Jutting out into the English Channel, the vast shingle spit at Dungeness is a haven for birds and we can hope for some good winter birding!
Starting the day adjacent to Dungeness Power Station we expect to see Common Guillemot and Razorbill offshore as they are attracted to large numbers of fish by the warm water outflows. Red-throated Diver and Northern Gannets fly by and on the beach, large concentrations of gulls could include Iceland, Glaucous, Caspian and Mediterranean. Black-legged Kittiwake, Great Skua and Little Gull may also be present.
Moving on to the RSPB reserve which consists of a large number of excavated pits, scrubby bushes and grassland, the many hides will keep us occupied. Large numbers of wildfowl should be present such as Northern Pintail, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Merganser (Goosander), Eurasian Teal, Common Goldeneye and Gadwall. Dungeness is one of the best places in the UK to see Smew and numbers can often exceed 20! Black-necked and Slavonian Grebe are regular winter visitors to the reserve, along with Eurasian Bittern and Great Egret.
The bushes and scrub attract European Stonechat, Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Bearded Reedling, wintering Common Firecrest, Common Chiffchaff and Eurasian Blackcap, whilst the open fields are home to raptors such as Hen and Western Marsh Harriers, Merlin, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon and Eurasian Sparrowhawk.
On previous day trips to this area we have seen rare and scarce species that have included Glossy Ibis, Tundra Swans, Western Cattle Egret, Ring-necked Duck, Black-crowned Night Heron, Red-necked Grebe and Long-eared Owls.
(Does not include reserve admission charges)