At last the moth trap has come into its own with 18 species caught last night. New for the year included Chinese Character, Pale, Coxcomb and Iron Prominents, Ruby Tiger and Clouded Border. A very early Coronet was also trapped. The first continental migrant of the year for the site was a Dark Swordgrass.
Archive for April, 2005
A fleeting glimpse of a Hobby was had this morning at the top of Pannel Valley, and this afternoon two Marsh Harriers were causing some excitement over the reedbed.
The highlight of the day was provided by a common buzzard that flew over the reserve mid-afternoon. First spotted over the ARC pit it headed low over the main car park, pursued by crows, giving several lucky visitors excellent views.
Wader sightings of note included avocet, bar-tailed godwit, whimbrel, greenshank and common sandpiper.
Cuckoo, whinchat, wheatear and willow warbler could all be found around the nature trail.
There are now many Lapwing chicks out and about at Rye Harbour.
They are from clutches laid inside the electric fence at the Beach Reserve where pressure from ground predators is less. After hatching the chicks wander widely, but the best place to see them is from the hide at the wader pool.
This morning on Flat Beach 338 Whimbrel left the roost as did 22 Bar Tailed Godwit.
120 + Common Terns roosted overnight on the Quarry. And 200+ Sandwich Terns
were at Ternery Pool. A Hobby was also seen on Harbour Farm.
A walk along the RM Canal from Pett to Winchelsea turned up 3 Cuckoos. Plenty of Reed & Sedge Warblers + 2 Cetti’s. A pair of Mute Swans has decided to nest right on the footpath again! At least it shows confidence…..
2 pairs of LT Tits are nesting in canal-side thorns. I’ve not seen them out in such exposed locations before this last year & guess population pressure might be the cause – or more bushes are being allowed to grow making journeys less of a risky business.
A pair of Garganey + lots of Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard & Tufted Duck were at the Flood.
Around 50 Whimbrel were in the area about 7pm
At Winchelsea, 6 out of 7 Herons’ nests were occupied, while the well-grown young Rooks keep up a tremendous chorus.
A walk this morning turned up a single Turtle Dove and five Wheatear. Over the reedbed up to 15 House Martin were feeding. A Speckled Wood and an Orange Tip were seen this afternoon, both first records of the year for our site.
Late yesterday evening 5 Swift, 14 Sand Martin, 20 Swallow and 2 House Martin were feeding over the valley.
Highlights today were common sandpiper (2), pied flycatcher, nightingale and bar-tailed godwit.
Family events this coming weekend
As part of the RSPB’s celebration of 100 years of wardening at Dungeness we invite visitors to join us for an exciting exploration of wetland wildlife.
On Saturday 30 April spend the afternoon in the company of our expert guide exploring the varied ecology of the reserve. After spending some timepond-dipping we will walk around the nature trail looking at the birds, insects and plants that inhabitat this unique shingle landscape.
On Sunday 1 May come and meet our warden dressed and equipped as he would have been 100 years ago and find out what life was like for the first watchers at Dungeness in 1905. Then join a modern day warden to carry out a breeding bird survey. Budding young conservationists can help by identifying birds and plotting them on our survey maps.
Booking is essential for both events. Telephone 01797 320588 for more details.
2 Turtle Doves flying W this morning.
Yesterday evening, I followed up the report of Little Gulls but they had gone. There were however up to 20 Common Terns and 10 Swifts hunting over the roadside pool and 2 Wheatears nearby.
2 adult and 1 immature Little Gulls at Pett Level pools this afternoon (3:30 onwards) – all with beautiful pink wash on the belly….