Wednesday, 2 January 2019


 I wouldn't say 2018 was a particularly straightforward year at New Hythe. The 'Beast from the East', followed by the long summer heatwave made life difficult for the wildlife and for me too.

 At times it was a struggle to motivate myself to visit and when I did there was often nothing new to find, sometimes for weeks and weeks on end. Thank goodness for dragonflies and butterflies during the summer months, although it was a poor year for some butterfly species, courtesy I expect, of said 'Beast'.

 I guess this was a good year for dragonflies though, there was certainly lots of activity, with Migrant Hawkers flying well into November. Disappointingly, I was unable to find a Willow Emerald damselfly on the wing at New Hythe in 2018 despite my best efforts. This is only the second year they have been reported at this site, Glenn found the first in 2017, so it was very frustrating not to get it on my NH list this year, especially since Glenn and Terry did!

Having said all that my New Hythe bird list eventually finished on 105 species, compared to only 99 in 2017. I was pleased to see five new site species during 2018, these were; Hawfinch, Curlew, Dunlin, Hen Harrier and Ring-necked Duck. Thanks in part, to a little help from my friends.

The Whooper Swan pictured above and below turned up on Brooklands Lake at New Hythe on or around 13th October 2018. It's a super bird but unfortunately appears to be quite tame and therefore is probably an escapee from a collection somewhere. Because of this it also escaped my year list too, which would have been 106 had it been wild! It's still at the lakes now by the way.


Wilma said...

Beautiful shots of the goldeneye - certainly lives up to its name.

Mike Attwood said...

You seem to have had a better year than I have had in Sussex Phil. I won't complain just wish a better 2019.

David Gascoigne said...

Whenever an unusual swan, goose or duck shows up, it seems that there is doubt as to whether it is of wild origin or not. Every once in a while a Barnacle Goose puts in an appearance here and the whole discussion starts up all over again. I don’t think that the issue is ever satisfactory resolved! Your shot of Common Goldeneye is very pleasing. In the winter they populate Lake Ontario in the thousands.