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Dungeness Bird Observatory

Grounded migrants included a Redstart, two Whinchats, six Redwing, eight Blackcaps, 20 Goldcrests and eight Firecrests and birds passing overhead included a Buzzard, 250 Swallows, two Rock Pipits, two Grey Wagtails, two Jays, six Tree Sparrows, a Brambling, 300 Goldfinch, 40 Siskins and 90 Redpolls. Brent Geese (above) flew down-channel throughout the day with a final total of around 1000 birds (and including one leucistic individual) along with 179 Wigeon, 39 Teal, five Grey Plover, two Bar-tailed Godwits and five Arctic Skuas and four Mediterranean Gulls were feeding lingering offshore. From the DBO website.


Rye Harbour

Highlights this morning, at least 1500 Golden Plover roosting on Flat Beach, at Castle Water a Spoonbill gave great flight views from the hide and headed towards Winchelsea Beach, a group of 8 Bearded Tit, Green Sandpiper, Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler also showed well from the hide. Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall and Tutfed Duck were present in good numbers around the main pit.


Terns of Rye Bay

The Sussex Ornithological Society produces an Annual Report summarising the year's bird sightings and bird ringing plus a few papers focussing more deeply on a range of birdy subjects. For 2010 I wrote a review of the terns of Rye Bay and for completeness this includes Dungeness. Now you could buy the Annual Report or join the SOS (click here), but they have allowed me to give you free access to the article. Click here to download the article.


100 years of nature conservation

In 1912 Charles Rothschild founded the ‘Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves’ (SPNR - now the Wildlife Trusts). Its initial aim was to create a list of Britain's finest wildlife sites for potential purchase as nature reserves. Three years of information gathering followed - the first ever national survey of wildlife sites - in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Rothschild and his colleagues were looking for the 'breeding-places of scarce creatures', the 'localities of scarce plants' and areas of 'geological interest'. By 1915 they had compiled a list of 284 sites 'worthy of preservation' - the Rothschild Reserves. There are 2 sites on this list that are within the RX area...  Dungeness - click here and Camber Castle - click here.



Beach Reserve

Golden Plovers on Flat Beach have been a bit thin on the ground recently so it was good to find at least 250 roosting yesterday once the weather had cheered up. The flood also attracted Grey Plover, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal and the ever present bunch of Little Egrets. I was also pleased to see a (late) Hobby and Merlin in flight along Shore Ridges yesterday afternoon, it is not often  you get a chance to see both species together in such close quarters. This morning as you can imagine has been a complete wash out and the only highlight has been a cup of tea.