If you haven’t been to Dungeness RSPB Reserve, nothing can quite prepare you for the landscape – mile after mile of shingle On a cold winter’s day, it is a delight to sit snug in the visitor centre and look out through a huge picture window at all the waterbirds on the large gravel pit just outside. Often a rare grebe or diver is among them, and it is perhaps the best place in the UK for watching the delightful smew.
The nature trails lead around a series of hides where there is an excellent chance of seeing bitterns and bearded tits in winter. There is plenty to be seen at other times too. Dungeness’s position, jutting into the English Channel, makes it ideally placed to watch for migrant birds arriving or departing, with wheatears, swallows, martins and warblers regularly seen.
In summer, redshanks, lapwings and reedbed birds breed.
Dungeness is a great place for children to become ‘wildlife detectives’ and enjoy learning about nature at one of the regular family events. And with recently added hides and trails overlooking new wetland areas, there’s more than ever to see.