From Natalie Holt, Warden.
Over the past few weeks we have had a growing number of starlings on the reserve. Visitors have enjoyed seeing a couple of hundred darken the sky for a handful of seconds before jostling for position on the wires outside Boulderwall Farm. These are nothing like the shape-shifting ‘murmurations’ of the Somerset Levels of course, but astounding to watch at dusk on a spring day nevertheless. Our visitor centre happens to be an ideal spot to watch these murmurations right now, so do come down and have a look!
From my desk I can also see the tree sparrows congregating in their favourite bushes around the red millet feeders. These plucky little birds have suffered a 97% population decline since the 1970s. However, Romney Marsh is one of their last strongholds in the South East, and it’s a delight and an honour to see them so easily here on the reserve. We’ve been working hard to make sure the tree sparrows continue calling Romney Marsh their home. Valentines day marked a significant day in the tree sparrow calendar- the date at which all our nest box and habitat preparation must be completed, for from that date they start their spring prospecting. It certainly feels and sounds like spring on the reserve today… and not a moment too soon!
Further first signs of spring have included brown hare, queen buff-tailed bumblebee and peacock butterfly. Birds of note have been penduline tit, black-throated diver, glossy ibis and Slavonian grebe.
For full listings of our recent sightings, including dates and locations last seen, you can visit our Recent Sightings page at www.rspb.org.uk/dungeness