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Acknowledgements

A special thanks to Sussex Wildlife TrustFriends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and Flag Ecology for their contribution to the funding of the new RX-wildlife website.

Website design and maintenance by Andy Phillips.

threecubes@gmail.com

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9:30AM

20 metres freestyle

The oystercatcher family at the Parkes hide photographed here three days ago is now down to one chick and it commutes the 20m between the safety of the islands and food on the mainland by swimming. Three days ago the chicks were reluctant to enter the water, but today there was barely any hesitation from the fittest one.

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5:22AM

More protected roadside nature areas

Another piece of protected road-side grassland, this time at Camber.  I stopped to check for insects and found these stunning pyramidal orchids Anacamptis pyramidalis last weekend.

Helping with protection

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4:57AM

Ghosts of spring past

One of the best ways for determining the presence of great crested newts Triturus cristatus is to look for their eggs.  They are larger than those of smooth and palmate newts, and like those species are attached to the leaf of an aquatic plant which is folded over the egg.  The pinched leaves are easy to spot, and because of their larger size great crested newt eggs tend to be laid on larger plant species, with water mint Mentha aquatica being particularly popular.  This summer I have been surveying the Open Pits on the RSPB reserve and I have been finding pinched leaves, used by great crested newt, late into the season.  At first some of these contained eggs, but now all of these finally seem to have hatched, but the leaves remain glued together and retain the pinched look.  Instead of amphibians the pinched leaves now contain chironomid larvae, making use of the crevice. Here is a piece of pink water speedwell Veronica catenata with three pinched leaves that was found on 8 July 2012.

The pinched leaf to the

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11:45AM

Saltmarsh Hoverfly

In 2010 I made a search on Harbour Farm for the hoverfly Lejops vittatus (RDB2) which is a scarce and local coastal species associated with sea club-rush. This species had not been recorded on the reserve before so it was pleasing to find it. This morning I took the chance to search the same area and found several adults at two locations amongst the flowering heads of sea club-rush.

 

3:59PM

Rye Harbour

Avian highlights at Castle Water today included 2 Wood Sandpiper, 7 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper and 8 Black-tailed Godwit. From the viewpoint at least 9 Bearded Tits showed well in the nearest reeds, the immature Marsh Harrier and a Hobby were also present. On the Beach Reserve 18 Little Egret were feeding around flat beach and the new saltmarsh area, flat beach also attracted 23 Avocet, 34 Redshank, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 23 Curlew.

Little Egret feeding in one of the channels on the new saltmarsh area this morning.