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Rye Harbour

The wind and rain overnight and this morning has mixed things up a bit and produced 14 Ruff, 9 Greenshank and 2 Black Tern at Castle Water. Offshore 4 Arctic Skua headed west and passed very close inshore out from Crittall Hide. Late news for yesterday 5 Wood Sandpipers passed overhead while I was on Harbour Farm and I assume they had been flushed from one of the pools. Mottled Grasshoppers have also been evident during the week at Parkes Hide and on the sunny drier habitats at Castle Water. This little grasshopper has many colour varitions which help them blend in with their surroundings.



Beach Reserve

Highlights this week have included 200+ Yellow Wagtail along Shore ridges and Harbour Farm at dawn, at least 3 Wood Sandpiper have remained during the week and have frequented Harbour Farm pools and Ternery Pool. Raptors have also provided interest with Merlin, Peregrine, Hobby, Marsh Harrier and several Sparrowhawks were attracted by the many Yellow Wagtails, Linnets and Meadow Pipits.


Alien birds

There is an interesting series of programmes currently on radio 4, but in yesterday's (click here) the little owl gets away without criticism. BUT I have first or secondhand experience of them eating little tern (adults and chicks), skylark and storm petrel. As cute as little owls appear some native birds would be better off if they had not been introduced! 


Charity Bird Watching Event

For more details and entry form click here. 


Marsh willowherb

Marsh willowherb Epilobium palustre is an uncommon plant in Kent due to its requirement for wet acidic ground.  It can be found growing in some of the unshaded natural pits at Dungeness where it can be recognised by its narrow strap-like leaves, a round stem without any ridges, and a club-shaped stigma (many other willowherbs have a stigma divided into four lobes).  This plant appeared to die out at Dungeness but has reappeared from the seedbank following the clearance of willows.