Trip reports

Reserve Visits 2014: Dungeness

Reserve Visits 2014: Dungeness
Mike Langman (

Saturday, 4 January 2014

With Peter Denyer leading our group we made our way to our first stop, the Scott hide. From here everyone was pleased to have spotted a female smew bobbing along in the distance, which was later dubbed bird of the hide. Also seen were the rather smart looking tufted duck, goldeneye, wigeon, teal and shoveler as well as some great close up views of a female great crested grebe busy posing and catching fish in front of the hide.

Along our way to the Christmas Dell hide we spotted lapwings, starlings, a couple of marsh harriers as well as the odd shelduck. From the hide whilst having a well deserved lunch break gadwall, cormorant, black-headed, common and great black-backed gulls could be seen. Also in the distance within a neighbouring field greylag and Canada geese were just about spotted.

Travelling to our next stop - the Denge Marsh hide, blue tit, great tit, mallard and pochard were spotted and added to the list. From the hide we didn't see much more than what we had already seen due to the water levels being somewhat high so we didn't stop for long.

So far the weather had been kind to us, but darker clouds had started to gather so we quickly made our way to the viewpoint. Luckily enough for us when we got there we were then given spectacular views of not just one great white egret, but three flying between fields in the distance. Then came the rain so satisfied with what we had seen, we decided to make our way back to the coach so we could go to the next destination - the Hanson ARC hide.

Again from the hide, we did not spot much more than what we had already seen, but we did get some more good views of marsh harriers and a goldeneye. The rain had eased off at this point so a few of us walked along the road to have a look across the ARC pit, which turned out to be rather windy. Although struggling to keep our scopes and binoculars steady, black-throated diver and little grebe were seen. Back towards the coach, tree and house sparrows were seen on the bird feeders at Boulderwall Farm.

Overall we all had a thoroughly enjoyable day and the weather was not as bad as some had expected. All considering, I don't think we did too badly with a total of 34 for the day.

Black-headed gull; black-throated diver; blue tit; Canada goose; carrion crow; common gull; coot; cormorant; gadwall; goldeneye; great black-backed gull; great crested grebe; great tit; great white egret; greylag goose; herring gull; house sparrow; lapwing; little egret; little grebe; magpie; mallard; marsh harrier; pied wagtail; pochard; shelduck; shoveler; smew; song thrush; starling; teal; tree sparrow; tufted duck; wigeon.

(Claire Caddick)