Trip reports

RSPB Dungeness (Leader Peter Saville)

RSPB Dungeness (Leader Peter Saville)
Bewick Swan

Sunday, 6 January 2019

I arrived at the ARC Pit just before 7am to see the Bewick swans before they left for their feeding grounds the other side of Lydd. Sue and Steve arrived shortly after. We had good views of the swans. I counted 30 birds in the flock until 7.30 am when, after a lot of their distinct, calls they flew off in two groups. We continued birding until 8.45 am when I walked back to meet the group. 19 members had arrived including Terry and his partner Louis who had driven down from Suffolk. A new lady who had seen the walk on our website also joined the party.

The group started birding from the ARC Hide until 9.45 am when we decided to look for tree sparrows by the reserve entrance. None were seen but there were with plenty of tits and chaffinches on the feeders.

Returning to the car park the group had now risen to 21. This was too large a number to walk round as a group, so I decided to split it into two groups. Sue leading one and myself with the other. Sue to lead by the clockwise direction taking in the main hides and I would lead my group toward Denge Marsh.

The path leading from the car park was very quiet until we reached the viewing mound. Bearded tits were pinging but were very hard to see - just few members got a brief glimpse of them. From the mound we continued to the hide adding great-crested grebes, gadwalls, mallards and mute swans to the day list. From the hide great white egrets, Egyptian geese, greylag geese, lapwings, tufted ducks and a marsh harrier were seen.

From Denge marsh we continued up towards Christmas Dell Hide but there was nothing of note to be seen.

We met up with Karen who had decided to have a lay in as our early start was too much for her, bless!

We took in the three hides on Burrows Pit where there were huge numbers of cormorant's, probably two thousand at a guess.

Peter Saville