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From the Clifftop

A bit more to report from the Clifftop-and beyond-today. Five moths in the trap no less, included the micro. Digitivalva pulicariae, common later in the year here, but taking the year list to 20. Three singing Willow Warblers were around the house, two species of Woodpecker sat on our neighbour's fence, and 50 Meadow Pipits moved east mid-morning. It was again too foggy to seawatch, but I could hear Sandwich Terns

A visit to our allotment at Winchelsea to check on a recent rabbit outrage [all well] produced my first Brambling of the year and four Redwings. 

In the afternoon, 90 Turnstones were together on the beach at Bexhill, a very good count; good to see some promenaders taking an interest in them-but no !, they don't nest on the shingle-informative board needed...


Dungeness Visits

Not much to report from the Clfftop these last couple of days; too cold for moths and too foggy for seawatching 

However, although I try not to go there too often, Dungeness has twice come to the rescue lately. On Friday we managed to locate the Common Crane which had been there for several days, distantly on Denge Marsh. There were again two booming Bitterns, and we caught up with Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler , Wheatear and Black Redstart for the year. Today, frustrated by lack of visibility, I went over again, stopping at Scotney GPs where I finally managed to see a Swallow [!], also a couple of Yellow Wagtails, 10 Tree Sparrows, 3 Corn Buntings and a pair of Avocets. On the way to the reserve the three Cattle Egrets were in full view in one of the horse paddocks. Finally I vistied the Dennis Hide and picked out the superb summer plumaged Red-necked Grebe which we missed on our last visit.



Rye Wanderers

As you may have gathered, over the last few years I have become increasingly interested in bees and one group that has particularly grabbed my attention are the nomad bees.  These species don't build a nest of their own, rather they lay their eggs in the nests of mining bees, the nomad larva then eating the stocks which the mining bee has gathered for its own young. This is a lifestyle know as cleptoparasitim and nomads themselves are often called cuckoo bees as a consequence, while their English name comes from their habit of seeming to wander aimlessly rather than being tied to a single nest site.

Flavous Nomad, a nest parasite of chocolate mining bee and buffish mining bee

Click to read more ...


From the Clifftop

It has been far too cold at night for moth trapping, just one moth this morning, though an early V-pug yesterday brought the year total in my Fairlight  trap to a modest 19.

Quite a few birds on the move this morning though, along with 205 Brent Geese in 90 mins. were just 8 Common Scoters, a Little Egret far out to sea  [new for the house list], a Black-throated and 4 Red-throated Divers and 2 Garganey, all going east. 3 Razorbills were on the sea.

Later I was pleased to see one of the roortop nesting Great black-backs sitting on their usual roof in Torfield for the first time this year.



rye harbour sightings

The ring-necked duck was still present at Castle Water early afternoon, visible from the hide. Also seen from the hide at Castle Water, two marsh harrier, peregrine and around 50 sand martin hawking over the pit, while a great white egret was seen in flight from the footpath along the northern edge. Over the last few days there have been several sightings of garganey, with two on Harbour Farm (the pools immediately to the south of the barns) on the 31st and two two on Castle Water on the 1st, while little gull and common tern were also present here on the 31st, and bittern has been heard booming on several occasions.