Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Scotney & Dungeness Rspb Reserve

Black Necked Grebe at Scotney.

Yesterday the 13th February i headed off to Scotney and Dungeness Rspb reserve to take advantage of the forecast of sunshine after the very cold & dull last few days.

I called into Scotney first of all hoping to try and find the Black necked Grebe & Scaup that were reported the day before and although the sun was out it was very windy and the water on Scotney was very choppy indeed , however eventually i found the Black necked Grebe quite close in and sheltering from the wind.

Digi scoped photo of Black necked Grebe.

Despite my best efforts i couldn't locate the Scaup which were probably still there but sheltering out of sight somewhere out of the wind.

I decided then to head to Dungeness Rspb reserve and do the full circuit around the reserve , It was fairly quite looking from the Dennis hide so i continued on past the dipping pond (no sign of the Long eared owls) and went to the Firth hide , i quickly scanned the wildfowl and saw 2 'Redhead' Smew , there were lot's of Tufted Duck, Pochard & Shoveler with a scattering of Gadwall, Mallard & Teal, there was also at least 5 Goldeneyes.

'Redhaed' Smew.

There were plenty of Gulls on the islands and after a scan i saw a superb adult Yellow Legged Gull which was a new addition to my year list.

Adult Yellow legged Gull.

I then had a look from the Makepeace hide and i instantly saw something in the water , a look through my bins confirmed a Peregrine Falcon which was quite a surprise !!!

Peregrine Falcon.

My initial thoughts were it has caught something but it hadn't , it was just having a wash , it proceeded washing then had a fly around shaking it's feathers dry.

Shaking it's feathers.

If you enlarge the above photo you can see the droplets of water falling off the Peregrine ,it then did a bit of a fly around before heading off towards the power station.

Peregrine Falcon.

A really great birdwatching moment to witness , i didn't add anything else from here and a look from both the Scott & Christmas dell hides didn't add anything new either.

I didn't go into the Denge marsh hide as i was told that a drake Smew was showing quite well at Hookers pit.

Drake Smew.

These are such stunning looking birds and it's been a good couple of years since i have seen a drake Smew, there was also a Great White Egret nearby.

Having had my fill of this stunning bird i had a mug of coffee on Hookers mound view point in the hope a Bittern would do a fly by but sadly it didn't , i then started my walk back along the trail to the visitor centre and saw 2 Egyptain Geese as they flew past.

Egyptain Geese.

On the way out of the reserve i had a look over Cooks pool and the ♂ Ring necked Duck was still present and there was also another 'Redhead' Smew present , a quick look over the feeders produced Reed Bunting & Tree Sparrow, another really enjoyable days birding.


  1. I bet that wind was absolutely freezing! Great shots of some great birds.

    1. Thanks Simon , yes mate that wind was pretty chilly.

  2. Rob, would you mind giving me some detailed directions from the road, parking and where to see the black necked grebe at Scotney, cheers...

    1. Hi James sorry only just seen this message , if you take the road from Dungeness towards Camber, (Jury gap road), you go past a caravan site on your right and go past the first set of pools also on your right, when you come to a double bend in the road at the end of the pools that is where i saw the Black n Grebe, hope you can make sense of these directions .Good Luck

    2. You will see a noticeable grass pull-in just off the road before the double bends , park there and scan the pits from there.


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