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From the Clifftop

The highlight from the Clifftop over the last two days was also Wood Pigeons but the movement described below passed me by-1200 yesterday and 700 today heading west were my totals. Peregrines in attendance !Small bird migration was a little better this morning, with 12 Bramblings west, and a Dartford Warbler at the east end of Firehills [there have been quite a few this autumn], but the moth trap returned it's first zero return of the late autumn after a chilly, clear night.


Pannel Valley

As dawn broke there were quite a few thrushes in the bushes with the majority being Redwing. These soon dispersed as the sun came up. One Chiffchaff and two Blackcap were found.

The highlight of the morning was the huge movement of Wood Pigeon. Between 07.30 and 08.15 at least 18,500 flew in a south easterly direction over the site. The local ringers have previously ringed an adult in the autumn that was shot in France the following September.


The Potato Walk

Not a great deal to report from the Clifftop of late-virtually no visible migration and very few moths, though a Red Throated Diver past this morning was my first this winter

However, yesterday some of Slow but Sure did one of our usual walks from Lydd towards Scotney Hall Farm, known as the Potato Walk [as they are grown there, and we were once invited to dig up as many as we wanted !]]. This walk can be very long and goes through little visited areas past ruined farmhouses -and usually produces something of interest. The highlights  yesterday were this very obliging young male Merlin, which had just caught a Darter in flight, and a hedge full of farmland birds-50 Tree Sparrows, 20 Corn Buntings, 40 Redwings and 10 Fieldfares. Also of note were a Barn Owl and a Great White Egret-the former increasingly hard to find, the latter increasingly widespread.



Rye Harbour Moths

I would have normally given up on the moth trap by this time of year, but a trickle of interesting species has encouraged me to keep going! This morning I caught this red-green carpet, another common species which doesn't seem to have been recorded here before. Over the last couple of days I've also had more gem, a few satellite, cypress carpet and a dark arches! This last one confused me for quite a while as I didn't realise this species could occur so late in the season. I ended up going round in circles until I found mention of a late generation in the south of England. You learn something every day!

Interesting birds over the last couple of days have included black-necked grebe and scaup on the pits south of Harbour Farm Barns, five black-tailed godwit and a kingfisher at Castle Water and a great white egret over Flat Beach mid-morning today.



From the Clifftop

A  quiet day yesterday  to round off October -I didn't put the moth trap out as it was a clear cool night, and visible migration was very light-just 1 Fieldfare by the house and a Brambling in. However the sea off Fairlight Cliffs was quite busy-though the action was a long way out. Between 9 and 10 110 auks flew east, there were at least 80 Kittiwakes and one Med Gull on the sea, and a Great Skua flew E.