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Rye Harbour

There seems to be a little wader movement going on at the moment as we are starting to get avocet turning up on the reserve, with up to 10 in the last week. Apart from this the highlights were a spotted redshank on Harbour Farm (I have heard this on several occasions over the last few weeks but this is the first time I have managed to lay eyes on it) and the three twite on Flat Beach Level. While out checking wheatear nest boxes on the Beach Reserve I came across at least two pairs of grey partridge in the field to the west of the barns (as well a pair of red-legged partridge) and 15-20 snipe, while today at Castle Water the highlights were marsh harrier, buzzard, raven and Mediterranean gull


And so it begins...

Yes, as far as bees are concerned spring is already in full swing. Today (Saturday) at Galley Hill in sweltering 14°C February heat there was considerable insect activity. The most important record being the discovery of Colletes cunicularius already on the wing. A number of males were patrolling the sandy undercliff intercepting females. Each female attended by 2-3 male suitors. 

The most numerous species on the wing already seemed to be Andrena thoracica (cliff mining bee) foraging from Petasites fragrans (winter heliotrope) flowers on the cliff and railway sidings, males also nectaring from dandelions (see photo below). Also on the wing already in numbers were Andrena flavipes (yellow-legged mining bee) and Andrena nigroaenea (buffish mining bee). Even a few Bombus terrestris (buff-tailed bumblebeeworkers were out foraging from gorse flowers on the undercliff.


Foggy Walk !

Despite thick fog, three of Slow but Sure set off on a favourite walk yesterday, taking in the Rother, Camber Sands and East Guldeford Levels, 12.7 kms.

Difficult to see much at first, though we managed a pair of Med Gulls and a Stonechat at Northpoint GP. On Camber beach-pretty quiet for half term-we heard Bar-tailed Godwit, Ringed and Golden Plovers. The fog lifted when we got to the Levels, revealing them to be largely devoid of birds-it's hard work at the moment !. However the favoured stubble field held 120 Corn Buntings and 20 Tree Sparrows, a Peregrine flew over and 20 passage Meadow Pipits and a Cetti's Warbler  were nearby. [Back on the clifftop were 12 Meadow Pipits in the rabbit field.]


Turnstone Count

Yesterday I carried out one of my occasional Turnstone counts along the seafront from Rock-a-Nore to Bexhill [DLWP]. I counted just 78, of which 11 were at RAN and 18 just E of DLWP, a similar total to the 71 counted in mid November-not many.

I didn't see anything else apart from one Oystercatcher ....


rye harbour

A very good day for waders today on the monthly Wetland Bird Survey count. Flat Beach was particularly good, with at least 700 golden plover (increasing to around 1000 later in the day), 250+ dunlin, 170 lapwing, 40 ringed plover, 30 knot, 24 grey plover and an avocet! Elsewhere, at least six ruff were on Ternery Pool (in amongst another 700+ lapwing), one of the two long-staying black-necked grebe was present on Long Pit and a couple of gannet were seen offshore. In addition, the three twite were present on Flat Beach at about 10am.