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Rye Harbour this week

I should really be What's Apping (or FB-ing?) news, but here goes anyway. On Monday the long-staying Black-necked Grebe was still at the SW end of Long Pit, a fine pair of Goldeneye were on the eastern pool at the Barns, and 2 Ruffs were photographed from the Halpin hide. On Thursday I was with a group of birders scanning Flat Beach from the Denny hide and we found 2 of the regular Twites along the NW edge, distant but unmistakable. Also, a Peregrine was scattering the ducks and Lapwings over Flat Beach. No news from today.


From the Clifftop

Pretty quiet on the clifftop at present: the usual suspects on the sea in quite modest numbers included at least 10 Razorbills yesterday. I've put the trap out a couple of times when it's been milder, and started the 2019 moth list with a Common Quaker on Jan 13, quite an early date, but this very common spring moth has now been recorded in Sussex in every week from the second week of October to the third week of July,


Ryenecks SOS bird race debut

From the SOS recent sightings page: Bob Greenhalf, David Bentley, Kelvin Cawte and Pat Bonham, a.k.a. the Ryenecks, had our first-ever go at this on Thursday 10th in cloudy, dull weather with a very cold NW breeze, going just east to Scotney and west to Cliff End. We'd hoped for 90 species but in the end scored just 88. Highlights were a bright adult male Black Redstart at Jury's Gap, 7 Grey Partridges and the 3 regular Twite from the Gooders hide at Rye Harbour, and a Brambling on Cadborough Cliff. Other nice finds included RT DiverGannet, a huge flock of 59 Egyptian GeeseGrey WagtailChiffchaff and Treecreeper, while those missed are just too embarrassing to mention! (P.S. hooray, one up on Slow But Sure!)



SOS New Year Bird Race

A rather depleted Slow but Sure team took part in this annual event Yesterday, walking our familiar route from Fairlight to Rye Harbour. 13 miles and decidedly chilly !

 The last time we did this was for the RX birdrace in October, which we won with 104 species, so our total of 87 yesterday seemed quite modest, but there are fewer species on offer in a mild winter, and the day is shorter.

The three Twites at Flat Beach were our scarcest bird, seen just as they were about to go to roost, otherwise Great Egret , White-fronted Goose and Red-legged Partridge were the best. However the highlight for us was the spectacle of thousands of Cormorants coming in off the sea and flying over Flat Beach to Castle Water in the late afternnon. [photo Tim Waters]



Hastings Country Park NR

Rye Harbour and Pett are doing well at the moment-those were my first Twites for 9 years- and they were in India !

A walk from the Clifftop to Hastings yesterday was quieter, but I did see my first Great Crested Grebes here this winter, 120 off Firehills, and a Firecrest in favoured holly trees opposite the campsite. I didn't find any Yellowhammers. 13 Turnstones at Rock-a-Nore were the most I've seen there for some time