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Sand Martins

This mornings cold wind concentrated the aerial insects behind natural windbreaks and over the water, so that was were the aerial insect eaters were. At the Long Pit there were at least 100 sand martins low over the water and a few house martins higher up, but I didn't see a single swallow. A difficult photo challenge and this sand martin was the best of about 50 atempts during my pre-breakfast relaxation.


Beach Reserve

Highlights this morning included 2 Little Gull at Ternery Pool, a Great Skua heading west offshore, a Merlin along Shore Ridges, at least 210 Curlew left the roost on Harbour Farm/West Beach. Flat Beach attracted 260 Dunlin, Little Stint, 3 Knot and 25 Ringed Plover. The usual flock of 60+ Yellow Wagatil are still lingering around Shore Ridges/West Beach during the first hour or so at day break, several Wheatears were present on Harbour Farm and at the Wader Pool.



Fishwatching Hide

The Denny Hide has very few birds nearby (although the distant waders are OK with a telescope), but it's still worth a visit and there was a Whistling Duck there today (possibly Fulvous). However, look closer and into the water there are shoals of small fish - in the shallow water today were a thousand or so small Mullet and when I tapped my feet the shoal moved and some appeared to jump out of the water. But closer inspection and a blurry photo showed these to be prawns jumping out of the water backwards!

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Stinking hawk's-beard roundup

Another summer comes to an end so it is time to round-up what has been happening to one of our rarest plants, the stinking hawk's-beard Crepis foetida.  First the good news.  The plant has continued to thrive in Northiam, where there is now a substantial accidentally introduced population that has persisted over a decade, with varying fortunes.  This plant always feels like a catastrophe waiting to happen, and to be honest I was anticipating one this year, but numbers have increased to around 2750 plants, though so far seedling germinantion is late this year, so perhaps the anticipated crash will come next year.  The last crash occured in the wet summer of 2007 when seedlings appeared in very low numbers during the wet weather.  

At Rye Harbour LNR there was a

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This morning at the Denny Hide two Greenshanks gave great views catching small fish in front of the hide.