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Feeding Terns

The breeding terns have all but finished, but there are still many common and Sandwich around. Today there was more tern feeding activity on the sea than I have seen all season. Among the common terns were several juveniles, as in photo above, and these must have come from another colony as ours have raised none. There were also gannets and great crested grebe feeding offshore so it looks like the fish have arrived... but too late for our nesting terns!


Rye Harbour

Avian highlights today and yesterday: At Castle Water 6 Marsh Harrier (2 female, 4 immature), 12 Bearded Tit, Common and Green Sandpipers, 3 Greenshank and 3 Garganey. On the Beach Reserve/Harbour Farm 10 Grey Partridge, 22 Avocet, 4 Grey Plover, 45 Dunlin, 16 Sanderling, 9 Whimbrel, Green and Common Sandpipers. Good numbers of Sandwich Tern are lingering around the flood on Flat Beach, Common Terns are hanging on with their breeding attempts on the Quarry viewed from Denny Hide.


Dark Sky

Last night's clear sky and early setting moon meant the sky was really dark and full of stars. So I set up my camera on a tripod and took a 30 second exposure to reveal even more stars! The RX area has fairly low levels of light pollution so the Milky Way is easy to see (below).

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Saltmarsh Spiders

Last year I found a female of the rare saltmarsh spider Enoplognatha mordax near Lime Kiln Cottage. This afternoon I decided to check to see if I could find any more, and was rewarded by around 10 females, all with their fluffy white egg-sacs. This is a species which tends to occur at the top of the saltmarsh (that part that is less often inundated by the sea) and at Rye Harbour appears to be confined to a narrow strip of bank to the east of the road past Lime Kiln, though I suspect that as the new saltmarsh develops it will become more widespread. 

Enoplognatha mordax female with egg-sac


Castle Water

A female and 4 juvenile marsh harriers were flying around the reedbed today and this young bird flew quite close and then paniced when it saw me... Water levels are still very high and most islands remian submerged. The flocks of moulting lapwing were roosting knee deep on islands and between them a moulting male ruff was feeding. A few broods of tufted duck and a couple of green sandpipers, but no other waders seen... most of the wet mud is now covered with New Zealand pigmyweed - Crassula helmsii, which doesn't seem to be good for wader feeding.

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