The Dungeness Purple Herons had a great morning on Saturday celebrating National Nest Box week. Having designed an incredible array of nest boxes including some for puffins, nuthatches, reed bunting and mute swans - that last design was rather too enormous! - they decided on a blue tit box and discussed how best to camouflage their boxes using natural items sourced from around the car park. The results were fantastic and the finished boxes will be secreted in the scrubby areas around the car park - will anyone actually be able to spot them? Let's hope the blue tits can!
Bitterns seem to be everywhere at the moment. Even participants in our bittern safaris yesterday managed to connect with several!! It's hard to tell exactly how many are on site at the moment but it must be nearing double figures.
Smew numbers are still good with four drakes and 21 redheads present over the weekend. There have been daily sightings of great white egret but it has been a little difficult to establish whether there is more than one bird here at the moment.
A glossy ibis was spotted over Denge Marsh yesterday afternoon but unfortunately it just flew higher and higher and further and further away.
There was a brief sighting of a penduline tit from the Hanson-ARC hide at about 1 pm today and a firecrest was seen near the water tower pits.
With an icy east wind whipping across the pond, a brave band of field teachers, volunteers and staff tackled the reeds around the dipping pond at RSPB Dungeness. The reed bed is beginning to encroach on the area that children and families can pond dip in so to make it easier to catch our amazing leeches, dragonfly larvae and beetles it was decided to cut and remove some of the vegetation. After two hours during which we lost the feeling in our toes and fingers we left the piles of vegetation beside the pond for any creatures to find their way back before moving it away. It is hoped that this will make a real difference to pond dipping in the summer and will regenerate our pond habitat for our aquatic residents!
We will be pond dipping throughout the summer holidays at our family events ( details on our website) and school parties can include pond dipping in their activities during their visits ( see our Living Classrooms web page for full details of our schools programmes) so why not join us to find out about underwater life at RSPB Dungeness?