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Fascinating Fungi

Robert Lee sent in a couple of pictures of fungi and wrote: "It feels as though 2012 hasn't been a particularly good year for fungi yet. But on a walk through Bixley Woods this afternoon there were spectacular showings of fly agaric under the conifers. The one pictured was about 17cms across the cap and the same height.

Fly agaric

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Fishy Surprise

At the Quarry at Rye Harbour there are many Little Egrets feasting on abundant fish and a few Cormorants seem to be helping them... by herding fish into shallows where they are available for catching by the egrets. This morning there was activity in front of the Denny Hide and an egret caught quite a large mullet, then to my surprise a large Garfish (see second photo).

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Pett Level

A midday visit to the sea wall missed most of the finch movement, at least 150 Goldfinch however moved eastwards in six flocks. Earlier in the day there was a much heavier passage with finches going eastwards and Skylark (above) and Meadow Pipit going westwards. A late Hobby was busy catching Migrant Hawkers and the bushes still held many Blackcap, Goldcrest and Chiffchaff. Bearded Tit were very noisy with new arrivals at the pools and further up the valley. The pools themselves were very quiet, as was the sea.


Rye Harbour Sightings

 Lots of birds still on Flat Beach flood, the bulk made up of over 800 golden plover, about 150 lapwing, 120 oystercatcher and around 75 wigeon. Still good numbers of little egret, with 16 birds  present today, while at least one little stint was amongst the dunlin and a bar-tailed godwit was feeding with a small group of curlew on the new saltmarsh. In addition, at least two wheatear were present in front of Wader Pool hide late morning, while a few siskin and redpoll passed through overhead.       


Roving tit flocks

In the scrubby areas at Castle Water this week I have encountered several roving tit flocks. Long-tailed Tits make up the bulk ot the flocks and give away their presence by their contact calls. This morning while approaching the hide I was lucky enough to have a flock cross in front of me. The pecking order went like this, 11 Long-tailed Tits, 4 Blue Tit, 3 Great Tit, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Treecreeper, 3 Goldcrest and a Firecrest. Its amazing to see what species join these flocks and I suppose dependant on what habitat you happen to be in. The suprise bird for me this morning was the Treecreeper. The wood at the northern end of the main pit is normally the only place to reliably find this species, but this mornings bird was the fourth time this year I have found them around the main pit and at the viewpoint.