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Beach Reserve

A beautiful daybreak on the Beach Reserve and some great avian highlights too. Eleven Avocet on the new saltmarsh area provided a second taste of the advancing spring and an incredible 18 Jack Snipe were on Harbour Farm. Black-headed Gull activity was again evident across the Beach Reserve and Harbour Farm and it's hard to say how many Mediterranean Gulls were calling around the place. Flat Beach was pretty much as usual, although 350 Dunlin and 28 Knot were nice additions to the birds listed yesterday.



Beach Reserve

Always good to see the Black-headed Gulls showing interest at Ternery Pool after the darkest winter months. Despite the misty daybreak at least 400 gulls were on the islands out from Parkes and Crittall Hides, the distinctive calls of 6 Mediterranean Gulls were also good to hear. The Curlew roost on Harbour Farm remains active with 330 birds this morning, also of note Green Sandpiper, 6 Ruff and 8 Grey Partridge. Flat Beach continues to attract good numbers of roosting waders with at least 1500 Golden Plover, 800 Lapwing and 300 Oystercatcher.


Caspian Gull?

About 3 pm on Wed. 18th we entered the Denny hide. A visiting birder had his large scope on a flock of c.30 gulls standing on an island in the middle of Flat Beach: ad. Common, ad. LBB, a few ad. Herring, a flock of GBBs of various ages, and a smaller gull that he’d been studying for 5 minutes which he suggested was a Caspian.

Even through bins it looked a bit odd, with a disproportionately long and quite narrow bill, small-looking pure white head & long sloping forehead. I had a good long look through his scope. It was preening a lot, but on the maybe 10 occasions when it briefly lifted its head the forehead–bill profile was confirmed each time. The bill was remarkably long and thin, pretty straight-edged above & below except for quite a downcurve on the tip of the upper mandible. It was pale with a blackish vertical mark through both mandibles near the tip. The forehead was white like the head, long and gently sloping noticeably far along the upper mandible. The legs looked as long as those of the much larger Great Black-backs, and were washed-out pink. The eye was small and dark.

Once it opened its wings briefly. There was quite a bit of brown on the wings, so maybe a late-second-winter bird?  We never saw the tail. The bird was still there when we left about 3.30. Barry hasn't heard of any reports so I wonder if anyone else has seen this bird and what they made of it.

Pat & Mary


Feeder Frenzy!

Hi all! My name is Stephanie and I have been working as a residential volunteer at Dungeness for the last 5 months and will soon be starting the Internship in March, which means i’ll be spending an extra 6 months here,  before moving over to Northward Hill for 6 months.

Some of you may have already noticed but our bird feeders located outside the visitor centre, have had some alterations. First of all, as we were finding the birds were being flushed from the feeders everytime someone went to use the toilet facilities, we have cut an alcove within the willow trees to move the feeders back away from the toilets, and provide the birds with more cover. Before there were only three feeders on two old posts, so we have also provided the birds with new feeding posts and more feeders, all available to buy in the Visitor Centre, so we can provide more of a variety of feeds. 

Wildlife Highlights

Around Burrowes Pit both female smews and a drake, have been seen, especially in front of Scott hide. Kingfishers have also made a few appearances from Hanson and Scott hides. The ARC lakes have also provided good views at dawn and dusk as Bewick swans and great white egrets have been seen going to roost. Bitterns and goosanders have also been seen all around the reserve.


Rye Bay Small Fish Survey 2014

Kathryn Nelson of the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority has just produced the report of their small fish surveys for 2014. The surveys were conducted at Chichester Harbour, Medmerry, Cuckmere and Rye Bay. Here the method involved a 43m seine net pulled by hand from Rye Harbour beach monthly and a 2m beam trawl from a boat in Rye Bay in September. The Rye Bay samples had the greatest species diversity and included 31 species (with 16 species not recorded at the other sites).

Percentage of total abundance for each species found in Rye Bay in 2014, methods and months combined.

Click to read more ...