What a busy week on the reserve!
It’s been gull mania here with a glaucous gull seen today on Burrowes pit by Makepeace hide and a laughing gull seen there yesterday too! Another sea bird highlight this week was the gull-billed tern, spotted over Burrowes on Sunday.
Other bird highlights this week include: garganey, hobbies, peregrines, willow warblers and spotted flycatchers.
Today, over 30 short-haired bumblebee queens were released on the reserve today. Dotted around and released onto prime food sources such as birds foot trefoil and tufted vetch, the queens had just been quarantined after coming over from Sweden. We hope they will thrive on the reserve and each make a nest to produce worker bees and ultimately the next queens for generations to come.
This is the 5th year of the short-haired bumblebee project which aims to reintroduce the once native bumblebee to the UK in hope to sustain a viable population for the future.
Bees are in huge decline and we are trying hard to reverse this by planting and spreading wildflower meadows, providing a rich food source for a variety of different bees.
Help bees at home by providing them with their favourite food plants such as lavender, foxgloves, honeysuckle, bluebells and flowering ivy. Make sure you leave a shallow dish of water out in your garden because even bees need to have a drink now and again!
The RSPB has teamed up with Weird Fish to update your wardrobe for summer. Drop in to the RSPB Dungeness store to get kitted out.
Darth Wader holds his light sabre aloft as the battle rages behind him. The design is featured fully on the reverse and in miniature on the front.
Available in charcoal or blue. Price: £20.
British clothing company Weird Fish share our love of the outdoors. Their clothes are tough, practical and a little bit different. Their witty t-shirts have become highly collectable.
The visitor centre at RSPB Dungeness is open daily from 10am to 5pm.
The reserve is alive with the sights, sounds and smells of summer! All we need now is the hot, cloudless days to go with it.
Swifts, swallows, sand martins and hobbies all race through the air above our heads as we walk the trail. Our gorgeous yellow flag iris is out now attracting a variety of bees and butterflies.
The wildlife garden is teeming with creatures. Just standing out there for 10 minutes allowed me to observe the great tits feeding their chicks in the nest box, bees flitting around the emerging flowers, frogs plopping into the pond, and a common lizard sunbathing on the shingle.
Today we’ve had sightings of a pair of yellow wagtails by the gate as you head towards Denge Marsh hide. Reed warblers, bearded tits and a yellowhammer (!) have been reported today too.
Plenty of butterflies are around the reserve with small copper, common blue and painted lady being seen.
Look out for certain wildflowers which are out now including the Nottingham catchfly, which fills the night air with scent, and beautiful pink marsh orchids.
Bird highlights this week include:
Garganey seen over in the hayfields just before Denge Marsh, a red kite and a Montagu’s harrier flying over Denge Marsh, a turnstone and 13 sanderling on Burrowes pit.
If you love birds, but would like to know more about them join us for our Birdwatching for Beginners walk which is taking place on Sunday 29th May between 11am and 1pm. Prices are £7 for adults and £3 for children. RSPB members receive 20% off. Give us a ring on 01797 320588 if you are interested in coming along.