Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Romney Marsh and Dungeness, Kent - spring holiday 2009

Sunday 19th April

This morning we drove down to the old lighthouse at Dungeness. A strange place of empty flatness, miles of lichen covered shingle/pebbles, gorse bushes, small hut like houses and a few wooden huts and fishing boats. An icy gale swept across the area. Out to sea several dozen Great Crested Grebes are swimming and a Chiffchaff was heard in the lighthouse garden. After taking some photos of the expanse we moved on to the RSPB reserve visitor centre and followed the nature trail round stopping at many of the hides. Once again as we arrived we saw a Kestrel; the female only this time, fast asleep in the entrance hole to the barn! The Gorse and Bramble bushes around the reserve were full of singing Sedge Warblers and many Whitethroats. We saw our fist Swift of the year and several Reed Buntings. A few Grey Herons were also around. The water held lots of Tufted Duck and Coot, a few Pochard, and a couple more Great Crested Grebes. Once again we saw a pair of Marsh Harriers. The afternoon saw us seeking shelter from Dungeness’s relentless wind and walking a stretch of the Royal Military Canal at West Hythe; a lovely stretch of water edged by lots of wonderful greenery and trees. We heard a Cettis Warbler’s explosive song from the centre of a bush, first halfway along the canal section and again near the car park. A very enjoyable walk - back home for bangers and mash!

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