Plovers - Dungeness and Romney Marsh Bird Tours and B&B
Romney Marsh Birds and Sites
Being situated centrally on the Dungeness Peninsular, Plovers is ideally positioned for exploring the greater Romney Marsh area, which takes in a number of unique birdwatching sites from Hythe, through Walland Marsh and into East Sussex at Rye Harbour.
Dungeness is close by with the Bird Observatory at the centre of migration monitoring. In spring and autumn good numbers of grounded passerines, such as warblers, chats, finches, pipits and thrushes, can occur while overhead large numbers of hirundines may be on the move. Rarities are regular at this time of year and in spring 2005 both Short-toed Treecreeper and Subalpine Warbler were noted, although typically Hoopoe or Serin are more expected. Autumn is the season for larger numbers of migrants and some of the figures can be staggering; a fall of thrushes recently included 25 Ring Ouzels.
Dungeness Power Station. Breeding site for Black Redstarts. © Paul Trodd
Jutting into the English Channel, the peninsular is noted for its seabird movements, in particular divers, skuas and auks, while The Patch, a churned up area of sea from the power station outflow, regularly attract terns and gulls to close range, particularly when at rest on the shingle.
Marsh. The haunt of wintering harriers, geese and wild swans and in
summer breeding waders.
© Paul Trodd
The Dungeness RSPB Reserve is the Society's oldest and `watchers` were employed as long ago as 1905 to protect the breeding Stone Curlews, Kentish Plovers and seabirds. Although both waders now no longer nest locally, Dungeness remains one of England's premier bird reserves with a species list of over 300 and around 60 species breeding annually.
RSPB Visitor Centre Dungeness.
© Paul Trodd
A visitors centre and a range of hides affords good viewing over the man-made wetlands, created from past gravel extractions, and attracts a variety of wildfowl, waders and breeding seabirds. Rarities abound and in 2005 Gull-billed Tern, Baird`s Sandpiper and Black-winged Stilt were all recorded.
There are many smaller sites along the coastline such as Lade and Scotney Pits, which also attract winter wildfowl and waders along with the open expanse of Walland Marsh for wintering geese and wild swans, plus Lydd Wood with its active heronry.
Rye Harbour is noted for its ternary, in particular a small colony of breeding Little Terns, waders, wildfowl and wintering roost of Bitterns and Little Egrets. The nature reserve is well served by a variety of hides that overlook shallow wetlands behind a shingle bank, while inland woods and farmland provide additional habitats
Pat and Paul Trodd
Plovers, 1 Toby Road, Lydd-on-Sea
Romney Marsh, Kent TN29 9PG
Phone 01797 366935 & 07920 197535
Updated weekly during 2017
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