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East Guldeford Levels

After checking my Fairlight garden moth trap [Great Prominent, Poplar Hawk, Lunar Marbled Brown, Chocolate Tip, White-shouldered House Moth and Common Wave were all new for the year], and seeing no seabird passage, I paid my first visit to EGL for some weeks.

10 Corn Buntings, 4 Tree Sparrows and 9 Yellow Wagtails provided the farmland bird interest, early days yet but I suspect breeding numbers of the last will be down this year as there is very little Rape. Not a lot else birdwise, but at least 5 Brown Hares put on a good show for me.


Rye Harbour Moths

Fourteen species in the moth trap this morning (not including a pug which will likely remain unidentified) made it the best night of the year so far! Highlight was this bordered ermel, a natty micro which used to be considered a major rarity and which is still not what you'd call common. It can be quite common at Rye Harbour though, but this was my first this year. Apart from that, lots of black-headed conch, another micro, swallow prominent, sharp-angled peacock and muslin moth made up the bulk of the catch. With the exception of the conch, all of these were new for 2018 as were singles of light feathered rustic and silver y.



Over the past 4 years Simon Young and Keith Palmer have surveyed 5 woods around Hastings and have sent lists of over 1500 species to the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre. The woods include Knowle Wood (TQ868119), Stonelynk Wood (TQ873126), Market Wood (TQ877133), Ecclesbourne Glen (TQ839103) and Cliff End Wood (TQ887128).

Looking through the species recorded in the 'The Natural History of Hastings and St. Leonards and the Vicinity' by E.N.Bloomfield, E.A.Butler, G.Henry and A.W Langdon, in 1876, you are conscious from the many recorded then, how many have been lost in the intervening years and how vital it is to save what is left.

For example comparing our bird species today we still have Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon, Hobby and Kestrel and are just holding on to Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, Stock Dove, Tree Creeper, Willow Warbler and Marsh Tit, but for how much longer? These woods are a vital sanctuary. In 1876 more clean air lichens were found, the 4 or 5 Usnea species, including a really rare species Usnea articulata;  we still have two of this original list left growing on trees in these woods.

Parts or all  the woodlands indicate 'Ancient Woodland', which show that there has been continuous woodland here for over 400 years.

Click to read more ...


Rye Harbour

Highlights today at Rye Harbour were three spoonbill on Flat Beach early on and three great white egret at Castle Water this afternoon. Other sightings included a little gull on Flat Beach, 12 bar-tailed godwit on Wader Pool, small groups of whimbrel on Harbour Farm and pairs of little ringed plover and grey partridge just south of Harbour Farm Barns, while an indeterminate number of little tern could be head chattering over the Beach Reserve mid-morning.


From the Clifftop

People have been enjoying good seawatching from Dungeness and Splash Point throughout the Bank Holiday, but this just didn't happen here-the birds were apparently too far out for me to pick up , and there was an atmospheric distortion throughout, so I couldn't focus my 'scope on what little was on view ! I managed just one Great Skua yesterday. Thank goodness for Jack in the Green.

This morning the air had cleared, and a selection of birds passed, in fact I recorded two new species for the house list by 0600- an Avocet, and 2 Manx Shearwaters moving east. Just one Arctic Skua though.

The moth trap continues to attract new species daily, this morning these were Scorched Carpet and Lunar Thorn, Cockchafers have started to appear.