Archive for December 21st, 2009

21st December 2009, Monday

Shortest Day

Today is the shortest day, so I thought I would get out for sunrise at 07:57, but it was not spectacular (see below). Sunset was at 15:52 and overcast. That’s a day of just 7 hours and 55 minutes.

Dawn-at-Rye-Harbour-on-shor

21st December 2009, Monday

A Winter Snack

Yesterday morning the “Sunday Walkers” were sitting in the hide at Castle Water (enjoying our customary tea and biscuits/cake) when we spotted a couple of Carrion Crows feeding on something. Closer examination revealed it was a rabbit, on which a stoat was also feeding. Presumably the stoat had killed the rabbit. A female Marsh Harrier then landed nearby and seemed to take no notice for several minutes. She then decided it was her turn and chased off the stoat and Crows, which kept trying to get back in on the action, only to be chased off again by the Harrier. Stunning views of the male Smew as well helped make it a memorable visit to Castle Water.
Michael Prince by e-mail

21st December 2009, Monday

RSPB Dungeness recent sightings


A black-necked grebe was on Denge Marsh all week and single bitterns were seen regularly, both there and at the ARC site. A cattle egret was seen at New Diggings on 17th and the glossy ibises remained near Boulderwall Farm until 14th. Up to 17 Bewick’s swans roosted on the ARC pit on most nights. Four white-fronted geese were on Denge Marsh on 20th and goldeneye and smew were present in small numbers. A woodcock was seen near the Willow trail late in the week and a Dartford warbler was near the Hooker’s pits viewpoint. A penduline tit was seen from the Hanson-ARC hide on 17th and two were seen in the Hooker’s pits reedbed.