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A special thanks to Sussex Wildlife TrustFriends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and Flag Ecology for their contribution to the funding of the new RX-wildlife website.

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East Guldeford Levels

An early morning visit to the Levels yesterday was rather like my last two visits-no farmland birds to speak of. It seems that the Corn Buntings and Tree Sparrows have moved a couple of mles E to stubble fields N of Oakhill Fleet.  Farmland Wader numbers were still  also low, just 30 Lapwings and 5 Golden Plovers in the dry fields. As usual there were a couple of Buzzards, also as usual these days no Marsh Harriers, but a lone Raven and at least 150 Fieldfares rather saved the day. Just on the southern edge of the Levels, the Red Necked Grebe is still on the pit just W of Camber, like most birders, I've just driven past this in the past, but will now make a point of stopping !


Rye Harbour

Highlights from Castle Water this morning, Bittern, Great White Egret, 2 Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, ringtail Hen Harrier (reported by regular visitor to Castle Water), 225 Teal, 120 Lapwing, Water Rail, singing Cetti's Warbler and several Bearded Tits near the viewpoint. From the Beach Reserve over the past few mornings, 340 Curlew, 800 Golden Plover, 260 Lapwing, 5 Jack Snipe (flushed while working at Ternery pool), 170 Dunlin, 16 Grey Plover, Merlin and at least 1200+ Wigeon.




Long-finned Pilot Whale at Fairlight

A note just received from Simon Young: A large dolphin/whale was reported on the beach in Fairlight Cove on 22nd January. After several climbs down the cliff and climbing over the Berm, to try and measure the length, count the number of teeth in the jaws and study it's profile and with consultation with several scientists from the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, the general conclusion is that it was a Long-finned Pilot Whale. It was about 4.2m long.


Big Garden Birdwatch on the Clifftop

Yesterday we took part in this annual event-first time on the clifftop. Our garden is very exposed [all our feeders are tied to their supports with cable ties so they don't blow away], in contast to the well wooded surroundings of our former house in Fairlight. No great surprise then to get just 9 birds of 5 species in an hour: a Robin, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Magpies , 2 Crows and 2 Wood Pigeons. [A Green Woodpecker visited the front "lawn " after the alloted hour] It will be interesting to see this improve in the coming years as various wildlife friendly projects get going.

Looking rather further afield produced a couple of nice mammal records-a Grey Seal and at least 2 Harbour Porpoises,  as well as the usual range of seabirds, notably 34 Red Throated Divers on the sea in the afternoon.



Pett Level

Today was the day of the annual Pett Level ramble led by Phil Jones (with yours truly providing the back marker). It was a very good day for raptors with a couple of peregrine, merlin and several (or one very active) buzzard all seen at some point (but surprisingly no marsh harrier, one of the few times this species has not put in an appearance). While there was nothing out of the ordinary duck-wise, there was a good selection of species, with wigeon, teal, tufted, pochard, shoveler and of course mallard all recorded, while at least 10 white fronted goose were present among hordes of greylag and Canadas. Similarly nothing spectacular among the waders, with the highlights being a flock of around 10 grey plover and a single ruff present before the walk started on the levels next to the car park. Finally, a brief sea watch from the sea wall on the way back turned up gannet, red-throated diver and great crested grebe.  All in all a thouroughly enjoyable day - and the rain kept off!