May 162018

Here is the latest from RSPB Dungeness:

Reserve News Updates

Spring Work Programme

Our all-important breeding bird surveys are currently taking place. Early starts for our warden team as they walk various parts of the reserve to look and listen for signs of pairing birds and nesting sites. This gives us a picture of how well our birds are doing on the reserve and whether our winter habitat management work is paying off! These surveys take place a few times a week, with dedicated and knowledgeable staff and volunteers, from now until June. We’ve noticed so far that breeding birds have been later this year due to the very cold start of spring. We do however, have 2 bittern pairs over at ARC and a pair of marsh harriers have been seen ‘dancing’ in the sky. It’s still early for some nests but hopefully next month we will have more news to share of how they did.

We have completed 2 out of 3 huge 8ft tern rafts, one is out on Burrowes Pit and one is ready to be launched at ARC. If you’ve visited the reserve recently, you may have noticed all of our decoy terns that we and our visitors painted over the winter are now out on the islands. Terns feel much safer nesting in large groups, so by seeing these ‘fake’ terns already nesting on the islands they should be enticed to settle here too.

Wildlife Highlights

It’s May, and with some much needed and gratefully received warm weather, the reserve is coming alive! Plants have had a growth spurt and we are starting to see a lot more colour on our reserve now. Look out for sheeps sorrel, a small red plant which covers huge areas of grass and shingle. The pink pom-poms of the thrift flowers are sprouting up in between as are the beautiful white flowers of the low-to-the-ground growing sea campion.

Migration is now in full swing and we are now seeing small numbers of swifts who have arrived to join the martins and swallows dancing in the sky. The sounds of the cuckoo and the sedge warblers can be heard over the reserve as can the sound of the booming bittern. Insects are about with plenty of different bumblebee species seen on the reserve. Grass snakes and common lizards have both been seen regularly warming up in the sunshine. Many of our waterfowl are now swimming the lakes with their little fluffy chicks in tow. Swans, geese and many ducks and grebes have bred successfully and we look forward to watching their chicks grow up. Look out for the little ‘mint humbug’ chicks of the great crested grebe sitting on their parents’ backs!

Volunteering opportunity!

Want to try something different? Then volunteer for RSPB Dungeness! We need people who are willing to help our reserve team of staff and volunteers with important conservation tasks around the reserve. Get up close to nature and see a different side of our spectacular reserve by undertaking a variety of habitat management and site maintenance tasks. Opportunities available every Thursday and every first Sunday of the month, 9am-4pm. Please contact the reserve on 01797 320588 and ask for Alan Kell or

If you don’t fancy all that manual work, the visitor centre is also looking for friendly and chatty volunteers to help manage our counter and reception area. Volunteer for a full day or half a day based on a rota that is flexible around you. If you love talking to people, particularly about wildlife and are happy to serve people in our shop then please call the reserve on 01797 320588 and ask for Mary or email

Education programme

We are taking school visit bookings for this year’s summer term. We will be exploring the reserves pond habitats, seeing what minibeasts live under the water and also trying to identify birds that live on top of it! For more information, please contact Louise on 01797 320588, email or visit:


There is plenty to see and do at RSPB Dungeness! See below or check out our website for more details about all our events.

Upcoming Events!

To book contact 01797 320 588 or

Booking is essential for all events apart from free ‘drop-in’ events.

RSPB members benefit from 20% discount on event prices where stated.

Children attending events must be accompanied by adults.


An afternoon dip…

Monday 28 May – Friday 1 June

Drop in and have a go between 2pm – 4pm

Do you want to learn more about the creepy crawlies that hide under the surface of a pond? Grab a net and a bucket and delve into the pond to see what creatures we discover! Don’t forget to explore our Discovery Area’s self-led trail too!

£2 per person + usual entry fee. No need to book.

(Entry is free for RSPB members)


Wonderful Wildflowers

Saturday 9 June, 2pm – 4.30pm & Wednesday 20 June, 10am – 12.30pm

Some would be surprised to hear that Dungeness is a fantastic place for wildflowers. Home to one-third of the UK’s plant life with some rare and unique ones thrown in, come and learn about our wonderful wildflowers on a walk around our reserve with an expert guide.

Adult £7. Child £3.50.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


Spring Migration Walk

Wednesday 13 June

10.30am – 12.30pm

If you’re a beginner or an expert bird watcher, this walk is for all people fascinated by birds! Come and see which birds visit Dungeness in the spring time to feed and breed here. From swallows to terns and everything in between, this is the walk for you if you want to learn more about our overseas visitors as well as the birds that stay here all year round. Led by a friendly guide with expert knowledge on all things feathery!

Adult £7. Child £3.50.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


Midsummer’s Night Walk

Saturday 16 June

6pm – 9pm

With its wide open spaces, Dungeness is the perfect place to experience an evening walk with a golden sunset bathing the reserve in a warm light and providing the perfect back drop to watch wildlife. Join us on a guided walk, watch the birds go to roost and enjoy the perfumed smell of the night scented flowers. Do something different with your Saturday evening and enjoy the long days while they last. Refreshments will be provided.

Adult £10. Child £5.  Please pay in advance.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


Mothy Coffee Morning

Wednesday 20 June


Join us for an hour with some moths. Learn about the different species of moths we caught in our traps the night before, release them and enjoy a hot brew whilst doing so!
Adult £5. Child £2.50
20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


 Posted by on 16 May 2018 at 4:33 pm

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