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From the Clifftop

Given the current chilly weather, it's good to be able to seawatch in comfort through the window!  At the moment the species list from Fairlight Cliffs  is low and predictable -Red Throated Divers [169 past in one hour first thing this morning, a flock of 84 past a few days ago], auks [80 past with the Divers this morning], small numbers of Gannets and Kittiwakes and a few Brents heading east. I still haven't seen a Great Crested Grebe here, seems they are all in Lade Bay

Forays further afield included  another very quiet day at Dungeness [still no Smew], and a wet visit to the Long Pit at Rye Harbour NR yesterday, to see the two long-staying Black Necked Grebes.

[Surprisingly, I added a new species to my British List on the Clifftop yesterday, on hearing that the Falcated Duck in Northants/Norfolk in 1986-88 , which I saw twice, had just been accepted into Category A of the British List!. This is known as an "Armchair tick "]


East Guldeford Levels

Yesterday's chilly walk round the Levels was a re-run of last weeks, with no birds on the distant fields [though a lone Robin in a very remote bramble bush].  The stubbly field at TQ 948202 however was full of farmland birds-70 Skylarks, 40 Corn Buntings and an impressive 60 Reed Buntings. The rough fields between here and Camber held all the waders-450 Lapwings, 200 Golden Plovers and 40 Curlew.

Back at the clifftop, news of a Glaucous Gull finally turning up at Dungeness caused me to look at the sea for a bit; 40 Guillemots were fishing along with 8 Kittiwakes.


Pett level Walk

Today was the day of the annual Pett Level walk led by Phil Jones, with 18 people turning out in generally kind weather (though we did get a little wet towards the end!). A good day for raptors with at least three buzzard, two marsh harrier and a peregrine seen, while we also had all three egret: little, great white and cattle (up to four of this species have been around both here and at Rye Harbour recently). Waders included lapwing, golden plover, grey plovercurlew and a nice flock of 15 ruff, while waterfowl included the usual suspects at this time of year with the highlight a group of four white-fronted goose on Pett Level and five or six pintail on the scrape at Pannel Valley. Finally, a brief seawatch turned up kittiwake, guillemot, red-throated diver, great crested grebe, brent goose and gannet (with around 20 common scoter seen at the start of the walk). All in all, a very good days birding!


More RX wildlife videos

There are many Rye Harbour wildlife videos at the earliest being a rather fuzzy Roseate Tern from July 2007. How technology has improved the images and sound we can capture now!


Jackdaws, Jackdaws, Jackdaws

Jackdaws have increased in the RX area in recent years and at this time of year they roost together at night, here they are noisily gathering at dusk opposite the hide at Castle Water.