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Common Centaury

This low growing flower (about 10cm tall) is most common in the sandy grassland near the viewpoint at Castle Water at Rye Harbour. Flowering July to September. It is a member of the gentian family.


From the Clifftop

Still not much bird news ! The moth trap has performed well again with an unusual tortrix a few days ago, very lively and difficult to photograph, but my eventual identification of it as Phalonidia curvistrigana was confirmed by Colin Pratt and John Langmaid- the first in Sussex since 1983. Another tiny clifftop specialist.

Also of interest were 9 White-Points, a Delicate and an increase in Large Yellow Underwings yesterday-all immigrants.


From the Clifftop

Still not many migrant birds to report-no Wheatears as yet, but a  very early Dartford Warbler in clifftop gorse a couple of days ago was unexpected. Five Swifts shot through during a rainy spell on the same day.

The moth trap has been good , with a near perfect night-muggy and  overcast on 14/15th producing 46 species in my small trap [ but a friend using a Mercury Vapour trap in woodland at Hurstmonceux got 79 species ]. These included three Jersey Tigers, and a fine Clifden Nonpareil on the garage wall by the trap, in an amost identical place to this one last year. It made off, flashing its Blue Underwing [a less attractive alternative name for this moth]

Last night finished with heavy rain, but one of the better immigrant moths so far these year was fluttering round the light-The Vestal.



I ran a moth evening at Rye Harbour last night, only the second time we've had an event of this nature in recent years. I really enjoy this format, as there's something exciting about sitting round a bright light waiting to see what turns up and certainly the 12 attendees seemed to catch some of my moth fever. Probably the best thing we had on the night were three or four pale grass eggar, though a rather smart marbled green drew some approving comments.  

The real excitement, however, came when I emptied the traps this morning. I thought I'd had another purple marbled, but on closer inspection this one looked different from the illustrations in my aged moth guide, so I took to the interweb. Turns out this is actually a beautiful marbled, a species first recorded in Britain in 2001 and with only four or five previous Sussex records, so new to me, the reserve and it appears the SWT reserve network! Still in my fridge if anybody wants a look.




From the Clifftop

Autumn is upon as and my morning routine is now moth trap, followed by a walk along the Firehills or further in search of migrants.

The best moth over the last few days has been The Annulet, a cliff species thought lost from the Hastings area until I caught a couple this time last year. It's not a showy species, especially as all have been worn, a Jersey Tiger again this morning was more attractive. Also today were two Flame Carpets, taking my 2017 garden moth list to 318-one more than I caught in all the first year of living here.

Migrant birds have been pretty thin-8 Willow Warblers on a walk to Hastings yesterday, a nice Redstart at the top of Warren Glen then, and odd Tree Pipits buzzing overhead. Yellow Wagtails have been strangely absent, so good to get a couple this morning.

At Rock-aNore, 100 GBB Gulls yesterday included what were doubtless the two juveniles that fledged earlier on in the Old Town.