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From the Clifftop

Most of the interesting moths I've caught of late have been obscure micros, requiring capture, photography and computer enhancement to be sure of the ID. However, not so this morning, when I lifted the lid off the trap and was confronted by an immediately identifiable and very smart  macro-moth. This is The Passenger, a rare immigrant from Southern Europe ; as far as I know this is just the second record for Sussex, the first being at Pebsham in 2006.


From the Clifftop

Bird migration seems to have picked up, with a good range of species yesterday including an early Firecrest, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and 7 Tree Pipits at the top of Warren Glen [this year the autumn migration records across Hastings are being collated by Andrew Grace and reported on his blog ]

One Dartford Warbler was on the Firehills, the other was right by our house-a good house tick !

Moth numbers are very high: 38 Setaceous Hebrew Characters and 41 Large Yellow Underwings yesterday, on Thursday the  scarce micro Nephopterix angustella was a good find.


From the Clifftop

Bird migration remains rather thin, though 6 Wheatears and a Whinchat dropped into Warren Glen a few days ago. Most days there have been one or two Tree Pipits, up to 15 Yellow Wagtails, and today 2 Grey Wagtails, usually going west. Two Dartford Warblers remain on the Firehills, where sightings of a Raven and juv Peregrine ended a long absence.

Muggy nights have lead to bumper moth catches, including two more Annulets, 2 Jersey Tigers, and this aptly named Bordered Beauty.


Sycamore moth caterpillar

There have been several reports of sycamore caterpillars over the last week in the Rye Harbour 'wood' (the solitary sad-looking sycamore tree at the river mouth) so as this is a stage of this species I don't see very often I decided to go and take a look. In the end, and with the help of an interested family, I managed to find five evenly distributed around the tree. According to 'Bugs Britannia' this bizarre looking beastie is mimicing a feather, though I've got to admit my jury is out on this conclusion. The adult moths, which I see in small numbers every year, are fairly drab in comparison (see here).


Whirligig Beetles

Yesterday in some sheltered margins of a generally choppy Castle Water there were tens of thousands of Whirligig beetles - click here for more info on them