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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.


Rye Harbour Moths


Highlight today was this Portland moth (Actebia praecox), a species which has never been recorded on the reserve proper (though a few were caught along from Watch Cottage during the late 1990s by Peter Philpot). Largely coastal in the UK, this species occurs mainly in northern Britain (and doesn't occur on Portland!), but in our part of the world tends to turn up only as a migrant.

Click to read more ...


Brown argus

Brown argus butterflies have been common around the flowery margins of the natural pits that have been subject to management (grazing and reed cutting).  This produces a flowery margin at this time of year with purple loosestrife and water mint.