Archive for January 12th, 2008

12th January 2008, Saturday


In recent posts I have written about the communities of plants that grow at Dungeness, but what does this eco-speak actually mean?

If you take a plot of land and record the plants growing there, and then compare them with plots elsewhere in the country, you find that particular collections of plants (and animals) tend to live together in similar areas. So for instance, the plants living on a piece of chalk grassland in Kent are more likely to be found growing together naturally on another piece of chalk than they would in an area of wet acidic soils in the more humid west of Britain. These are called plant communities. Other than the obvious difference in topography the chalk grassland below looks nothing like our shingle grassland because many of the species are different because of the varying conditions.

Chalk grassland plant communities in Kent

As well as geology the species growing in a particular community are influenced by a variety of factors including Read the rest of this entry »

12th January 2008, Saturday

Powdermill WeBS + TQ71 Z

For years I have counted birds through the woods south of Powdermill Reservoir but now, thanks to a change of ownership and a major investment in deer fencing, these are no longer accessible and I was today constrained to re-route my Winter Atlas survey along the nearby lanes.
2008-01-12-017.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

12th January 2008, Saturday

News from RSPB Dungeness

Smew continue to delight visitors with up to thirteen redheads and five drakes present on Burrowes pit and New Excavations. The four red-crested pochards remain in front of Christmas Dell hide though there was no sign of yesterday’s Slavonian grebe, first seen Tuesday 8th on the pit nearest the track between Makepeace and Scott hides. A second bird was also present on New Diggings Thurdsay 10th. Two yellow-legged gulls were on the islands in front of Makepeace and the wintering shag continues its prolonged stay on Burrowes pit. Two peregrines were seen around the water tower and a male merlin was over Burrowes.

12th January 2008, Saturday

Beach Reserve

Highlights this morning, 4 Pintail and a Green Sandpiper were present at Ternery Pool, Merlin and Marsh Harrier were hunting around Harbour Farm. Roosting waders on Flat Beach included, 400 Golden Plover, 31 Ringed Plover and 135 Curlew. The Shore Lark continues to be a crowd pleaser, and has shown well near the Red Roofed Hut this morning.