Bird counting by numbers

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Last Sunday, October 22, the 7th Annual RX Bird Race (RX after the local fishing-boat registration letters) raised £360 for the work of RSPCA Mallydams Wood and the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

Seven teams of birdwatchers explored the countryside from Hastings to Dungeness to find as many bird species as possible.

Among the surprises was how difficult it was to find a greenfinch or song thrush and that nobody saw an avocet all day, but four species of grebe (great-crested, little, red-necked and black-necked), six birds of prey (kestrel, sparrowhawk, buzzard, peregrine, marsh harrier and merlin) and three egret (little, great and cattle) were seen.

The combined total of birds seen was 124 and the winning team saw 100, the first a robin and the last a peregrine. Their route was Playden, River Rother, Camber, Dungeness, Romney Marsh, Rye Harbour and Castle Water.

The photo shows Richard Thompson from the RSPCA presenting the Avocet trophy to the winning team of Ryenecks – Pat Bonham, Bob Greenhalf, David Bentley and Peter Massini.

Photo: Barry Yates

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