Monday, 1 September 2014


Inspired by the visit of Robs Birding - see his blog, I decided to take a trip to the RSPB reserve in Dungeness. It was a day when the weather couldn't make up its mind - but it was mild and stayed dry despite ominous clouds looming in the distance. 

On the drive up to the Visitor Centre I saw Grey Wagtails and a Wheatear, which obligingly posed on the boardwalk by the track.

I decided just to follow the trail round, calling in on each hide as I went. I was being divebombed by dragonflies the whole time, with the occasional Red Admiral on the hedges, and to my great delight, a Clouded Yellow - so vivid - but it disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. There were lizards too, darting for cover around the boardwalk.

There were one or two Great Crested Grebes easily visible from the hides.

One had a juvenile with it calling for food - sometimes the adult obliged and other times it headed off with its catch with the young one in hot pursuit.

There were no 'new' birds as I went round, but lovely views of Cormorants and Lapwings and of the surrounding countryside.

I was even pleased to see a Robin, as they've been hiding for a while.

There was a group of birdwatchers walking round at the same time. A guide was pointing out a Sparrowhawk somewhere in the distance. I couldn't see it at all, and some of the group seemed doubtful as to whether they had seen it or not - but dutifully recorded it on their lists. I didn't.

When I arrived back at the centre, one of the RSPB guides called out that there was a Glossy Ibis circling overhead. I rushed back out and saw it in the distance - it was really just a silhouette against a cloudy sky, and it flew further away quite quickly. If he had not been pointing at it and identifying it, I would not have seen it, but the silhouette is quite distinctive. Is that one for the list? I haven't ticked it, just recorded how I saw it. It was exciting to be there when it happened, but it didn't feel like a real sighting of it.

It was a great day though - Dungeness is a surreal place with a unique landscape and a tranquil feel to it - a lovely place to walk.

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