Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 12 August 2000

(Leader: Paul Harmes, Barry Yates)

Dr Barry Yates, Reserve Manager, met Paul Harmes and about 13 other members in the car-park. Barry was able to show us a dozen or so plants of Crepis foetida (Stinking Hawk’s-beard) which had been introduced and were well established on a sandy bank – a similar habitat to that favoured in the ‘linked’ coastal area in France.

The level, stabilised shingle beyond the old railway line was searched for sites for Lactuca saligna (Least Lettuce). 18 sites were found during the meeting. Galeopsis angustifolia (Red Hemp-nettle) occurred in 15 sites. A large pool contained Potamogeton pectinatus (Fennel Pondweed), and Carex distans (Distant Sedge) grew nearby. While searching for L.saligna, a few plants of Sagina nodosa (Knotted Pearlwort) were found in a square metre area at the base of a shingle bank. This is the first East Sussex record for a very long time. Lathyrus japonicus (Sea Pea) was still in flower, but also displaying plenty of brown seed capsules. We walked back along the railway line, finding a few plants of Trifolium arvense (Hare’s-foot Clover). Near the railway line, Lactuca virosa (Great Lettuce) was conveniently growing next to L.saligna for ease of comparison.

In the afternoon, botanists joined ornithological twitchers to view a Semi-palmated Sandpiper having a siesta by the Ternery pool, after its long flight across the Atlantic. On the way back to the car-park we checked out Bupleurum tenuissimum (Slender Hare’s-ear) and Frankenya laevis (Sea-heath) by the roadside. The warm sunny weather brought out a number of butterflies and nine species including Clouded Yellow were observed during the day.