Archive for December, 2011

19th December 2011, Monday

Castle Water

With large parts of Castle Water frozen over this morning good numbers of wildfowl had congregated in and around the parts of open water, approx 380 Teal, 250 Wigeon, 180 Gadwall, 125 Shoveler and 500 Mallard. Additional highlights included 2 Bittern which gave great views out in the open, Barn Owl, 2 Water Rail and small flocks of Fieldfare dotted around the place added to the wintery feel.



17th December 2011, Saturday

Common Cockles

A walk along the beach this morning at low water found all the big gulls resting, not bothering to feed. It soon became clear that there was still so much to eat on the beach after the storms – in places the beach was covered in common cockles and some still had the soft body in tact and visible to any gull. In the photo above at least four still have the orange body visible. For a close up ….. Read the rest of this entry »

16th December 2011, Friday

After the storms

This weeks storms have changed the shoreline dramatically with enormous quantities of shingle and sand transported eastward by longshore drift. In some places the shore has migrated 10 metres inland and a metre down. With such disturbance to the foreshore it’s not surprising that there has been carnage among the invertebrates that lived there. The most noticeable casualties have been thousands of common starfish (above), but also quite a few sea mice. This is all good news for the large gulls and there are hundreds gorging themselves on the starfish. The storms may also be responsibile for a very tired looking shag at the Mary Stanford Lifeboat House this morning. We were lucky that yesterdays storm took a more southerly track, or last nights high tide may well have breached the storm crest…

16th December 2011, Friday

Rye Harbour

Strange week one way or another, highlights since last saturday have included Short-eared OwlJack Snipe and 12 Grey Partridge on Harbour Farm, good numbers of Golden Plover and Lapwing  have frequented Flat Beach as have 28 Shelduck, a Merlin has shown well at Ternery Pool and the Spotted Redshank is still present there. At Castle Water a Barn Owl has been regular hunting around the fields at the northern end of the main pit, male and female Marsh Harrier, Water Rail, Shoveler, Teal and Wigeon have been on view from the hide.


Grey Partridge

11th December 2011, Sunday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

Yesterday’s frosty conditions brought three bitterns to the edge of the ARC pit first thing in the morning. The long-tailed duck, three smew and several goldeneyes were also on the pit and a ring-tail hen harrier flew over. There were two sightings of kingfisher – one at the ARC site and one near the return trail. Two great white egrets are still present.

9th December 2011, Friday

The Mediaeval Churches of Romney Marsh Leaflet

The mediaeval churches of Romney Marsh were built by the lords of the manors on the Marsh to serve the communities. Although the population of the area was never high, the churches were often built on a large scale to reflect the importance of the parish or the importance of the patron. Today these churches offer a glimpse into the past, their quietness and coolness providing a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.
Click here to download the leaflet
For more information on the churches of Romney Marsh, contact The Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust –

7th December 2011, Wednesday

Lookers’ Hut

Come and see the newest Lookers’ Hut on Romney Marsh.
FREE Family Event including The Sheep Show and spinning demo, photo exhibit, crafts, gifts and cards for sale.
Sunday 11th December 11.30-3.30pm Romney Marsh Visitor Centre, Dymchurch Road, New Romney, TN28 8AY. 01797 369487.

6th December 2011, Tuesday

Rye Harbour

Highlights from a dawn walk around Castle Water included at least 3 Bittern, 21 Little Egret, 2 Smew (redheads) and a Long-eared Owl which was bizarrely flushed from the willows at the southern end of the main pit by a Grey Heron. At the hide a party of 11 Long-tailed Tits was joined by a Chiffchaff and 35 Fieldfare were present in the nearby willows. At dusk yesterday a Barn Owl and two Marsh Harrier gave great views from the viewpoint. Highlights from the Beach Reserve over the past few days have included a Spotted Redshank frequenting Ternery Pool, Merlin along Shore Ridges, 1000+ Golden Plover on Flat Beach and at least 4 Rock Pipit at the Wader Pool and nearby saltmarsh.


Spotted Redshank

2nd December 2011, Friday

RSPB Dungeness Christmas Fair

Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December, 10am – 4pm
Produce and craft stalls, cards and calendars, plants, second-hand books, tombola, children’s activities including Christmas tree decoration and badge making, face-painting (11am – 2pm) and lucky dip, photographic exhibition, gift-wrapping service. Plus our usual range of bird food and feeders, optical equipment, natural history books and gifts for all ages.

2nd December 2011, Friday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

Highlights today were three Bewick’s swans, a long-tailed duck, at least three smew, two great white egrets and a bittern.