New Zealand's revenge

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday 19 May 2010 16:03

Sadly I found New Zealand Pygmyweed Crassula helmsii (photo attached) today at Filsham Reedbed during a breeding bird survey. It's only a small patch and hopefully we will be able to get on top of it. It's a really hard to kill amphibious plant that can completely choke ditches and ponds, it was introduced from New Zealand as a garden aquatic. It's notoriously difficult to get rid of and even if you did get rid of it there is a good chance your neighbours won't have and it's likely to come back. Given it is known from Pevensey Levels and Rye Harbour, it was only a matter of time before it arrived at Filsham as it's easily carried between sites on people's boots and by migrating birds. On a lighter note, the survey produced 20 singing Reed Warblers, 4 Cetti's Warblers and 4 Sedge Warblers. Strangely I saw a Fulmar flying over the reeds at about 6.00am. At Woods Mill we attempted a new dragonfly transect but the sun went in and yielded only two Large Red Damselfly. Surprisingly though we had two Red Kites flying south east over the reserve towards Devils Dyke at about 2.00pm. A final surprise was a Corn Bunting on the fence along the road between Devils Dyke and the A27 on my way home from work.

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