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The Potato Walk

With yesterday being a rainy write-off, and today looking the same, I will go back two days to Friday, when a nice bit of weather forecasting enabled Slow but Sure to enjoy one of our regular walks. Named after an act of generosity by one of the local farmers -"take as many as you want ", -this circular walk starts at Dennes Lane, Lydd and is about 7 miles.

Almost immediately we picked up some promising looking geese flying towards us-these  proved to be 78 Whitefronts, while near Newlands Farm were 4 Bewicks Swans, and the first of at least two Great White Egrets. We had no luck with Hen Harriers, but did see Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and several Buzzards, smaller birds were c400 Fieldfares feasting  on the abundant hawthorn berries, and ten or so each of Tree Sparrow and Corn Bunting. Two late Common Darters were buzzing around the buildings at Little Scotney. At Scotney Gravel Pits there were 2 Green Sandpipers near the farm buildings-we didn't have time to go to the western pits, but the two Whoopers were stll there.


From the Clifftop

It's been pretty wild on the clifftop of late, gales and lashing rain making seawatching through the window the best option. I usually don't expect to see much when it's very windy, but there was enough to hold my interest yesterday morning. 65 Gannets flew W , and a nice movement of 48 Kittiwakes likewise, but otherwise just the basic species-Red Throated Divers [15], Fulmars [3],  the usual intrepid  GBB Gulls and just two auks.

The weather cleared in the afternoon so I paid a visit to East Guldeford Levels, no time for the full walk but the remote Tree Sparrow ditchside reeds  held a record 100 birds, on the soggy fields were 250 Carrion Crows, 80 Skylarks and 6 Snipe


Beach Cleans at Rye Harbour

The autumn storms are washing up lots of plastic and other litter on to the beach, and this week we have TWO opportunities to come and help us clean it up:

Monthly Rubbish Walk - Wednesday 28th November 10am-12noon. Litter pickers, hot drink & biscuits provided.

Festive Beach Clean - Saturday 1st December 10am-1pm. Litter pickers provided and hot soup served at the end.

Please come along and help if you can, and bring gloves if you have them.


From the Clifftop

Weather on the clifftop has ruled out any moth trapping for some time, birding has been confined to seawatching through the living room window. It's been mostly Gannets, with this morning notable for a count of 249 east by 10.00; most of the high counts I have had in this area have been in late autumn/early winter. As usual the great majority were full adults, but there was one striking 4th year bird with a solid black trailing edge to the wing.

Otherwise , 25 auks flew east; 7 sitting on the sea were Razorbills, 5 Kittiwakes and 4 Red-throated Divers also flew east, and 3 Fulmars included one noticeably dark bird-but not as dark as a "Blue Fulmar"


Rye Harbour

The cold weather seems to have brought in the numbers with perhaps 1200 golden plover, 600 lapwing and hundreds of ducks of several species (mostly wigeon, but including the first goldeneye of the winter with a drake and a 'redhead' on the pools to the south-east of the barns today) recorded in the last few days. At Castle Water recent sightings have included bittern, great white egret, up to five bearded tit, marsh harrier and kingfisher, while a black-necked grebe was present on Long Pit and two spoonbill have been sighted regularly on the new saltmarsh to the west of the information centre.  

Despite the cold weather I have been surprised to find several species of plant still in flower, with blooming wild carrot, sea aster and red valerian all seen today!