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Local weather


The Observatory can accommodate up to 9 people in two dormitories, you need to bring your own sleeping bags and it is self-catering. As well as Birdwatchers, we welcome people from many areas of interest including Moths, Butterflies, Bugs and Beetles or just a general interest in Nature and the local environment. Please forward any Dungeness recording area records to the Warden.
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11th Apr

Rain at first turning to fog from mid-morning resulted in a decent arrival of migrants with the highlight of five Redstarts along with a Snipe, two Sand Martins, 11 Swallows, 55 Willow Warblers, 21 Blackcaps, four Lesser Whitethroats, 16 Wheatears and 11 Siskins. The Ring Ouzel of recent days was still present at the northern end of the Desert.

Redstarts Phoenicurus phoenicurus   Dungeness   11th April 2024
Images of two birds trapped today.

A Brown Hare was seen.

10th Apr

A fine and calm but ultimately disappointing morning. Grounded migrants were thin on the ground with just 11 Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps, two Lesser Whitethroats and the long-staying male Ring Ouzel at the northern end of the Desert. Three Siskins flew over and a cock Pheasant was also seen.

9th Apr

Gale-force south-westerly winds and rain made for a difficult day with seawatching producing just two Velvet Scoters, three Mediterranean Gulls, 25 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua. Very slow on the land.

8th Apr

With a fresh SE wind blowing this morning it seemed to be good conditions for a seawatch but unfortunately it proved not be the case. Nevertheless a few bits of interest were seen during 6.5hrs of watching including a Garganey, two Goldeneyes, four Red-breasted Mergansers, 22 Whimbrel, five Mediterranean Gulls, 81 Sandwich Terns, an Arctic Skua, a Black-throated Diver and a Manx Shearwater. On the land the most notable sightings were of three parties of Ravens over the Point totaling 41 birds. A Buzzard, eight Swallows, 12 Siskins and three Corn Buntings also flew over and a small arrival of migrants in the bushes included 14 Willow Warbler and nine Blackcaps. The Ring Ouzel and Redstart were seen again. A very noisy Alexandrine Parakeet was also seen flying around the Point and seen feeding on tree buds in the trapping area.

Eleven Porpoises were feeding offshore. 

7th Apr

There was a small arrival of migrants on the land today with a Ring Ouzel and the first Sand Martin and Whitethroat of the spring of note along with a Little Egret, ten Swallows, two Willow Warblers, 20 Chiffchaffs, four Blackcaps and a Redpoll. The sea was fairly disappointing with 3.5hrs of watching producing just two Little Gulls, 25 Mediterranean Gulls, 142 Sandwich Terns, three Common Terns, an Arctic Skua and a Black-throated Diver of note.

Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe   and   Whitethroat Sylvia communis   Dungeness   7th April 2024   (images by Tom Wright)

6th Apr

With a strong to gale force SSE wind for most of the day the main interest was offshore. Seven hours of watching produced 299 Brent Geese, nine Shelduck, 22 Shovelers, nine Gadwall, 25 Pintail, 430 Common Scoters, five Red-breasted Mergansers, 43 Whimbrel, six Little Gulls, 14 Mediterranean Gulls, 641 Sandwich Terns, 49 Common Terns, the first Arctic Tern of the spring, 12 Arctic Skuas, 72 Red-throated Divers, two Black-throated Divers and 769 GannetsVery quiet on the land although the male Redstart was still present and two White Wagtails were seen.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.

A Blossom Underwing was trapped overnight - only the sixth Observatory record.

5th Apr

Another wet and windy start to the day but the skies eventually cleared and the wind dropped a bit in the afternoon and allowed a few migrants to arrive. Of note on the land was a fine male Redstart around the Polish War Memorial along with nine Swallows, a House Martin, 22 Chiffchaffs, seven Blackcaps and a Yellow Wagtail. A four seawatch this morning produced 78 Brent Geese, 242 Common Scoters, an Avocet, seven Little Gulls, 307 Sandwich Terns, 53 Common Terns, a Great Skua and, two Arctic Skuas headed east while 14 Fulmars, a Manx Shearwater and 714 Gannets flew west.

Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus   Dungeness   5th April 2024   ((by Tom Wright)

Nine Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Water Shrew was found under metal sheeting at the Long Pits.

4th Apr

Very quiet in more wet and windy conditions. A 2.25hr seawatch this morning produced just two Mediterranean Gulls, 73 Sandwich Terns, nine Common Terns and an Arctic Skua of note. A Swallow, two Wheatears and 17 Goldfinches were the best on the land.

3rd Apr

Another disappointing day with strong SW winds and lots of rain. Coverage of the land was difficult in the windy conditions and nearly seven hours of seawatching produced just 324 Common Scoters, seven Mediterranean Gulls, 210 Sandwich Terns and 15 Common Terns. A Swallow also arrived.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

2nd Apr

Very little of interest to be seen. Four Mediterranean Gulls and five Arctic Skuas were seen offshore while a party of eight Ravens was of note on the land.

A Brown Hare was also seen.