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.
Archive for the 'RSPB Dungeness Nature Reserve' Category
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.
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March 10 am – 5 pm
An opportunity to try out and purchase some of the best optical equipment available.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.