RUCKINGE HE CHANG­ING LAND­SCAPE

A scenic walk through an­cient for­est and marsh­land

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - PAUL TRODD

Tthrough­out this bird­ing walk could not be more dra­matic as the walker starts on the flat­lands of the Rom­ney Marsh, be­side the Royal Mil­i­tary Canal, and rises up into the wooded coun­try of the Low Weald. On a clear day, the views to the south across the marshes can be won­der­ful, all the way to the English Chan­nel. The ri­par­ian habi­tat along the wa­ter course with patches of reed, scrub and shal­lows at­tracts a wide range of birds, par­tic­u­larly when the wa­ter level is low, and where Great White Egrets are in­creas­ingly noted. Mi­grant rap­tors of­ten fol­low the south­ern edge of the Low Weald and early spring is ideal for see­ing con­ti­nen­tal Red Kites on the move. Arable fields ei­ther side of the canal are per­fect for claim­ing a first Wheatear of the sea­son. Dicker’s Wood is a frag­ment of the an­cient Or­le­stone For­est that once cov­ered a large swathe of this part Kent and Sus­sex. With its ma­ture Oak and Ash trees among blocks of conifers, it still man­ages to re­tain some of the at­mos­phere of the old wild wood. Lis­ten for wood­peck­ers, in­clud­ing the elu­sive Lesser Spot­ted.

Lesser Spot­ted Wood­pecker

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