Sunday, 1 February 2015


Yesterday I went along with Havering Local RSPB Group on their coach trip to Dungeness. We arrived just before 10am at the power station and had an hour to explore the area before moving on to the RSPB reserve.

An hour well spent, a brisk walk to the outfall viewing area proved productive with lots of feeding activity. Mainly our commoner gulls, with two Kittiwakes picked out. a few Gannets flying past further out, lots of Cormorants and a small group of five grebes proved to be Slavonian. Around the power station a Black Redstart was found using the low buildings and internal fences as vantage points, while high above a Peregrine looked on.

Busy at the outfall!

Peregrine looks on
 Back on the coach and a short ride to the ARC pits. From the Hanson Hide we were treated to two Kingfishers flying across the pits while a distant Great White Egret fed along the reed fringed far bank. Out on the water two male Goldeneye were throwing their heads back displaying to four females. Two redhead Smew and a pair of Goosander were picked out in the distance and I was probably the only one on the coach not to see a Bittern in flight.

lots of Robins around

acrobatic female Reed Bunting feeding on the reed heads

distant Great White Egret

 Walking back on to the reserve, the feeder at the back of the house at the entrance was busy busy with Reed Buntings, House Sparrows and at least eight Tree Sparrows.

A busy feeder

 Counted at least five Stonechats with this male showing the closest.

male Stonechat

A Mink spotted near the bittern viewing point
 From the Scott Hide a drake Smew showed well as did a male Kingfisher which we watched catch and devour three fish in quick succession!