Birdwatching on Romney Marsh
Romney Marsh is an excellent place for seeing and watching birds. The Marshes cover large expanses of countryside criss crossed with dykes, farmland, lakes, coastline, the sea and Dungeness Point, and attract a large variety of birds.
The coastline has formed over the past 5,000 years and continues to evolve. Wetlands extend across the area with shingle beaches, saltmarsh, saline lagoons, grazing marsh, gravel pits and intertidal mud and sand flats.
The Romney Marshes are a very important area for farmland birds, owing to the presence of key species: grey partridges, corn buntings, turtle doves, tree sparrows, yellow wagtails and lapwings.
In addition, there are populations of other red-listed species, including skylarks, yellowhammers and linnets.
Find out more at Romney Marsh Farmland Bird Project.
Dungeness Bird Observatory
Dungeness for Birdwatching
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. A churned up area of sea from the power station outflow, known as The Patch, regularly attract terns and gulls to close range, particularly when at rest on the shingle.
The RSPB Reserve at Dungeness, the Society's oldest nature reserve, occupies nearly 4 sq miles of the Dungeness peninsula - the largest shingle formation of its kind in Europe.
Dungeness Bird Observatory, located on Dungeness Point about a ¼ mile from the Old Lighthouse, is open most of the year. A daily record is kept of all birds in the area and is available to visitors who are encouraged to help in this work. An ongoing ringing programme forms an integral part of these studies and ringers are welcome.
There is accommodation for up to nine people at the Observatory. You can find out more on the Dungeness Bird Observatory website.
The Great Spotted Woodpecker
There are two hides on the beach at Dungeness. The eastern hide is used mainly for observing up and down Channel movement of seabirds whilst the western hide is sited to overlook the warm-water outfalls (the Patch) of the Dungeness Power Stations. A key is held at the Observatory.
Other Birdwatching Places on Romney Marsh
The Royal Military Canal has lots of birdlife, including kingfishers, grey herons, moorhens, reed warblers and the majestic mute swan.
A Family of Swans on the Royal Military Canal
There is over 20 miles of coastline of Romney Marsh, from Dungeness Point, by Lydd-on-Sea, Greatstone, Littlestone, St Mary's Bay to Dymchurch, with both sandy, shingle and mud shorelines. Such diverse habitats attract a whole range of sea birds. Greatstone beach when the tide is ebbing attracts whole flocks of Oystercatchers.