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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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Rubbish Walks

Our monthly litter picking walks resume next Wednesday 1st November at 10am.

If you want to join us for some beach cleaning, chat, wildlife watching and hot chocolate, please meet at 10 at the Rye Harbour car park.


Rye Harbour Moths

Another relatively warm evening and another half-decent haul of moths in the Lime Kiln trap! The commonest species this morning were large wainscot, light-brown apple moth and narrow-winged grey, while the highlights included another couple of gem, a vestal and a dark sword grass. I also had a rather tatty Blair's shoulder-knot, the first reserve record since 2004. This species is a relatively recent colonist to the UK (the first record was in 1951 from the Isle of Wight) though it is now fairly widespread in England all the way up the north-west. Another introduction which turned up this morning was a London dowd (below), a micro first recorded in the UK in 1946 and originally from Madeira! There are several records on our database for this species, but this one looks to be the first for the reserve itself. Cool!

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From the Clifftop

Too much weather !  Friday was pretty unpleasantly windy, but Saturday was horrendous on the clifftop, no harm done again, but the moth trap stayed in the shed for 3 nights . However, the wind dropped in time for the bird race on Sunday, in fact this was a rather nice day

As usual Slow but Sure walked from the Country Park to Rye Harbour, recording a third place score of 94 against the winning-but driven-99. We got about half of these in the Country Park, including 4 Ring Ouzels, and the otherwise hard to get Yellowhammer. Other good birds for us were Scaup, Little Gull and Black necked Grebe at Rye Harbour. Monday  started off well, with a good couple of hours on the clifftop produciing four species not recorded by us on the birdrace-Dartford Warbler, Grey Wagtail, 10 Bramblings and 3 Woodlarks, also 7 more Ring Ouzels. later it became windy and wet, while Today was a write-off with thick fog till mid afternoon. A few moths in the trap this morning included The Satellite and The Delicate.


RX Bird Race 2017

On Sunday the 7th annual RX Bird Race raised £360 for the work of RSPCA Mallydams Wood and the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Seven teams of birdwatchers explored the countryside from Hastings to Dungeness to find as many bird species as possible. Among the surprises were; how difficult it was to find Greenfinch or Song Thrush and that nobody saw an Avocet all day, four species of grebe (Great-crested, Little, Red-necked and Black-necked), six birds of prey (Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Peregrine, Marsh Harrier and Merlin) and three egret (Little, Great and Cattle) were seen. The combined total of birds seen was 124 and the winning team, the Ryenecks saw 100, the first a Robin and the last a Peregrine. Their route was Playden, River Rother, Camber, Dungeness, Romney Marsh, Rye Harbour, Castle Water.


The blurry photo shows Richard Thompson from RSPCA presenting the Avocet trophy to the winning team, the Ryenecks – Pat Bonham, Bob Greenhalf, David Bentley and Peter Massini.


From the Clifftop

Today was one of those days when clifftop living can be trying-very windy ! No harm done, but just a few moths, and early morning birds limited to 80 Gannets west in 20 minutes.

A different story yesterday though,  18 species in the moth trap included my third Convolvulus Hawk this year, and a lovely Merveille du Jour [picture]-a compelling argument for running a home moth trap ! Visible migration included a Coal Tit in off the sea which was likely to be continental, but shot off inland, the usual finches including several hundred Goldfinches east, and the continuing spectacle of Gannets fishing noisily close inshore. 270 of these, a few auks and a Kittiwake with them. An unexpected new bird for the house list was a male Pheasant strutting about in the field below us-I don't recall seeing one east of the Visitor Centre before.