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Monthly Beach Clean

Our monthly litter pick along the beach at Rye Harbour will be this coming Wednesday, 26th September.

Meet at 10am at the Rye Harbour car park. We'll provide bags and litter picjers, but please bring gloves if you have them.


A new beetle

I came across this distinctive beetle yesterday that was new for me, for Rye Harbour and all SWT reserves. Chrysolina banksi a 10mm. leaf beetle was crossing the road near our information cabins. It had amazing claws with a tenacious grip. I couldn't resist photographing it before releasing it into the grassland there.

Find out more here.



From the Clifftop

It's been hard work on Fairlight Cliffs for some time, with strong westerly winds almost stopping migration [some yesterday], and moth trap catches as low as six species. However it was calm this morning, and Meadow Pipits really got going, with 1675 counted heading west , mostly by 0800. This is a pretty good count and I've only beaten it once, with 1741 on the same date [I like it when that happens !] in 2014. Other birds heading west included 5 Grey Wagtails, 10 Yellow Wagtails a Tree Pipit and ten Siskins.

It was still slim pickings in the moth trap, though a steady run of the migrant The Delicate continued, and Lunar Underwings increased to 17, however the first "new for the year " for some time was on a wall inside the house-the micro- moth Agonopterix ocellana


Postscript: Andrew Grace continued counting Pipits passing West Hill till 1125, ending up with a record total for us of 3700.


A bike* of bees

Alan mentioned ivy bee in his post below, but at Rye Harbour there are actually two quite similar species of 'autumn colletes' active at the moment, ivy bee (Colletes hederae) and sea-aster bee (Colletes halophilus), also known as saltmarsh bee. Ivy bee (below) is the larger of the two, with reddish hair on the thorax and broad buff bands on the abdomen, while sea-aster bee (bottom) is smaller with browner thoracic hairs and narrower, paler abdominal stripes. The best way to separate them however is the plant they are feeding on (the clue's in the name), though I have seen ivy bees at least feeding on other species and sea-aster bee apparently does use other plants.

Click to read more ...


Turnstone Count

Yesterday I carried out one of my occasional counts of Turnstones along the seafront, walking from The Stade to DLWP in Bexhill-it took about three hours. I've been doing this since 2010, when I counted a record 280 on my first visit on Sept 6. In recent years counts have been poor, and yesterday just scraped by as the second lowest count ever, with 50.

Unusually,  there was quite a lot else of interest as I walked west: A Grey Seal off Bo-peep, Sparrowhawk Chasing a few Swallows at Bulverhythe, 3 Wheatears at Glyne and an early Rock Pipit at Bexhill.

Best however was the sight of thousands of Ivy Bees on the soft cliffs E of Glyne Gap-a real wildlife spectacle a short walk from busy Ravenside.