It's been a pretty good week here at Dungeness. Although there's been nothing earth-shattering to report there has been a terrific variety of species spotted over the past seven days. On Saturday pectoral sandpiper, dunlin, curlew sandpiper and knot were all seen on Burrowes pit and a large flock (200+) of golden plovers moved between there and the ARC site. On Sunday we had reports of great white egret from various places around the site leading us to think that there were probably two present and yesterday we were able to confirm that, as they appeared together on Burrowes pit. Red-crested pochard, black-tailed godwit and pied flycatcher were also of note on Sunday.
On Tuesday morning I took a stroll around the willow trail - actually I took several strolls round as I had connected with a large flock of tits and was hoping I might find a firecrest hanging around with them. Sadly not, but there were at least three chiffchaffs and two goldcrests and the sight and sound of a dozen long-tailed tits flitting back and forth across the track was a real treat. Even more of a treat was a barn owl, first glimpsed flying along the trail ahead of me as I approached the hide; it then perched on the screen no more than eight feet from me. Needless-to-say I had left my camera at home!
On Wednesday yellow wagtail, black redstart, blackcap, jay and brambling were all seen at the ARC site and a buzzard was spotted as it flew off from the sheep field near the entrance track. Thursday started well with two redwings flying over Boulderwall Farm and at least 14 tree sparrows at the feeders near the gate. An avocet was at the ARC site, and nine long-tailed tits were in the car park bushes.
On the way down to the Visitor Centre this morning we spotted a merlin having a bit of a spat with a crow and as I crossed the car park I could hear, but not see, the flock of long-tailed tits again. A bittern was spotted at Denge Marsh, a single great white egret was on Burrowes pit, two little stints were at the ARC site and a whinchat was near the bridle track.