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Rye Harbour

At dawn today a low mist over the main pit made checking the Little Egret roost difficult but at least 49 birds left the roost, 2 Kingfisher, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 15+ Bearded Tit, Water Rail, 3 Green Sandpiper, 400 Lapwing and 3 Greenshank provided additional interest while waiting around in the rather chilly damp conditions. Additional avian highlights this week have included 21 Common Sandpiper spread around Castle Water and the Beach Reserve, 160 Curlew have roosted on the shingle ridges near the Old Lifeboat House, the new saltmarsh area has attracted 120 Dunlin, 46 Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank and a Little Stint. An entry I put on at the start of the week about insects on Common Fleabane disappeared so I thought I would tag the pictures onto this post to complete my pick of the week.

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Bombus ruderatus

Last Sunday Nikki Gamman,  project leader of the subt project, and volunteer Nick Withers came down to Rye Harbour to lead a walk on bumblebees, but as no one turned up we decided to look for  some  in the Lime Kiln garden. Highlights were a black worker and a normal coloured male of Bombus ruderatus, the large garden bumblebee on shrubby horehound. This species was first found on the reserve by Sam a couple of years ago, but this is the first time it has been found at Lime Kiln, bringing my garden list up to 12 species, around half the British list! Is this the best garden for bumblebees in Britain?

Bombus ruderatus male

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The plant Marshmallow is now in full flower in many wet places across the RX area. It has been encouraged in several sites because it is home for the rare Marshmallow moth. A good place to see the flowers, including some plants over six feet tall is along the footpath at Castle Water just behind the industrial area.

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Vagrant Piercer

Highlight in my moth trap at Lime Kiln Cottage was a vagrant piercer (Cydia amplana), a migrant micro moth which first turned up in Britain in the early 1990s. This is only the second record for the reserve (the first, photograph below, was in 2010). Other 'goodies' were several rosy-streaked knot-horn, an oblique striped and a gorse knot-horn, an uncommon micro which has not been seen at Rye Harbour for about 10 years.

 Vagrant Piercer


Wild Carrot

 In their hundreds of thousands the large, white umbels of wild carrot are now covering the grassy banks between Rye Harbour village and Lime Kiln Cottage. They make a great place to watch insects and somewhere there is a great photo, but I couldn't find it today...