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Nigma walckenaeri

Gordon Jarvis sent me this photo of a spider he found in his garden during the summer this year. Andy Philips, the spider recorder for East Sussex has confirmed it as Nigma walckenaeri, possibly only the second Sussex record, so a good find. This is one of those species I would really like to see so I'm quite jealous!


Extra Lichen Walk

Following on from last Saturday's talk on lichens Keith Palmer will be leading a short walk in Rye Harbour village to look at lichens on 13th December. Meet at 10am in the car park by the Martello Tower to look at lichens on the fence there, then walking to the churchyard to look for other species, finishing about mid-day.


Coming events at RSPB Dungeness

Art in the Watchers’ Room – David Featherbe

Sunday 23rd November – Saturday 10th January

David Featherbe is a Kent-based photographer who has been taking photographs for some thirty years. His images have appeared in Birdwatch, Bird Watching and RSPB Birds Magazines, plus WWT’s Waterlife and numerous digital photography publications. RSPB Dungeness is very pleased to welcome David back to the scenic Watchers' Room gallery for this exhibition.

Winter Wildlife Walk: Wednesday 14 January

10am - 12pm

Price: RSPB members: £5. Non-members: £6

Join local birding expert Paul Trodd on a stroll around the trails to find out what birds and other wildlife are making their homes at Dungeness through the winter. Dungeness is the perfect home for many birds who have left their northern breeding spots for the winter.  It's common to see huge flocks of ducks and geese here at this time of year.  You will especially be keeping your eyes peeled for smew, goldeneye, great white egrets, and maybe even a bittern! Beginners and more experienced wildlife watchers alike are very welcome.  We can also lend you binoculars and give you tips on using them if you don't have any of your own.

Alan Kell



Winter work programme

The winter work programme is now in full swing with work continuing to focus on the removal of willow from the natural pits. Our volunteer work parties have done a fantastic job in removing areas of willow. This will help increase the internationally important fen plant communities situated here. Part of the removed willow is being used to create habitat piles to aid critically endangered slime moulds, which grow on the rotten branches. Great crested newts will also benefit from this work, as the removal of willow will help increase the water tables within the pits, it will also encourage emergent vegetation for them to shelter and breed in as well as removing shading which would otherwise perturb them


We have just undertaken our wetland bird survey for the reserve with results reflecting a good diversity of waterfowl. High numbers of gadwall, tufted ducks, mallard, wigeon, shoveler and of course coots were recorded. Further highlights included a slavonian grebe located at ARC; Black necked grebe at New Diggings and a female goosander on Burrowes.

Goodbye cattle

We will shortly be saying goodbye to our cattle in the next few weeks. With the approaching winter weather, the cattle will be moved to a barn where they will spend the winter months. This reduces the footfall in the fields and consequently the poaching of the grass.


Finally, in the past week we have welcomed Stephanie King to our reserve. Stephanie has joined the team here as a residential volunteer and will be helping the warden team carry out the management of the reserve until April. 

Alan Kell


More Cattle Egrets

During a quick walk along Pett sea wall before rain set in I saw 57 bird species, the most notable of which were 2 Cattle Egrets together, at first close to the road near the easternmost pool but then flying to the ditch just E of Three Gates.

Large numbers of Lapwings were in the air in response to a raptor which remained invisible to me, joined by many Starlings, c20 Golden Plover & 7 Ruff. Two species more than usually numerous were Little Grebes, of which there were at least 20 and Cormorants numbering at least 100, though I've counted up to140 recently.

A pair of Stonechats was on the roadside fence, while Bearded Tits were pinging and Water Rails squealing from the reeds.