Hello! Firstly, we would like to apologise for the lack of blog updates recently. We plan to kick off the new year with a sightings update from January to give you a taste of what's about here at Dungeness.

This month we have had quite a few special sightings.

We started the new year with an absolute highlight. After having no smew on the reserve last year we finally had a red-headed smew spotted in ARC pit which has since been seen several times on the reserve this month. She was last seen south of the ARC pit. 

Female Smew on water

Female smew - Graham Parry

Our resident glossy ibis (since 7th August 2020!) has been joined by another! The glossy ibis pair have been seen across the reserve and seem to have become very active in the colder weather. They have been seen in the following places this month: Cooke's Pools, ARC Pit, Burrowes Pit (in flight and by Firth Lookout). This species has been seen a lot more frequently across the country and is likely their home range is now shifting due to the change in climate. It remains to be seen if they have the potential to breed on the reserve in the coming years.

Glossy Ibis in the sun

Glossy ibis - Graham Parry

The reserve team got a fantastic view of bittern and bearded tits this month whilst carrying out some habitat works out on Dengemarsh, in fact, such great views that a bearded tit decided to join them on the boat during their lunch break! Fully taking advantage of us bringing their food up to the surface. It really was incredible to be close to such a gorgeous, normally fairly elusive bird! You can find a video of that day with clips of the bearded tit on our Facebook page @RSPBDungeness.

Bittern in flightMale bearded tit

Bittern in flight - Robin Elliott                                                                Male bearded tit - Graham Parry

A bevy of bewick's swans dropped by to Burrowes Pit on the Thursday evening of last week, in fact there were 31 in total! They were stunning to watch in the winter sunset.

Bewicks swans on the lake

Bewicks swans - Graham Parry

Along with a flock of white fronted geese in Dengemarsh fields.

White fronted goose - Graham Parry

Even a sparrowhawk was visible hunting spectacular from the Welcome Hut this weekend.

A perched sparrowhawk

Female sparrowhawk - Graham Parry

But that isn't all, there are too many to mention but some other visitors this month are:

Goldeneye - male and female

Pintail - male and female

Great white egret

Cattle egret


Peregrine Falcon



Marsh Harrier






Black-tailed godwits

And many more...

For frequent sightings updates and other reserve news follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @RSPBDungeness

And if you visit the reserve, remember to let a member of the team know your sightings so we can add these to the board. Or tag us on Facebook or Twitter so we can see your fantastic sightings and photos!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RSPBDungeness/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RSPBDungeness