Archive for February 21st, 2008

21st February 2008, Thursday

News from RSPB Dungeness

A 1st year glaucous gull, a different bird to the two seen at the fishing boats last week, paid a brief visit to Burrowes pit this afternoon, along with an adult Caspian gull, present in front of the centre in the morning. An oiled red-throated diver appeared on Burrowes late afternoon, later being seen on the bank below Scott hide, and the two water pipits remained around the New Excavations. The seven barnacle geese and two Tundra bean geese remained around Denge Marsh, and a bittern was seen behind Hookers pits, ready to make the most of the recently stocked Rudd pool!

21st February 2008, Thursday

Scarlet Elfcups

scarlet elfcups
These charmingly named fungi found in a woodland near Brede. If you look closely you can see a hobbit footprint.

21st February 2008, Thursday

Ternery Pool

Ternery Pool is not at its best during the winter months, so it was good to see the place livened up today  by the calling and squabbling of 80 Black-headed Gulls and one Mediterranean Gull, the breeding season is not far away.

rxbl-headeddsc08354.jpg

21st February 2008, Thursday

Frost bite

Frost damaged frog spawn

Since our frogs started to spawn on 6th February it has changed from being mild and wet to cold and frosty at night, and since the 10th February our pond has had a film of ice every morning, sometimes persisting all day. Although it felt milder this morning the spawn in the photograph above was enclosed in 1cm of ice. Some of the eggs were still above the water surface and the jelly capsule was shrivelled. Many of those below the water had a worrying grey colouration that suggested they were dead. I decided to break through the ice and retrieve a sample to see if any eggs were still alive – they clearly had developed to some extent into comma-shaped embryo’s, despite the cold.

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21st February 2008, Thursday

Castle Water

The flock of 29 Ruff were once again rooosting on the new excavations, and headed off in the direction of North Point Pit with a group of Lapwings when flushed by a Marsh Harrier. Barn Owl, Grey Wagtail, 17 Fieldfare and a Great Spotted Woodpecker complete the highlights from Castle Water this morning.