From the Car Park you can go south to the Hanson Hide or West to the Screen Hide. 

Can you see anything that birds might feed on?
This is the way to the Screen Hide. The footpath crosses shingle areas with some larger pools which are good habitat for a range of birds. 
At the far end of the path can you see the tower? 

What do you think the tower is used for? 
(look in your information booklet to help you answer the questions)
This part of the reserve used to be a gravel extraction area. It was taken over by the RSPB and is now integrated into the greater Dungeness reserve. There are 2 wildlife hides and a shingle and sand bank protects the birds from disturbance.

Can you imagine what it was like before the shingle extraction finished?
Along the side of the path are ditches which help to keep the path drier.

Have a look as you walk along and note what you see.
The edges of the path are banked up and make good homes for rabbits as well as species of bees which dig holes into the sandy banks.

Put on your detective hat and look for evidence that rabbits live here
The southern track leads to the Hanson Hide. Here are a variety of willows and other plants. 

How do they support birdlife through the year?
Stop, look, listen !!!

What can you hear? What can you see?

As you walk further along the path what birds can you see and hear?
The pool on the left is a good place for frogs and newts. 

What birds do you think feed on frogs? Can  you create a food chain to show what you find out?
The pool on the right is much reedier and is home to summer migrants like Reed and Sedge Warblers. 

Where have they migrated from? 
(Look at the overseas schools page on the Kent Birdwatch micro site)
The reeds here are growing and will eventually fill the pool in unless they are managed.

Which rare bird are the RSPB managing the reed beeds for?
This is a Long-tailed Tit's nest.

Can you see what materials they used to build it?
A hide is a really good way of being able to watch birds. The approach is screened and small gaps covered by flaps keep disturbance a small as possible. The pits are home to many ducks and wading birds such as Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Common Sandpipier, Snipe and Redshank.
The path leads to the hide where you can watch the birds without disturbing them too much.Tread quietly and whisper as you go in because the birds might be very close.
Marsh Harriers are the top bird predator on the reserve. 

Can you find out what they feed on?
The pit was made when shingle was extracted for building. It is now home to lots of birds.
Reeds and Reedmace beds are the favourite habitas for Reed Buntings, Water Rails and, if you are very lucky, a very rare visitor, Penduline Tit.

What time of year might you see a Penduline Tit? Why do you think they come here at that time?
Stop, Look, Listen !!!!

What can you hear? What can you see?
Islands were created to give the birds somewhere to loaf and rest and feed. You may see ducks like Wigeon, Pintail, and Shoveler as well as Snipe, Common Sandpiper or Redshank.

What can you see the birds doing today?
Cormorants have taken over one of the islands for breeding. Dungeness has one of the few ground nesting cormorant colonies. Gulls also nest among the cormorants.

On what do cormorants normally breed?
In winter the water level is high and reaches into the reeds. When the water levels are lower this area has a muddy edge which is great for wading birds who probe the mud for food.

Can you name some wading birds? How are their beaks adapted for feeding in the mud?
From the hide there is a trail through the willow carr. As you walk round it will be harder to see birds here but you will be able to hear them so listen carefully.
At the start of the trail you can see willow and bramble bushes which is the favoured habitat of small birds, especially the summer migrants.

What will the birds be feeding on here?
Why is a bramble thicket a good habitat for some birds?
Willow thicket or Carr is also a secure habitat that attracts lots of insects and birds. 

How is it different to the bramble habitat?
Stop, Look, Listen !!!!

Around you there are lots of willow trees. For what purpose has willow been used in everyday lives?
There is a viewpoint across some more reeds.This is a favourite place for Cetti's, Sedge and Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings.

The number of Cetti's warbler has grown over the last few years, why might this be?
(the call is very distinctive - visit the RSPB website for bird calls)
The reed stems form the frame for a Sedge Warbler's nest. 

The Cuckoo is a parasite, what does it do to the Sedge Warbler and other bird's nest?
The second half of the trail is covered by a boardwalk. This makes it easier and safer to walk through the woodland.

Why do you think the RSPB put a boardwalk here?
Stop, Look Listen !!!

Part of the area is covered in willow carr. Can you hear any small birds?
The woodland has been cleared to allow more light in to encourage plant growth.

Why do you think is a good idea?
As well as willow several other species like the damp conditions like this silver birch.

Take a picture and then make a sketch of somethng that interests you here. Tell us why it interested you.
The trail leads back to the car park. 
When you get back to school talk to your friends and teachers about what you have learnt.

Publish your work for others to view and read on Kent Learning Zone (KLZ) and or Birdwatch Making the News 

For more information contact the Lifelong Learning Officer at Dungeness
email: dungeness@rspb.org.uk
RSPB Dungeness Trail 4
Hamstreet School
Author: Hamstreet School (ID: 8082)
Posted: 2009-12-17 12:49 GMT+00:00
Mileage: 0.67 km
(1 rating)
Tags: Photography, RSPB, Romney Marsh, birds, habitats, kent
Views: 3138
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This is one of 4 trails that have been created for the Kent Birdwatch 2010 Project. This resource can be used across both the Primary and the Secondary Keystages.
RSPB Dungeness is located on the largest shingle peninsula in the world. The shingle habitats are fantastic places to see rare invertebrates and plants and the gravel pits are home to a wide variety of birds throughout the year.

