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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.

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Rye Harbour Moths


Highlight today was this Portland moth (Actebia praecox), a species which has never been recorded on the reserve proper (though a few were caught along from Watch Cottage during the late 1990s by Peter Philpot). Largely coastal in the UK, this species occurs mainly in northern Britain (and doesn't occur on Portland!), but in our part of the world tends to turn up only as a migrant.

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Brown argus

Brown argus butterflies have been common around the flowery margins of the natural pits that have been subject to management (grazing and reed cutting).  This produces a flowery margin at this time of year with purple loosestrife and water mint.



Pannel Valley NR

There will be a lot of activity (unfortunately human) on the wader scrape on both the following two Saturdays. Some essential work needs to be carried out so please expect no birds unless you get there early.


Northiam waders

Dean Morrison contacted me today:

Don't know if you've spotted this yourself, but a fantastic bit of marshy grassland has appeared up by the A28 where it crosses the rail line at Northiam - just down from the station house.

Have been watching this develop over the past few months, and for the past few evenings there have been perhaps 18+ Green Sandpipers and similar numbers of Greenshanks. There was a juvenile Little Ringed Plover there this evening and a possible Wood Sandpiper. It's a fantastic spot in the evening, and because you watch from a busy road with good cover the birds don't take much notice of you.

He adds:

...apparently there was a traction engine show in that field a while ago, and they may have broken the field drains!


Monster caterpillar! 

This exciting find is the full grown larva of Britain's largest moth - the Death's-head Hawk-moth.  It was discovered two days ago by Philip Newton as it marched boldly across his Three Oaks garden in the warm sunshine.  Philip already knew the species when I received his phone call, but its behaviour indicated it was not going to hang around and wait for me to arrive, and would soon be diving underground to pupate!  I wasn't about to miss this once in a lifetime sighting so Philip kindly placed it in a container, and within 10 minutes I was there, drooling, as well as taking lots of photos! 

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