This week has been glorious and the reserve is full of stunning summer wildlife. The wildflowers, although a little late to the party, are starting to burst out in all their glorious colours. This is delighting our pollinating insects I'm sure, and Dungeness is starting to buzz and hum with a wealth of bee, butterfly, dragonfly, damselfly and beetle species.
Sea thrift - Louise Kelly
At the start of the week we were graced with the presence of three collared pratincoles! Visitors had amazing sightings of these rare visitors. The collared pratincole is a very scarce visitor to the UK and breeds in Southern Europe, overwintering in the central belt of Africa. Strangely, they are defined as waders but are more often seen above water bodies hawking for insects, very similar to that of the style of a hobby. They do feed and also nest on the ground. The birds themselves are very unique looking, with streamlined wings and a forked tail, with a curved stripe under the eye and around their neck.
Collared pratincole - Corinne Pardey
One of the pratincoles has stayed all week with it being very visible today. Another addition to our 'rare' sightings is the rose-coloured or rosy starling. This beautiful bird with its lovely rose pink chest, sticks out a mile in a flock of common starlings. It has been seen around the Hookers Pit area of the reserve. They are common birds in Central Asia and South East Europe, often found in large flocks in semi-desert landscapes.
Rosy starling - Graham Parry
The glossy ibis is still around at ARC, being seen fairly frequently. If you haven't caught up with it yet, it's well worth a visit over to that side of the reserve. A golden oriole was also seen today, but very fleetingly as we think it's now passed through the reserve and onward.
Have a great weekend, whatever you may be doing. I think it's going to be a scorcher down here in the Southeast!
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