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Corona Virus Update

Following discussions with other Observatories and taking advice from the RSPB we are not allowed to open the hides yet to visitors as we cannot put in place the necessary protocols to keep staff and visitors safe. We will have to remain closed to overnight visitors for the foreseeable future. Day visitors are welcome to call into the garden, as long as Covid-19 protocols are observed. We are still operating our monitoring programme. Please think carefully about Social Distancing before approaching our Wardens. Please forward any Dungeness records to the Warden.
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Thank You for your understanding in these dificult times.
The Trustees.

25th Oct

A wild, wet and windy night which continued into the morning and meant that seawatching was the main order of the day. Over six hours of coverage produced a Manx Shearwater, 2116 Gannets, 263 Kittiwakes, 17 Mediterranean Gulls, 311 Sandwich Terns, three Great Skuas, six Arctic Skuas and 195 Razorbills of note. A second-winter Caspian Gull was also seen briefly at the fishing boats in the afternoon while an adult Yellow-legged Gull was also seen.

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus  Dungeness   25th October 2020
This bird has been present since 15th October and was originally
 ringed at Sominskie, Pomorskia, POLAND on 6th June 2020.

There was a bit of visible migration during the morning which included 800 Goldfinches and 35 Siskins and two Merlins were hunting around the Point.

Four Porpoises and single of Grey and Common Seal were feeding offshore.

   

24th Oct

An inceasing windy and gloomy day with most of the birding today involving seawatching and passing overhead. The highlights from the sea were four Sooty Shearwaters, 1953 Gannets, 50 Kittiwakes, 18 Mediterranean Gulls, 152 Sandwich Terns, four Great Skuas, six Arctic Skuas and 330 auks sp. Very quiet on the land with just a Grey Wagtail, four Redpolls and 780 Goldfinches of interest. 

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen.

23rd Oct

A day of mainly visible migration with notable birds including a flock of six Woodlarks, 38 Skylarks, 56 Swallows, seven House Martins, a Bearded Tit, three Tree Sparrows, 142 Meadow Pipits, four Rock Pipits, seven Bramblings, 119 Redpolls with four out of the five birds caught being Commons, 17 Crossbills, 750 Goldfinches and 31 Siskins. In addition the Robin shown below was trapped and found to be bearing a German ring.


Seawatching was fairly slow going but did include a Red-breasted Merganser, 386 Gannets, three Knot, 18 Kittiwakes, an excellent t otal of112 Mediterranean Gulls, 307 Sandwich Terns, two Great Skuas, five Arctic Skuas and 603 auks in four hours of watching.

Three Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

22nd Oct

Calmer weather once again ensued with a modest south westerly breeze, some cloud cover rolling in but very little in the way of rain. Three hours watching from the fishing boats revealed a modest diversity of seabird passage, notably one Brent Goose, one Velvet Scoter, three Common Scoter, four Red-throated Divers, 517 Gannets, two Oystercatchers, 18 Turnstones, four Mediterranean Gulls, 199 Great Black-backed Gulls, 201 Sandwich Terns, one Great Skua, four Arctic Skuas, two Guillemots and nine Razorbills. A further surprise came in the form of a Sparrowhawk which arrived in off the sea from the east, alighting briefly on the beach, before continuing inland.

Much of the overhead passage was also concentrated along the coast by the fishing boats and due to the fair weather was also rather high in altitude. Nevertheless, visible migration was in strong evidence today (as should be the case for this time of year) with a steady passage amounting to 35 Skylarks, two House Martins, 150 Starlings (including 50 in off from the east), one Grey Wagtail, six Pied Wagtails, 75 Meadow Pipits, three Rock Pipits, 18 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, two Greenfinches, 212 Linnets, 65 Lesser Redpolls, 13 Crossbills, 1500 Goldfinches, 22 Siskins and three Reed Buntings.

Sedentary birds were represented by three Tufted Ducks on the Long Pits, eleven Great Crested Grebes lingering offshore, a high count of 680 Cormorants flushed by the range boat just offshore at the fishing boats, three Kestrels, four Merlins hunting around the point (the highest day count of the year so far), one Peregrine, 17 Goldcrests spread across the recording area and two Black Redstarts.

Mammals sightings included one Grey Seal, two Harbour Porpoise, one Stoat and two Nathusius's Pipistrelles hunting around the observatory.

