News archive

June 2017

Friday, 23 June 2017

RSPB Coombes Valley reserve, path through bluebell wood

Bluebell Walk 2017

This year the Bluebell Walk at Bates Green Farm was open from 8th April to 14th May and again the group had a stall at weekends and on Bank Holidays. Selling a selection of RSPB goods and responding to questions about wildlife, the RSPB and the local group, the volunteers were able to help all those who enquired.

We are always made welcome by the McCutchean family, owners of Bates Green Farm, and our usual 'pitch' is by the main door to the barn, next to the plant stall which is run by the congregation of St. Pancras Church.

There were quiet weekends and days when, even though the walk was busy, people did not seem keen to shop. But over the six weeks we did well, raising a total of £1,137.10.

For many years, Helen Coombes has been the driving force behind our stall at the Bluebell Walk. This year Helen stepped back a little and Liz Spender was more involved in setting up the stall and recruiting volunteers. As in previous years there were many people happy to help. Thank you all very much.

It was definitely a worthwhile effort and a most enjoyable one. Very many thanks again to everyone who helped. We will always welcome more, so bear this in mind for next year.

Liz Spender

Friday, 9 June 2017

Short-eared owl sitting on the ground

May Birds in the Eastbourne Area

The month began with a passage of 18 eider past Splash Point, while on the same day 11 more pomarine skuas joined their annual procession, and their numbers peaked at 19 on the 10th. Inland at Pevensey Levels, four hobbies and six common buzzards were showing, and there was a little tern on Arlington reservoir.

Mid-month sightings around Birling Gap included two black-throated divers and four velvet scoters; these were followed by an assortment of single birds. In order of appearance we had turtle dove, ring ouzel, redstart, garganey (drake), Eurasian crane, short eared owl (pictured), serin, roseate tern, little gull and finally a puffin.

The month ended with the unexpected bonus of eight bee-eaters flying onshore at Birling Gap on the 29th May. The movement of these colourful but locally rare birds is unpredictable. Surprisingly they have bred in this country as far north as Durham. This sighting followed that of a great white egret and a honey buzzard.

As I write (7th June) there is a strong onshore breeze, and I am reliably informed to expect petrels offshore at Splash Point.

Summarised from notes by Sedley Underdown
by Ian Muldoon