Car Park DSC_7354
From the Car Park you can go south to the Hanson Hide or West to the Screen Hide.

Can you see anything that birds might feed on?
Path to the Screen Hide DSC_7355
This is the way to the Screen Hide. The footpath crosses shingle areas with some larger pools which are good habitat for a range of birds.
At the far end of the path can you see the tower?

What do you think the tower is used for?
(look in your information booklet to help you answer the questions)
Watchpoint 1
This part of the reserve used to be a gravel extraction area. It was taken over by the RSPB and is now integrated into the greater Dungeness reserve. There are 2 wildlife hides and a shingle and sand bank protects the birds from disturbance.

Can you imagine what it was like before the shingle extraction finished?
Watchpoint
Along the side of the path are ditches which help to keep the path drier.

Have a look as you walk along and note what you see.
Path Edges.
The edges of the path are banked up and make good homes for rabbits as well as species of bees which dig holes into the sandy banks.

Put on your detective hat and look for evidence that rabbits live here
Watchpoint 3
The southern track leads to the Hanson Hide. Here are a variety of willows and other plants.

How do they support birdlife through the year?
Watchpoint 4
Stop, look, listen !!!

What can you hear? What can you see?

As you walk further along the path what birds can you see and hear?
On the Left.
The pool on the left is a good place for frogs and newts.

What birds do you think feed on frogs? Can you create a food chain to show what you find out?
On the right.
The pool on the right is much reedier and is home to summer migrants like Reed and Sedge Warblers.

Where have they migrated from?
(Look at the overseas schools page on the Kent Birdwatch micro site)
Reeds DSC_7360
The reeds here are growing and will eventually fill the pool in unless they are managed.

Which rare bird are the RSPB managing the reed beeds for?
Gorse Bushes.
This is a Long-tailed Tit's nest.

Can you see what materials they used to build it?
The Hanson Hide
A hide is a really good way of being able to watch birds. The approach is screened and small gaps covered by flaps keep disturbance a small as possible. The pits are home to many ducks and wading birds such as Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Common Sandpipier, Snipe and Redshank.
Hanson Hide.
The path leads to the hide where you can watch the birds without disturbing them too much.Tread quietly and whisper as you go in because the birds might be very close.
Home for a Harrier.
Marsh Harriers are the top bird predator on the reserve.

Can you find out what they feed on?
The ARC pit.
The pit was made when shingle was extracted for building. It is now home to lots of birds.
Greater Reedmace.
Reeds and Reedmace beds are the favourite habitas for Reed Buntings, Water Rails and, if you are very lucky, a very rare visitor, Penduline Tit.

What time of year might you see a Penduline Tit? Why do you think they come here at that time?
Watchpoint 5
Stop, Look, Listen !!!!

What can you hear? What can you see?
Islands.
Islands were created to give the birds somewhere to loaf and rest and feed. You may see ducks like Wigeon, Pintail, and Shoveler as well as Snipe, Common Sandpiper or Redshank.

What can you see the birds doing today?
Comorant Island.
Cormorants have taken over one of the islands for breeding. Dungeness has one of the few ground nesting cormorant colonies. Gulls also nest among the cormorants.

On what do cormorants normally breed?
Waters Edge.
In winter the water level is high and reaches into the reeds. When the water levels are lower this area has a muddy edge which is great for wading birds who probe the mud for food.

Can you name some wading birds? How are their beaks adapted for feeding in the mud?
The Willow Trail.
From the hide there is a trail through the willow carr. As you walk round it will be harder to see birds here but you will be able to hear them so listen carefully.
The Trail Start.
At the start of the trail you can see willow and bramble bushes which is the favoured habitat of small birds, especially the summer migrants.

What will the birds be feeding on here?
Bramble Thicket.
Why is a bramble thicket a good habitat for some birds?
Willow Thicket.
Willow thicket or Carr is also a secure habitat that attracts lots of insects and birds.

How is it different to the bramble habitat?
Watchpoint 6
Stop, Look, Listen !!!!

Around you there are lots of willow trees. For what purpose has willow been used in everyday lives?
Reed Viewpoint.
There is a viewpoint across some more reeds.This is a favourite place for Cetti's, Sedge and Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings.

The number of Cetti's warbler has grown over the last few years, why might this be?
(the call is very distinctive - visit the RSPB website for bird calls)
Sedge Warbler Nest.
The reed stems form the frame for a Sedge Warbler's nest.

The Cuckoo is a parasite, what does it do to the Sedge Warbler and other bird's nest?
Boardwalk.
The second half of the trail is covered by a boardwalk. This makes it easier and safer to walk through the woodland.

Why do you think the RSPB put a boardwalk here?
Watchpoint 7
Stop, Look Listen !!!

Part of the area is covered in willow carr. Can you hear any small birds?
Open glades.
The woodland has been cleared to allow more light in to encourage plant growth.

Why do you think is a good idea?
Silver Birch.
As well as willow several other species like the damp conditions like this silver birch.

Take a picture and then make a sketch of somethng that interests you here. Tell us why it interested you.
Return Trail.
The trail leads back to the car park.
When you get back to school talk to your friends and teachers about what you have learnt.

Publish your work for others to view and read on Kent Learning Zone (KLZ) and or Birdwatch Making the News

For more information contact the Lifelong Learning Officer at Dungeness
email: dungeness@rspb.org.uk
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