and obviously due to birds  moving around because of the snow), 12 Grey Partridge and 4  Woodcock were flushed while sorting out the goats on Harbour Farm, 50 Meadow Pipits were also of note. At Castle Water 6 Corn Buntings perched in the hawthorns at the  northern end of the main pit was a nice find, I can't remember the last time I saw this species on the  reserve. At the hide 6  Bullfinches showed well in the scrubby area at the entrance and 18 Snipe were feeding in front of the hide. Wildfowl numbers were very low with only 350 Wigeon and 160 Coot stopping the main pit being empty?? At the viewpoint 33 Fieldfare and 45 Redwing were perched in the nearby willows at day  break and a  single Bittern gave great flight views. Having  problems with this site at the present time so forgive the fragmented posting!


Blackcaps at fat balls

This morning, both a male and a female Blackcap have been pecking at the fat balls in my garden in Rye. BWP mentions bird tables as food sources in winter when insects and berries are scarce. There's also the odd Redwing about, plus our regular male Bullfinch.


Winter Marbles

Winter can be a good time to find evidence of last year's gall wasps on the now leafless trees. Andricus kollari is known as the Marble Gall. It is hard to the touch and can persist on oaks long after the adults have emerged, leaving very neat exit holes. It is especially common on young oaks. This photo is from Rye Hill near the entrance to the Cemetery where the old empty galls were noted again today.


Local Jackdaws?

In 2012 Rye Bay Ringing Group ringed more than 500 Jackdaws on Elms Farm between Icklesham and Winchelsea. Each one was given an individually numbered white darvic-type ring with two black characters. These are legible in the field with the aid of binoculars or a telescope. This is part of a long term BTO national survey into survival of adult birds.

Only one of these birds has been reported since. We would be very grateful for any records (darvic number, place, date and time).

Please send them to or