Author Archive

13th February 2012, Monday

RSPB Dungeness recent sightings

Bewick’s swan numbers on the ARC pit rose to 60+ in the middle of the week and a single whooper swan was spotted with them on the 8th. With most of the pits frozen over on Sunday 15 goosanders and 21 smew were gathered on New Diggings. Although yesterday’s snow meant we didn’t have many visitors those that did venture out were all rewarded with sightings of bitterns. Six woodcocks were seen yesterday including four at the ARC willow trail.

7th February 2012, Tuesday

RSPB Dungeness now open again

I’m delighted to say that we have been able to re-open the reserve today although there is still limited access to parts of the trail and there is no vehicle access to Denge Marsh hide.

Seven goosanders and a drake smew were seen from Dennis’s hide first thing and there are good numbers of other ducks on Burrowes pit – enough to attract the attentions of a hungry marsh harrier.

6th February 2012, Monday

RSPB Dungeness still closed

There has been little improvement in the condition of the entrance track and trails so, unfortunately, the reserve will remain closed today.

About 40 Bewick’s swans came off the ARC pit at about 9.15, heading towards Lydd.

5th February 2012, Sunday

RSPB Dungeness closed today

Apologies but due to the heavy snowfall and dangerous conditions on the entrance track and trails the reserve is closed today. Not that I imagine anyone was thinking of visiting today!

Bewick’s swans roosted on the ARC pit last night – can’t say how many because I could only hear them…

3rd February 2012, Friday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

The cold snap has certainly got things on the move. Smew numbers rose from the five we have had for most of the winter to 17 yesterday, including two drakes. Four female and one male goosander are on Burrowes pit today along with about a dozen pintails and increased numbers of gadwall and shoveler. Finch numbers have also increased with small flocks of chaffinches and greenfinches (quite an unusual sight in recent times) coming to the car park feeders.

At the ARC site two bitterns were showing off in front of the hide this morning having ventured from the icy reedbeds. A possible green-winged teal was reported about an hour ago but it seems it might be a hybrid – watch this space.

31st January 2012, Tuesday

RSPB Dungeness recent sightings

The dotterel was seen again yesterday, near Boulderwall Farm, a male smew was on Burrowes pit and a female common scoter was on Denge Marsh. On Sunday a drake goosander was seen from the Visitor Centre and a firecrest was in Christmas Dell.

27th January 2012, Friday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

All the usual suspects are still present – long-tailed duck, smew, bittern and great white egret were all seen at the ARC site where 50+ Bewick’s swans flew in at 3.30pm. A firecrest in Christmas Dell was also of note.

Highlight of the week so far, however, was a dotterel, found among the golden plover flock on Wednesday afternoon. Although it has not been seen on the reserve since it was seen in a field alongside the Dengemarsh road yesterday, again with golden plovers. Let’s hope it puts in another appearance over the weekend which is forecast to be fine but chilly.

18th January 2012, Wednesday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

Highlights over the past few days have included four white-fronted geese and two drake goosanders on Burrowes pit and five smew (including one drake) on New Excavations. The long-tailed duck is stiil around as are at least two great white egrets and numerous goldeneyes. Two firecrests were seen near Denge Marsh hide on 14th and a goldcrest was in Christmas Dell yesterday.

28th December 2011, Wednesday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

Two much sought-after birds – the long-tailed duck and the penduline tit put in appearances at the ARC site today where three smew and a bittern were also seen. Two black-tailed godwits and a single knot were seen on Burrowes pit and late in the afternoon a firecrest was spotted from Firth hide. There were additional sightings of bitterns at Christmas Dell and Denge Marsh and a kingfisher was seen at Hooker’s pits. We think we have probably got three great white egrets on site now although we have yet to see them all at the same time!

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.