Here's a quick list of wildlife sightings we had over the weekend:
(Tundra) Bean goose – from viewing ramp at Hookers
Egyptian goose – at Denge Marsh
Bittern – booming at Denge Marsh
Peregrine – over Burrowes pit
Marsh harrier – over Denge Marsh
Buzzard – over Burrowes pit
Honey Buzzard – over Burrowes pit
Whimbrel – 10 by Entrance Track
Greenshank –2 on Hay Fields
Redshank – 2 on Hay Fields
Dunlin – 10 over Burrowes pit
Common tern – over Burrowes pit
Cuckoo – at ARC
Sand martin – over Burrowes pit
House martin – over Burrowes pit
Swallow – over Burrowes pit
Swift – over Burrowes pit
Sedge Warbler – many around the reserve
Yellow wagtail – at dipping pond
Linnet – many around the reserve
Stoat – by entrance track
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Brilliantly designed bird seed and nut feeders that do away with the need for a guardian as an internal weight-activated mechanism covers the feeding ports whenever a squirrel arrives.
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Squirrel buster nut and nibble feeder
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Good news, our return trail has now been opened! Although last night’s rain has made it a little bit wetter than we would of liked, it’s safe to walk down it now, with just a small diversion over a large puddle – just bring sensible footwear! The willow trail at the ARC is still closed for the time being though as it is still flooded.
Many of our sheep in the fields next to the return trail have given birth to their lambs, so look out for the bouncy woolly babies on your way around the trail.
Photo: Dungeness sheep - Louise Kelly
A beautiful black necked grebe on Burrowes pit, with views of it diving from the visitor centre.
Marsh harriers over the reserve. Sand martins and swallows braving the rain.
Common terns on Burrowes pit. Bearded tits at Hooker's pit.
Wildlife highlights of the week include:
Warblers everywhere! We’ve had a garden warbler spotted at Scott’s hide on the 10th April, sedge warblers and reed warblers seen at Denge Marsh yesterday and a willow warbler seen there the day before.
We’ve also had wheatears, redstarts, whitethroat and lesser whitethroats, blackcaps, redpolls as well as a pied flycatcher at the ARC on the 12th and 2 yellow wagtails at Denge Marsh on the 10th.
Lots of waders are starting to arrive at the reserve with greenshank and redshank seen at Denge Marsh on the 14th, whimbrel at Denge Marsh and ringed plover and oystercatcher on Burrowes pit on the 9th. Swallows are now sighted every day here which is lovely, although we are still waiting on many more to arrive and eat our midges!
Stoats, water voles, weasels and a grass snake have all been seen around the trail too!
The main highlight this week though, has to be the white stork which flew over the reserve on the 10th April, it sent up all the birds on Burrowes pit as it was had such an ominous figure.
The white stork is a large wading bird and has a strong body which measures 100-115 centimetres from beak tip to tail end and weighs 2.5-4.4 kilograms. It has a wingspan of 195-215 centimetres and flaps its huge, broad wings as little as possible in flight to conserve energy. The stork uses warm thermals in the air to aid its flight, particularly during migration. When flying between Africa and Europe it avoids the Mediterranean Sea because no air thermals occur above it, and take the long way round across the land.
Photo: white stork - Yu Jeen (wikimedia commons)