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From the Clifftop

More plunging night temperatures-3C first thing this morning-I didn't put the moth trap out last night so was surprised to find a Ruby Tiger sitting on a wall this morning. Yesterday there were just 7 moths in or around the trap, best being this Chocolate Tip, annual and one of my favourites.

A walk across the Firehills yesterday morning suggested two pairs of Stonechats in residence, a singing Reed Warbler in next doors garden this morning was a Clifftop first. 

The Sussex Turtle Dove survey is now underway, I visited one of my squares at East Guldeford this morning with the expected result of none !


From the Clifftop

You don't see frogspawn very often these days. We recently returned from a couple of weeks abroad to find our largest garden pond full of tadpoles-hundreds if not a few thousand. We never saw any spawn before we left so the process of spawning and hatching took place while we were away. This also happened three years ago . These will be Common Frogs.

Not a lot else to report from the clifftop still-the chilly nights continue to produce abysmal moth catches-just four this morning. On 8th there was a good movement of seabirds past Dungeness, but these were largely  not visible from here, though I did see 2 Arctic Skuas  racing past in the afternoon.


Gold-fringed Mason Bee

Out on the Beach Reserve yesterday with my knapsack I noticed several bees busily moving from flower to flower of ivy-leaved toadflax near Ternery Pool. On closer examination I realised they were all gold-fringed mason bee (Osmia aurulenta, below), a very attractive little bee which is most typical of coastal habitats such as sand dunes and shingle beaches but also occurs inland on chalk grassland and brownfield sites. Interestingly I also had one of this species nest parasites, white-spotted sapyga (Sapyga quinquepunctata, see here), one of only four records for the reserve.

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From the Clifftop

Far too cold !  With these northerly winds there has been very little moving at sea, just 5 Whimbrel past this morning. It being slightly less cold last night I gave the moth trap a go, this morning there were five moths in it, including a Frosted Green. My garden year moth list is now a humble 40...


Rye Harbour

Nineteen people turned for a very early (and cold!) wader watch this morning. Highlight was bittern heard booming from the direction of Castle Water around dawn and a hobby which came in off the sea over the Beach Reserve before heading inland, while soon afterwards a pair of raven were spotted over Flat Beach and Harbour Farm and a little tern was heard calling in the same area. Also on Harbour Farm, a little ringed plover was found at the western end of Salt Pool and thirteen bar-tailed godwit, a grey plover and a whimbrel were present on the new saltmarsh. Passerines included wheatear, yellow wagtail, linnet, several whitethroat and a single lesser whitethroat at the close. All in all a very good mornings birding!