A single Migrant Hawker was present at the north end of the Long Pits.

21st Oct

Strong southerly winds dominated the day with some accompanying rain showers. As a result much of the focus was on seawatching. A total of 4.5hrs watching from the fishing boats yielded a trickle of 169 Gannets, 165 Sandwich Terns (still a modest number given the time of year), 27 auk sp., 16 Razorbill, four Common Scoter, three Little Gull and two Red-throated Divers. Three Arctic Skuas remain offshore and continue to kleptoparasitize the lingering Sandwich Terns. Waders were represented by two Turnstone feeding on the beach, one Curlew west and a Snipe flying in off the sea.

Two Grey Seals were also offshore.

20th Oct

The southerly wind had strengthened overnight but the sea remains fairly slow with 4.5hrs of watching producing just two Pintails, a Black-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers and a Mediterranean Gull of note. There were very few birds on the ground with just a Firecrest and a Wheatear of interest and visible migration was reduced but still produced a Yellow Wagtail, a Rock Pipit, 30 Redpolls, 30 Siskins and another 25 Crossbills.

One Porpoise was seen.


19th Oct

A cloudy day with a brisk southerly wind. There were a few grounded migrants and birds passing overhead including 220 Swallows, five Firecrests, 490 Starlings, two Wheatears, a Grey Wagtail, a Rock Pipit, three Bramblings, 30 Redpolls, 390 Goldfinches, 36 Siskins and an excellent total of 54 Crossbills. A Little Owl was calling in the early hours and two Dartford Warblers were also seen.

The sea continues to disappoint with just a Black-throated Diver, a Little Gull, two Mediterranean Gulls and four Arctic Skuas of note.

A Nathusius's Piistrelle bat was flying around the moth trap and a Grey Seal and a Brown Hare were also noted.



18th Oc

Another morning with plenty of birds on the land but still very quiet offshore. Two Pink-footed Geese over the area, a Long-eared Owl in the Moat and a Lapland Bunting over were of particular note while more typical birds included 25 Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests, 30 Goldcrests, a Ring Ouzel, a Wheatear, five Grey Wagtails, three Rock Pipits, four Bramblings, 50 Redpolls, four Crossbills, 27 Siskins and 15 Reed Buntings. There was also a late flurry of hirundine passage with a Sand Martin, 350 Swallows and 200 House Martins moving through. The Dartford Warbler was seen in the Desert again.

A couple of watches of the sea produced 12 Teal, 130 Sandwich Terns and three Arctic Skuas but not much else.

A Brown Hare was seen.

The population of Mottled Shieldbugs continues to increase with 48 individuals counted today. 

17th Oct

Another calm morning resulted in good numbers of grounded migrants and birds passing overhead again. Of note were a Short-eared Owl, a Dartford Warbler, two Firecrests, 50 Goldcrests, four Ring Ouzels, a Mistle Thrush, four Grey Wagtails, four Rock Pipits, 70 Redpolls, one Common Redpoll, nine Crossbills and 40 Siskins


Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus   Dungeness   17th October 2020
This species has become quite scarce at the Observatory in recent years and are only rarely ringed.

A Porpoise and a Brown Hare were seen.

At least 19 Mottled Shieldbugs were seen.

Another decent arrival of migrants on the land and plenty of ringing which produced the highlight of the day in the form of a Pallas's Warbler. Other grounded migrants included three Short-eared Owls, 20 Chiffchaffs, a Yellow-browed Warbler in the trapping area and a Dartford Warbler in the Desert, four Firecrests, 100 Goldcrests, two Ring Ouzels, 40 Blackbirds, 14 Fieldfares, 34 Redwings, 16 Song Thrushes and a Wheatear.



Pallas's Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus   Dungeness   16th October 2020

There was also a considerable movement of birds overhead with a flock of eight Great White Egrets appearing to go out to sea but then apparently returning in dribs and drabs during the rest of the morning. Also of note were six Rock Pipits, six Bramblings, an excellent total of 34 Crossbills, 40 Redpolls and 15 Siskins.

The sea remains fairly quiet with 501 Brent Geese, 36 Shelduck, 76 Wigeon, a flock of ten Velvet Scoters, a Mediterranean Gull and two Great Skuas of note in three hours of watching.