It's been a very surreal couple of weeks. The nature reserve is still closed and will be for the foreseeable future, so please do not make any attempts to visit us and stay at home where possible. We are all doing our bit to help try and slow the spread of coronavirus so the team are working remotely. We've been maintaining our social media channels to provide a bit of joy to people through the wonders of nature. Please do follow us if you haven't already: https://twitter.com/RSPBDungeness and https://www.facebook.com/RSPBDungeness/
This week our Big Garden Birdwatch results came out from the survey you took part in at the end of January. The top three birds sighted in your gardens this year was house sparrow, starling and blue tit! House sparrows have been the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch results for 17 years in a row.
Male house sparrow - Andy Hay
Noisy and sociable, these cheerful little birds are very opportunistic and have managed to colonise much of the world, living side by side with human activity. However, monitoring suggests there's been a serious decline in house sparrows in the UK and a drop in 70% of these birds have been noticed between 1997 and 2008.
House sparrows do not defend a territory unlike many birds and will happily nest side by side in small colonies. Nests are often made in crevices and holes in buildings, hence their name. They will happily commander a nest box and will be faithful to their nest sites, returning year on year to the same place.
Find out more about the Big Garden Birdwatch results here: https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/results/
Sparrows in the bath - Heather Silk
We hope you've been enjoying your allocated walks outside and enjoying a little bit of nature wherever you might live. Many of us have definitely learned to appreciate their local spaces recently. Sometimes, all we need to do is look down and we see a wealth of colour springing up below our feet. Primroses, dandelions, daisies, violets and wood anemones are growing in fields and woody areas. Trees are in blossom and the blackthorn or sloe bushes are producing a wealth of white blossom this year which is perfect for wildlife. Look out for bees and butterflies feasting on the nectar.
Bumblebee on blackthorn blossom - Louise Kelly
If you haven't got a bit of green space near you, investigate what's growing on the road verges and in the cracks of the pavements, you'll be surprised at the amount of plants that can find a home here.
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The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654
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