Author Archive

2nd June 2012, Saturday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

In addition to our bittern that has been booming from Hooker’s pits since March (who we believe has mated with at least one female) we have had several reports of a bird at the ARC site over the past few days. Is this the bird from Hooker’s pits going for a wander or is it another bird looking for a mate? Please let us know if you see any bittern activity on the ‘other side of the road’.

Visitors have been lucky enough to get some good sightings of garganey this week, with up to three seen from the gate on the bridle track at Denge Marsh. With hobbies and marsh harriers flying overhead and up to 40 common terns in the area Denge Marsh is definitely the place to be at the moment.

2nd June 2012, Saturday

What to do today?

Come down to RSPB Dungeness and join in our Bee Fest activities, that’s what! In the comfort of the Visitor Centre you can make a cosy bee house, have fun at our craft table and visit our bee market where we’re selling a wide range of bee goodies – everything from hand-knitted bees and honey to hand lenses and id guides for the serious bee watcher. Outside you can follow our bee trail and enter our priize draw or even do a spot of pond-dipping! Activities start at 11 am on Saturday and Sunday and continue throughout the week – take a look at the events pages for full details.

6th May 2012, Sunday

RSPB recent sightings

For the third day running hundreds of swifts, swallows and martins could be seen over all the reserve’s main pits. Sadly there was no sign of a red-rumped swallow that was seen briefly over New Diggings yesterday evening. Common sandpipers, little ringed and grey plovers were on Burrowes pit and black and bar-tailed godwits, whimbrel and greenshank could be found around the site. A drake garganey was on Burrowes pit this morning and two more males and a female were on Denge Marsh. There were at least five hobbies around the site.

23rd April 2012, Monday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

There were a lot of happy visitors around at the weekend as our booming bittern put on quite a performance. He was even seen briefly, as was another bird – presumably a female.

Pairs of garganey were seen both on the ARC pit and on Denge Marsh and the long-tailed duck was also seen at ARC.

There was a good variety of waders around, although not in high numbers. Two little ringed plovers could be seen well from Firth hide, four bar-tailed godwits were seen from the Visitor Centre, three snipe were tucked up in the vegetation on New Excavations and a ruff was on Denge Marsh. The first green sandpiper of the spring flew over Boulderwall Farm early on Saturday morning and eight whimbrel were in the field to the right of the entrance track. Late on Sunday afternoon a little stint was found at the ARC site.

There was some excitement on Sunday afternoon as an osprey flew north over the Water Tower. Sadly it appeared as little more than a dot when viewed from the main car park but this was more than compensated for by the two spoonbills that dropped into Burrowes pit a little while later.

Two little gulls, a few common terns and two pied flycatchers were also of note.

9th April 2012, Monday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

The long-tailed duck and spoonbill were still present on the ARC pit yesterday and a hen harrier flew over. The bittern was heard booming at Hooker’s pits, where willow warbler and corn bunting were seen. A wheatear was near Scott hide and a black redstart at Denge Marsh. Several chiffchaffs and sedge warblers were around the site and eight swallows flew over.

3rd April 2012, Tuesday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

Highlights so far today: spoonbill on the ARC pit, bittern booming at Hooker’s pits, bullfinch at the willow trail, willow warbler at the ARC site and in the main car park bushes, blackcap near the viewing screen and two swallows flying over. Yesterday three garganey (two males and a female) were on the lake near Boulderwall Farm and two little ringed plovers were at the eastern end of the ARC pit where the first whimbrel of the season was also seen.

25th March 2012, Sunday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

The first little ringed plover of the season was spotted at the eastern end of the ARC pit yesterday morning. The long-tailed duck was on Burrowes pit and a drake garganey was on the Denge Marsh flood – visible from the gate on the bridle track to the left of Denge Marsh hide. A bittern was seen but not heard at Hooker’s pits and a firecrest was in the bushes across the track from Christmas Dell hide.

23rd March 2012, Friday

RSPB Dungeness

A chiffchaff is singing from the bushes outside my office and a long-tailed duck is bobbing about infront of the Visitor Centre – March can be a very odd month. Highlights over the past few days have included hen harrier and buzzard flying over on Wednesday and a merlin on Thurday. Waders spotted this week include avocet, ringed plover, dunlin, snipe, knot and bar-tailed godwit. A firecrest was near Scott hide on Tuesday and bittern sightings continued at the ARC site and Hooker’s pits.

16th March 2012, Friday

RSPB Dungeness optics demo

Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March 10 am – 5 pm
An opportunity to try out and purchase some of the best optical equipment available.

16th March 2012, Friday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

Our first wheatear of the year was spotted yesterday and our second sand martin this morning. Add to this a booming bittern at Hooker’s pits from Monday onwards, a drake garganey on the lake near Boulderwall Farm, the long-staying long-tailed duck still on Burrowes pit and three great white egrets dotted around the site and it really has been an excelent week. Other highlights included 12 brent geese and an Egyptian goose on Denge Marsh (yesterday and today), at least three bitterns, three smew and a red-breasted merganser at the ARC site, a merlin near the access track and several chiffchaffs around the site.