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From the Clifftop

For the first time for several days, no new moths for the year in the trap this morning after a cool and windy night. The best over the last few days was a Dark Spectacle, only my second ever, yesterday. On May 25th we found tiny larvae of the Mullein moth on our only Great Mullein plant, By yesterday they had grown to a couple of inches long, and had almost completely demolished their foodplant.

I've been spending time "sky watching"-looking for Swifts and Hirundines over the clifftop. Yesterday I saw 4 Swifts heading east, my best total this year!. It was a bit chilly sitting outside seeing nothing this morning, so I tried a spot of seawatching. No Terns, no Gannets, but an unseasonal Guillemot flew east. Of course these don't nest in Sussex anymore, but I decided to look into their former status here as The Birds of Sussex says that Walpole-Bond [who wrote the 1938 B.O.S.] "knew of colonies at Beachy Head, Crowlink and Fairlight".

Indeed a reference to nesting at Fairlight  appears in his book, but a footnote to the name Fairlight says "on no consideration to be confused with the place of this name near Hastings ". In fact this means Fairlight Lighthouse at Beltout, and Walpole Bond was quoting from the diaries of a Rev. Dennis from the mid 19th Century.

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