Can you believe it's the last day of September? This year has flown by! We've had another fabulous week on the reserve full of wonderful sightings. This weeks superstars are the glossy ibis, montagu's harrier and the cattle egret (which has become best mates with the cows and has been seen with them every day).
There have also been huge flocks of lapwing, golden plover and large numbers of swallows, sand and house martins. Yesterday 150 sandwich terns were also reported over Burrowes pit! Although it doesn't really feel like autumn yet, the migration is happening. We've still seen one or two ospreys and hobbies stopping by the reserve before they migrate south again.
Image: Sandwich tern with a fish by Graham Parry
Our islands are on top form at the moment, attracting an array of different waders such as little ringed plover, avocet, grey plover, green sandpiper, knot, curlew sandpiper, bar-tailed godwit, little stint and sanderling. We have also been lucky enough to witness a bathing peregrine falcon up close too! This is the best time of year to view waders up close in the visitor centre so come on in - enjoy a hot drink whilst admiring the view.
Image: Current view from the visitor centre by Louise Kelly
Image: a peregrine falcon having a bath in Burrowes pit by Graham Parry
On Sunday 9th October we are hosting a Wild Families - Awesome Autumn event. Learn about what wildlife gets up to in the autumn and get stuck in with a variety of autumn-themed craft activities! The event starts at 11am and finishes at 3pm. Children are £8, accompanying adults £1. Please bring a packed lunch with you.
I finish this piece with a report that 11 spoonbills have just flown over Burrowes pit (I missed them!!) and a manx shearwater over at the ARC being mobbed by a marsh harrier. It's all kicked off here - well worth a visit this weekend to watch bird migration in action!
Image: a manx shearwater taking flight by Chris Gomersall
Thinking of buying binoculars or a telescope?
Whether you know a bit or don't know where to start, come to the RSPB Dungeness Visitor Centre on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd October 2016 between 10am and 4pm and get some hands on advice from our friendly, knowledgeable team and have the chance to try the products out.
We stock the RSPB range of binoculars and telescopes, including the top of the range RSPB HDXs and HDs as well as a selected range of other brands such as Viking, Swarovski, Leica and Zeiss binoculars and Swarovski and Kowa telescopes. We have a range of products to suit all.
The Viking Optical representative will be on hand both days to give advice and answer any queries.
Do not worry if you cannot make this weekend as we are open every day and we have some weekday events running on Weds 5th October 2pm to 4pm, Fri 14th Oct 10.30am to 12.30pm and Weds 19th Oct 2pm to 4pm.
Migration is in action at the moment! We've had two ospreys pass through us on their way back to Africa. There are also a lot of swallows on the reserve too and sadly they will be leaving us shortly, marking the end of summer (not that it feels like it!)
We've had some fabulous sightings on the reserve including great white egrets, a Montagu's harrier, a pair of pintail, a yellow-browed warbler, a cattle egret and a wryneck!
Lots of tidying up on the reserve has been carried out this week. The hides have been swept and cleaned and the trails have been mowed, vegetation cut back and fields have been topped.
There are a lot of dragonflies and butterflies out on the reserve at the moment too. Below are a couple of pictures I snapped today on my way round the trail.
The weekend is set to be nice, so enjoy the sunshine while it lasts and head to Dungeness for a day discovering nature.