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7:00AM

From the Clifftop

In the absence of the moth trap, attention turned to the ponds in our garden; we have three small ones and were delighted to record our first Emperor a few days ago, especially as it began laying eggs, becoming the sixth Odonata species to breed in these ponds. So far we have found six exuviae of Southern Hawker.

Thankfully, and thanks to James Tomlinson for lending it, I have a 20W actinic trap to play with now, this pulled in 51 species this morning, including a Jersey Tiger too-these are early records. The commonest moth at the moment is Dark Arches-48 this morning.

Yesterday I took a walk along the Cliftop, through HCPNR to Rock-a-Nore. Not much to report birdwise-A Peregrine, 3 Stonechats, and 50 Cormorants on Lee Ness. Much ragwort inspection turned up just Two Cinnabar caterpillars. Plenty of juvenile Herring gulls flying about now, but the three GBB Gull chicks at Torfield remain roofbound.

 

7:37PM

Dungeness by bus

Since 3rd June Stagecoach route 102 from Dover to Lydd has been extended to Rye, replacing the former 100 and 101 services. It's an hourly service with buses leaving Rye at 07 past the hour and returning from Lydd Church on the hour. The service has also been re-routed from Lydd straight down to the Pilot Inn near Dungeness, then up the coast to Greatstone and Littlestone.

Today I thought I'd try it out, so I caught the 10.07 from Rye Station, got off at Boulderwall, did the ARC pit and the RSPB reserve, and took the public footpath from the Dengemarsh hide onto the Dengemarsh Road and back to Lydd Church to catch the bus home, a route you couldn't do with a car. This is about 5 miles but it could be reduced by walking straight from Boulderwall to the Dengemarsh hide without going to the Visitor Centre, or indeed by just walking back to Boulderwall. Or, to visit the Point, just get off and on again at the Pilot. Lots of birds and insects, including a Greenshank and a Wood Sandpiper on the ARC and 2 more Wood Sands on Burrowes. Please note that Boulderwall isn't an official stop, but the driver said the bus should stop if you hail it there – that's why I came back from Lydd!  Anyway, it saved me fuel and money and helped reduce pollution and vehicles on the road, all good reasons to use the bus.

8:37AM

Rye Harbour Moths

I had a good morning today, with the first moth out of the trap this splendid Jersey tiger, less than annual here and always nice to see. The commonest species at the moment is still  dark arches, though there were almost as many dusky sallow, smoky wainscot and 'Hoplodrina' (either uncertain or rustic) making for a much more balanced feeling catch. Apart from the tiger other notables included rosy-streaked knothorn, gorse knothorncrescent-striped and starry pearl, while the bookend to the good first moth was an oblique striped, not at all common in Sussex though more or less annual here.

6:57AM

Pirate Day !

News from the clifftop is rather limited at present as my moth trap has packed up, awaiting a new one. However we were delighted to find  35 small Cinnabar Moth caterpillars on one of the Ragwort plants we have been nurturing in our garden.

Yesterday was Pirate Day in Hastings, and very good it was too. Although there were huge numbers of people enjoying the sunshine, I was able to make a couple of interesting observations. At Swan Lake I saw my first fledged Herring Gull chick of the year, attempting to land on the island in Swan Lake-and falling off. On the seafront were two chaps dressed in gull suits-but  they had been made with yellow legs....While resting in the top garden of the Jenny Lind, we were entertained by a screaming party of no less than 17 Swifts low overhead-that's more like it.

4:11PM

Rye Harbour

Today was the monthly WeBS (Wetland Bird Survey) and if wasn't for large numbers of cormorant and mute swan it would have been a very short affair indeed! Still the odd interesting record though, particularly at Castle Water where three great white egret, spoonbill, common sandpiper and several little ringed plover were present, as well as a flock of around 20 sand martin and bearded tit from the viepoint and at the northern end of Castle Water. The most interesting sightings on the Beach Reserve were reported pre-webs, with grey plover and ruff on Flat Beach during the morning.