Archive for February 19th, 2008

19th February 2008, Tuesday

News from RSPB Dungeness

Two bean geese (tundra) were a new arrival, feeding in the fields at the back of Hookers pits, and a red-throated diver flew past the visitor centre, an increasingly scarce visitor to the pits. Following numerous sightings of flyover pipits from around Denge Marsh and New Excavations, sufficient views, both in flight and on the ground, have finally allowed us to confirm the presence of wintering water pipits. At least one bird was present today, in the fields between Hookers and Boulderwall farm, with the most frequent sightings coming from the viewing ramp, of birds comuting between Denge Marsh and New Excavations.

19th February 2008, Tuesday

Persian Speedwell

Veronica persica is usually known as Common Field Speedwell, it has tiny blue flowers and can bloom in all months in grassland and bare ground. I have always looked upon it favourably as a tiny splash of colour during drab winter months. But now I have just learnt it was first recorded in Britain in 1825. Does this change my attitude? It doesn’t appear to be doing any harm. Iran was the country of origin, but it is now established right around the world… a very successful plant.

speedwell

19th February 2008, Tuesday

Rye Bay Bird Safari

The Rye Bay area is well known for providing some of the best winter birdwatching in southeast England, a reputation fulfilled by a very successful ‘Rye Bay Bird Safari’ on Sunday during which 80 species were recorded. Our first stop was a walk along the Royal Military Canal at Pett to the hide at Carter’s Flood where a good selection of wildfowl was present including Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon and Tufted Duck. A Little Egret was seen perched in a tree and a Cetti’s Warbler was heard singing at Toot Rock – two species that have increased dramatically in Sussex in recent years. The seawall at Pett Pools provided good views of three Red-throated Divers close inshore and some more distant Great Crested Grebes while out on the marsh a good selection of geese included ca. 50 White-fronts and a single Barnacle and Dark-bellied Brent. Two Marsh Harriers put on a fine display and were joined by a third bird before they headed out to sea in the direction of Dungeness.

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19th February 2008, Tuesday

Exhibition and sale of paintings

RSPB Dungeness Nature Reserve
Birds Birds Birds, is the Kentish Gallery that is fast establishing its name in the art market, for its range and quality of Bird Art. The exhibition will include a selection of originals and prints.

Sunday 2 to Saturday 29 March
10am – 5pm Admission free

19th February 2008, Tuesday

Castle Water

Highlights this morning came from the new excavations at Castle Water, 29 Ruff were roosting amongst the hundreds of Lapwings, 12 Pintail, Kingfisher and a male Marsh Harrier were seen from the viewpoint.